Slovakia starts to get nervous with Orban’s Hungary

As the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban goes ahead with its plans to grant dual citizenship and now also voting rights to ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries, tempers in Slovakia are fraying and patience over an agreement running out.

Now opposition party of Robert Fico, Smer-SD, has called for an extraordinary session to debate the policies of Viktor Orban and for the government to lay out its plans clearly in this respect. Smer-SD wants the government to take a stronger stance to the actions of the Hungarian government also on an international level, through the EU and NATO, for example.

The motion is backed by liberal coalition party SaS, with party head Richard Sulik announcing his party’s endorsement of the session’s agenda as proposed by Smer-SD. He is well aware that the coalition should discuss its own position first, though. Sulik said that he appreciated the opposition’s concerns, because Viktor Orban was out of hand and should get a grip on reality, reports TASR newswire.

The other opposition party, nationalist SNS, has been calling on action to be taken against the politics of Hungary for some time, but even so, SNS party head Jan Slota has referred to the latest proposal of Smer-SD to convene the session as disgusting.

“They should have listened to us much earlier and we could have dealt with the problem together, instead of Smer-SD now having to put on this show” retorted Slota in a statement given to SITA. He then attacked Smer-SD for collaborating with ethnic Hungarian parties SMK and Most-Hid, saying that it is now playing at the martyr, while it might already be too late to stop the Hungarian steamroller.

“How come Smer discovered America only now? Why didn’t it listen to us when we were in the coalition together, and instead tried to soften our opinions, calling them extreme and radical along with everyone else? Everyone should apologise to us and finally start taking the Hungarian political games seriously” said Slota in the statement.

Slota went on to express his conviction that the Hungary’s objective is clear; to detach the south of Slovakia and annex it to Hungary, and eventually destabilise the whole of Central Europe. Slota then called for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to withdraw the Slovak embassy from Budapest immediately, cancel agreements with Hungary on good neighbourly relations and co-operation and to limit cross-border relations between the two countries.

Hungary was supposed to reply in February to a call from PM Iveta Radicova to set up a special bilateral agreement governing relations between the two countries, including the issue of citizenship, but no correspondence has been forthcoming. This flippant attitude together with recent events in Slovakia, including the revision to the Act on Minority Languages and the whole dual citizenship question, look set to heat things up further, so we can only hope they don’t reach boiling point.

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