A video report entitled “Hungary as a disruptive factor: How Orban is undermining the EU” that aired last night on German public TV channel ZDF, together with an article following the same narrative, seems to be doing the German, anti-Hungary left’s bidding to discourage German companies from investing in Hungary.
ZDF’s main argument is that the Hungarian government allegedly has a practice of “making life difficult” for companies in certain sectors, rendering them “unprofitable” and then making them an “offer they can’t refuse.”
Wow. Just wow. These guys at the German public broadcaster must have been watching way too much Coppola and Scorsese lately, because Hungary’s foreign investment record during the past couple of years points in an entirely different direction.
Last year, Hungary secured nearly EUR 6.5 billion worth of foreign investment, up from EUR 5.9 billion in 2021, creating more than 15,000 jobs. Out of these 15,000 jobs, almost 6,000 were created by German companies investing in Hungary. That’s roughly 40 percent.
Even our political adversaries must concede that if what they are alleging about the Hungarian government were true, German businesses wouldn't continue to invest in Hungary in record numbers. This is simple logic.
Needless to say, Mercedes and BMW investments in Kecskemét and Debrecen are also fruits of cooperation between the Hungarian government and our important German partners, as they were both realized under PM Orbán’s cabinets.
Last night’s attack from ZDF, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise, as leftist German MEP and Vice President of the European Parliament Katarina Barley began inciting hatred against Hungary in potential German investors’ minds last week by suggesting that the BMW plant should be moved to Romania from Debrecen. It’s not a coincidence, as Ms. Barley rose to notoriety with her statements that called for the “starving out of Hungary and Poland” unless they bow in front of the European left’s will.
In Foreign Minister Szijjártó’s words, it’s best if we simply laugh at Ms. Barley’s statements, as it is apparent that “some German political forces are trying to carry out very serious political blackmail against German companies and investors operating in Hungary. This attempt at blackmail has clearly failed completely." He underlined that the construction of the BMW plant in Debrecen is progressing according to schedule.
Sadly, this is not the first time – nor will it be the last – that the state-funded German media finds itself aligned with the anti-Hungary German left. Last year, they even engaged in the spreading of fake news about individuals being denied entry in the first weeks following the start of the war in Ukraine.
And while 2021 was relatively quiet on the German front, German state media’s biased, anti-Hungary coverage in 2020 even made it onto our list of the three most ridiculous storylines for that year.