The Orbán Government insults French President Emmanuel Macron

It seems that Hungary has intentionally insulted French President Emmanuel Macron. Here is the story.

In a confidential memo dated June 18 and addressed to Macron’s office, French Ambassador to Budapest, Mr. Éric Fournier claimed that Hungary was a “model” for dealing with migrants and that accusations of populism against Prime Minister Orbán were media fabrications. Fournier wrote that the French media, by accusing Hungary of antisemitism, were seeking to distract attention from the “real antisemitism” coming from “Muslims in France and Germany.”

Fournier received the award from Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.

It seems that Fournier is a great supporter of the Hungarian Prime Minister. I am surprised that he doesn’t consider pro-Hitler Horthy-admirer Orbán a “real anti-Semite.” The US Holocaust Museum would disagree with him. (Read here.)

Ambassador Fournier (left) and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The Ambassador’s memo became public when it was published by the investigative website Mediapart. President Macron immediately recalled Fournier and named Mrs. Pascale Andreani to the Budapest post. Macron said he does not share Fournier’s views and that his memo does not represent official French policy.

You would think this was the end of the story. Not at all.

Instead, the Hungarian Government organized an event where the outgoing Ambassador was awarded Hungary’s highest honor, the Order of Merit, Commander Cross. Thirty-nine-year-old Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó gave the speech: “Amidst today’s European disputes we need friends, and Eric Fournier is just such a friend to Hungary…. A good diplomat can be recognized by the fact that they consistently represent the position of their homeland, while still maintaining their common sense. Éric Fournier fully conforms to this expectation.”

In other words, the Hungarians rewarded the recalled French diplomat for NOT representing his own country’s official policies. To my amazement, the 58-year-old Fournier, a professional diplomat (!), accepted the award.

The award ceremony was choreographed to insult Macron. Its aim was to discredit and humiliate the French President. I wonder how French-Hungarian relations will develop after this incident. What do you think?

György Lázár

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