Ferenc Kumin to be Hungary’s new ambassador to Canada

Forty-three year old Ferenc Kumin, currently Consul General in New York, will become Hungary’s new ambassador in Ottawa. The Index news site reported on this, based on both government and opposition sources. We also learned that Hungary’s former spy chief, István Pásztor, will replace Mr. Kumin in New York, as the new Consul General. Mr. Pásztor, until recently, headed the Információs Hivatal–a civilian intelligence agency, which focuses on information-gathering abroad.

Ferenc Kumin

Mr. Kumin replaces Ambassador Bálint Ódor, who we understand had hoped to see his term in Canada extended by at least one year. Ambassador Ódor will be remembered for unprecedented spending in Canada on cultural events that aimed to counterbalance the negative media attention in the Canadian press on the Viktor Orbán regime. While publicly Mr. Ódor took a more measured tone than his predecessor on those critical of his government, and carefully cultivated strategic relationships within Canadian cultural, minority and business circles, his loyalty to the party currently in power was clear.

Ambassador Ódor’s visceral disdain for this publication, for our Hungarian sister publication and for our contributors personally, caused him on numerous occasions to jettison the professionalism expected of a senior diplomat for what can be aptly described as a personal vendetta. This publication reported dispassionately and fairly on Mr. Ódor’s appointment as ambassador to Canada in 2014, despite our obvious criticism of the Orbán government. Perhaps it was naive or “too Canadian” to expect that the leading diplomat representing Hungary would accept that being critical of his government’s policies makes us Hungarians who think differently, not enemies of the Hungarian nation. Mr. Ódor made known that he viewed us as the latter, whilst avoiding the type of public statements that earned his predecessor widespread scorn.

Ferenc Kumin, who will now relocate to Ottawa, served as a deputy state secretary in the Orbán government from 2012 to 2014, in charge of communications. Previously, he was heavily involved in Hungarian media, working for three years for the ATV cable news channel, as well as for Magyar Hírlap and the free daily publication Metro. He also worked as an adviser to former Hungarian President László Sólyom. While Mr. Ódor was fluent in French (a skill that very few Hungarian diplomats posted to Canada had in the past), Mr. Kumin speaks German and Italian, in addition to English.

Mr. Kumin is staunchly loyal to Viktor Orbán’s government and has taken issue with articles in our publication.

After our experiences under ambassadors László Pordány and Bálint Ódor, we are at least adequately acclimatized to the modus operandi that Hungarian diplomats import to Canada.

4 Comments

  1. No doubt, with this change there will be less odor in Ottawa. Mr. Kumin will spice things up in the Hungarian embassy. If only Mr. Pogácsa would get the nod one day, Hungary would have all the bases covered north of the 49th parallel.

    I have no doubt, that Mr. Kumin will be as popular with the elderly Canadian-Hungarian matrons, as his predecessor was. They will continue to flock to the embassy in their finest, to sip tea from bone china teacups in the ambassador’s dining room, while Orbán’s lackeys pin various medals of honor to their proudly heaving, but ever so gullible Hungarian breasts. The label, “Love is Blind”, could easily have been invented for them as a cover.

    The old members of the “Order of Vitéz”, the remnants of the old Arrow Cross officer’s core in Canada, so beloved by Sándor Szakály, Orbán’s official historian, will all stand tall for Mr. Kumin. Church-bells will toll for him in many of the Hungarian communities as they do for Hungary’s autocratic ruler back home, and as they did, when Admiral Horthy eliminated democracy in Hungary during the first half of the 20th century, or when he signed the shipping order, that sent 460,000 Jews to the abattoirs in cattle-wagons in 1944.

    There will be no decrease in the generous grants given to anyone who helps the Orbán regime to execute its affinity fraud on Canadians.

    There will also be no shortage of dedicated, decent women in Ottawa, who will be happy to introduce the new ambassador to Ottawa’s Jewish community, so he can explain to them that Orbán’s love for the regime that shipped their ancestors to the gas chambers, or his granting of state honors to racist bigots who spread hatred against the Jews is nothing but hot-headed gibberish, mere anti-Hungarian slander. These decent, elderly matrons will be happy to sweep under the carpet the evidence gathered against the Orbán regime by two of the most prominent survivors and scholars of the Hungarian Holocaust – the late Elie Wiesel, and Randolph L. Braham. (My own evidence is harder to sweep away, because it continues to accumulate. We’re not bumming for cigarettes and nylons in the American zone.)

    We have no illusions: the efforts to destroy the credibility of those who refuse to fall for the affinity fraud that Orbán specializes in by donning the false mask of patriotism, anti-communism, Christian values, and last but not least, respect for the victims of the Holocaust, will continue after this changing of the guard by the Hungarian autocracy.

    My good news for the fans of Mr. Orbán in Canada is this: the embassy will not run out of pogácsa with Mr. Kumin in the kitchen. The bad news is, that by now, just about everybody knows in Canada, apart from a handful of elderly Hungarians, that the car Mr. Kumin will try to sell to Canadians, is a lemon. I’m afraid, turning off the odor, and adding a new spice will not cut mustard here or with a younger generation, either among Canadian-Hungarians, or among the general public at large.

  2. Well said Andras…

  3. Don Kichote says:

    Ferenc Kumin wanted to sue a children’s channel called KiKa in Germany.

  4. Pingback: Valér Palkovits named Hungary’s new consul general in Toronto

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