Hungary’s economy is prepared to continue the rule of law debate, with the closure of EU funds penalizing southern states, the government argues when it comes to the issue of responsibility in the stalled EU budget debate. The seven-year budget and the fund aimed at repairing the economic damage caused by the corona virus failed in the veto of the Hungarians and Poles.
Justice Minister Judit Varga told the Index earlier: the ideological pressure of the northern member states, which insist on the rule of law, will end up not in Hungary, but in the southern countries that are really suffering from the epidemic.
However, the concern is hardly sincere, as Hungary’s relationship with the southern ends is not cloudless either. The Index learned from diplomatic sources that:
The Hungarian prime minister would have traveled to the African country on March 26, 2019, but the visit failed at the last minute. Yet the visit would have been of historical significance, most recently thirty-five years ago, even before the change of regime, a leading Hungarian politician visited the sub-Saharan region. Luanda stepped back at the last minute, so instead of the nearly three million political and economic center, Orbán only reached the capital of the Republic of Cape Verde, Praia, with a population of 113,000.
Plus, the story didn’t end here. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs (MoE) justified the failure of the trip with “appointment problems”, but the Portuguese news portal Espresso wrote, citing diplomatic sources:
The Index has now learned that the lobbies of Madrid and Lisbon have defeated the Hungarian interest. Viktor Orbán also prepared for the trip with a historical deal, but his plan violated Spanish and Portuguese economic interests. According to our information, in exchange for Hungarian products, the Angolan government would have handed over the concession cultivation of significant agricultural lands. The arable lands would have been cultivated under the supervision of Hungarian specialists, then part of the crop would have been sold on the African market, and the southern fruits would have been sold in Hungary.
At the meeting, the two leaders should only have agreed on the exact amount. We know that the negotiations would have started on Hungarian exports worth 30-40 million euros, ie
Understandably, the Spanish and Portuguese governments have decided to take more serious steps for this amount. Angola was under Portuguese rule for nearly 500 years, until its declaration of independence in 1975, but Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, the United States and the country’s largest creditor, China, also have strong ties to the country.
The country, which has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the south, is significant in several respects. Rich in natural resources, 80 percent of its exports are oil, and the country’s authoritarian system is stable, providing an attractive political environment for foreign capital.
Angola is strategically the most important resource for arable land. Global warming has begun the desertification of the South African region, while the climate is becoming increasingly favorable for cultivating abundantly available, untapped cropland. This was also recognized in Luanda. The government does not sell the land, but concludes concession contracts for 30-40 years to investors who provide good quality seed and expertise.
The possibility was also recognized by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. In 2018, within the framework of the southern opening, our country opened its embassy in Angola, and Viktor Orbán’s failed trip last year was personally prepared by Péter Szijjártó, head of the ministry. That is why we wanted to ask the Ministry of the Environment about the matter, but
At the same time, we felt a sensitive point with our questions. After we resubmitted our questions to the Foreign Ministry, we received the answer, turn to the Prime Minister. We have done this and will update our article if they respond.
(Cover image: Angolan women sell on the streets in Luanda. Photo: Eric Lafforgue / Art in All of Us / Getty Images Hungary)