Answering questions about Swiss-Hungarian ties at an event celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Swiss weekly Weltwoche in Zurich, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán emphasized the friendship between Switzerland and Hungary.
The prime minister expressed thanks for Switzerland having taken in Hungarian refugees in 1956, and thanked the refugees for earning the respect of the Alpine country. The podium discussion held after the prime minister’s speech was moderated by Swiss People’s Party lawmaker Roger Köppel and featured Hungarian Nobel Prize-winning scientist Ferenc Krausz and former Czech prime minister Vaclav Klaus, among others. More than 30,000 families in Hungary earn an income from the 900 Swiss companies doing business in the country, Orbán said. He said Hungary liked neutral countries but given its geographical position, “doesn’t have the luxury” of being neutral itself. Orbán said Europe would be poorer without Weltwoche. He said that while it was a general tendency to go in the direction of progressive liberalism, it was “reassuring” that there were still places in Europe where it was permitted to speak freely, like in Switzerland. Orbán said Weltwoche was not like mainstream media and he himself was not like a mainstream politician.