Orban to visit Slovenia next week

Photo: STA

Ljubljana – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is to make an official visit to Slovenia on Monday as part of which he is to meet his counterpart Janez Janša in Lendava, the newspaper Večer and TV Slovenija have reported citing unofficial sources. Janša’s office has not responded to the STA’s question about the visit.

According to Večer, Janša and Orban are due to sign an agreement on continued economic cooperation between the two countries. It also links the visit to the upcoming elections in both countries.

Orban visited Slovenia for the Bled Strategic Forum in September 2021 only days before the two governments met in Celje on the sidelines of the international trade fair.

He last visited Lendava, a town near the Hungarian border that is also home to a Hungarian ethnic community, in May 2018 when he joined Janša to back his Democratic Party’s (SDS) regional candidates ahead of the early general election and took part in the party’s congress in Celje.

This year, Hungarians will head to the polls three weeks ahead of Slovenians as Orban and his Fidesz party are challenged by a united opposition. Given the joint bid, Večer writes that each vote will count the more, including the votes of Orban’s faithful diaspora voters.

The paper expects that Orban too will endorse Janša and his SDS ahead of the 24 April election in Slovenia.

Hungarian investments in Slovenia are also expected to be broached with the visit coming at a time when the state is deciding on whether to exercise its pre-emptive right to a 43% stake in the tourism company Sava that the Luxembourg-based fund York is selling to a Hungarian investor.

Večer writes that in preparation of Orban’s visit, state protocol officials, Hungarian Ambassador to Slovenia David Andor Ferenc and Hungarian Consul in Lendava Laszlo Mathe Eduard were in Lendava yesterday.