Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger has given Viktor Orbán a new scarf after his Hungarian counterpart caused controversy
Heger presented the garment to Orbán at a summit for the Visegrad (V4) group leaders in Slovakia on Thursday.
The Hungarian Prime Minister was criticised by his European neighbours for publicising “Greater Hungary” at a recent football match.
A map on his scarf featured the borders of Hungary’s former kingdom — lost in the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 — which includes modern-day Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
The Romanian foreign ministry accused Orbán of “revisionism” while Kyiv demanded an “official apology” from Budapest.
Slovakia’s foreign minister, Rastislav Kacer, had also called the historical scarf “disgusting.”
“I noticed that Viktor Orbán has an old scarf, so I gave him a new one today,” Heger wrote on Facebook, adding that “winter is approaching”.
Orbán also shared an image of himself wearing the new Slovakian scarf alongside Heger but did not immediately address the matter.
“Long live Hungarian-Slovak friendship,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The V4 Summit is about to start. I expect a great meeting with [Polish Prime Minister] Mateusz Morawiecki, Eduard Heger, and [Czech Prime Minister] Petr Fiala.”
Orbán had dismissed criticism about the scarf, arguing that the “Hungarian national football team is the team of all Hungarians, wherever they live”.
The loss of two-thirds of its territory after World War I is considered to be a national tragedy by a large part of Hungarian society.
The four European countries are expected to discuss foreign policy and sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
The meeting in Kosice will be the first in months after Czech delegates boycotted previous V4 gatherings over Hungary’s continuing close ties with Moscow.
Hungary is the only NATO member — other than Turkey — which has still not ratified the accession of Finland and Sweden into the military alliance.