Stoiber says Hungary's place is at the center of a reunited Europe

Former Bavarian state premier Edmund Stoiber said Bavaria and Hungary have traditionally enjoyed close economic and cultural ties.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, former Bavarian state premier Edmund Stoiber said Hungary's place is at the center of a reunited Europe.

“Hungary from the very start had a place at the center of a reunited Europe,” he said.

Touching on the topic of the ruling Fidesz party and its place in the EPP — including Weber’s EPP quest to become European Commission president that was not backed by the party — Stoiber said there had been tensions and damage done, “but you can’t get stuck; life goes on.”

When asked whether presenting Söder’s greetings to PM Orbán during his visit to Budapest heralded a new beginning, he said further discussions would take place between the Bavarian and Hungarian leaders.

According to MTI, Söder said he saw historically close Bavarian-Hungarian relations as a vital asset. “What happened has happened, but this is not an obstacle to looking ahead,” Stoiber said, adding that Weber was ready to work with everyone, including PM Orbán.

Stoiber said deepening cooperation between Germany and the Visegrad Group would be indispensable, especially in light of Germany’s key role in backing these countries’ EU accession. The Visegrad countries as economic partners, he said, were “much more important to us … than France, the United States or China”.

Stoiber, also honorary president of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), said Markus Söder, Bavaria’s current state premier, and Manfred Weber, the CSU leader and head of the European People’s Party (EPP) EP group, had expressed their approval of the Hungarian high state honor that Stoiber received recently.

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