Pressman calls out Szijjártó during celebration of US-Hungarian economic relations

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“I expect that my friend, Minister Szijjártó, were he here today (and not in Russia), would agree that there is much to celebrate”

– US Ambassador David Pressman said at the event celebrating the 35th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, sending a message to the Foreign Minister. The ambassador was celebrating US-Hungarian economic ties and the jobs created through these, but the Hungarian Foreign Minister, who was at the St Petersburg Economic Forum two days earlier, was absent from the event.

Pressman noted that „The United States is one of Hungary’s most important economic partners by any measure”, and said that the jobs created by American companies have improved the lives of countless Hungarian families. He added that he was looking forward to „hearing European Union Affairs Minister Bóka’s thoughts” on this as well.

According to Pressman, „the incredible contributions U.S. investment is making in Hungary’s economy and society are, these days, not featured prominently by the Hungarian government or the media it controls” and if he only listened to what the government speaks of, rather than who it actually trades with, he would assume that China is a more important economic partner for Hungary than America. Because that’s pretty exclusively what Hungarians are being told every day. Commenting on this, the Ambassador said that

“doing business with China comes with strings attached, and the interest is often paid in sovereignty.”

According to Pressman, the relationship with China sounds good „as long as Hungary does not have to pay for the privilege by employing Chinese workers, by having Chinese Communist Party policemen roaming the streets of Hungary”. The ambassador’s view is that it won’t always be possible for Hungary „to have it both ways”, and said that Hungarian youth want the future that Europe and America offer, and not the Russian or the Chinese model.

Other than sending a message to Hungarian politicians, the US Ambassador also said that he would be leaving the event early because he was going out to recognize the opening of Budapest Pride month. He pointed out that he would also be representing America among the „young Hungarians gathered tonight working towards a more just, more inclusive and more equal Hungary”.

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