Potential support for Hungarian PM in Georgia
Georgian and Hungarian Prime Ministers, who came to the Courtyard Marriott Hotel to attend the Georgian-Hungarian business forum, found people with posters rallying outside the building.
Two opposing rallies were underway a few meters apart from each other.
The participants in the first group protested against Hungarian Premier Viktor Orbán’s anti-liberal policy that challenged the activity of the Central European University (CEU) in Hungary.
‘Freedom for education!’
‘We stand beside CEU!’ read the slogans.
“CEU is one of the most distinguished universities in Europe in terms of its values and academic principles. A shameful policy pursued by Viktor Orbán is unacceptable for us. It’s a fascist and undemocratic approach,” the ‘Liberali’ online magazine quoted a rally participant as saying.
Another rally was organized by the ‘Georgian Power’ nationalist organization. The rally participants referred to the CEU supporters as ‘Soros adherents’ and praised the Hungarian PM for his anti-Soros views and stringent migration policy.
‘Down with liberalism!’ their posters read.
“We are Georgians and we won’t tolerate Soros adherents here. We won’t yield to anti-Georgian and anti-national provocations,” claimed the counter-rally participants.
The Hungarian government has summarily passed a new law, forcing the Central European University (CEU) either to shut down or move to another country. Viktor Orbán is against George Soros and his founded Open Society Foundations’ activity in Hungary.
PM Orbán also responded to the rallies. As he told Georgian reporters, the CEU wasn’t at risk and the negotiations on this issue were underway.
—The Central European University (CEU) was established with George Soros’ assistance in Budapest after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It has become a center that aims at facilitating the development of the democratic society and introducing European knowledge and values in the post-Soviet, Central and Eastern European countries. 1,400 Students are currently enrolled in the University. This educational institution is very popular in the Caucasus region and there are many Georgians among its graduates.
—Viktor Orbán arrived in Georgia on April 21 for a 2-day official visit.