Outgoing French ambassador awarded high state honour

Outgoing French ambassador Eric Fournier has received Hungary’s Order of Merit, Commander Cross.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who handed over the award, said at the ceremony that Fournier served in an era which had been perhaps the most intensive in world politics over the past few decades. Old alliances have been broken and new ones forged, so it is realistic to expect similarly intense trends to continue in the next few years, he added.

“Allies and friends are much in need in the midst of current disputes, and Fournier has been such friend for Hungary,”

he added.

Fournier said he had tried to explain to his government what Hungarians are like and what the Hungarian reality is.

As we previously reported, on June 18, Fournier sent a diplomatic memo to the French ministry of foreign affairs, and it was leaked by Mediapart on June 29. According to Fournier, France should change its opinion of Viktor Orban, because he’s not a populist and definitely not an extremist.

He wrote that the so-called „populist” measures of the government are just media fabrications, which are fueled by the „Hungarophobia” of the press. He called Hungary the modern political world’s Real Madrid, because Viktor Orban has won the elections three times in a row. According to the diplomat, the „rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary” is fiction, and it only distracts from the „anti-Semitism of Muslims in Germany and France”. He stressed that the anti-Soros campaign is not anti-Semitic, and Orban’s migration policy is a model. A journalist of Mediapart asked Emmanuel Macron about this leak at the press conference he held after the summit of the European Council in Brussels. Macron – who reacted rather indignantly – said he completely disagrees with everything quoted from the letter and he doesn’t accept Viktor Orban’s political line. He said the memo won’t have any consequences for Fournier, because it was confidential, but he would we sacked if he said it publicly.

Macron has replaced Fournier, the official announcementwas published on Saturday. His place will be taken by former OECD Ambassador Pascale Andréani. In a statement on Monday, a French Foreign Affairs spokeswoman told Euronews in a statement that Fournier’s“departure is part of a general movement of ambassadors.” “Mrs Pascale Andréani will succeed him shortly, following the approval received from Hungarian authorities on 18 May 2018,” she added.

Source: MTI/Hungary Journal
Photo: MTI

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