Malaga – Photo: wikipedia

Hungarian consulate opens in Malaga

Hungary has opened a new consulate in Malaga, marking its third diplomatic mission in Spain after the embassy in Madrid and the consulate general in Barcelona, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the inauguration ceremony of the consulate on Wednesday.

“In a world that is just restarting, when economic competition is picking up and people are again setting off on the road, there is great need for interest representation, assistance and diplomatic services on-site,” Szijjarto said.

He also said that tourism was among the greatest losers of the coronavirus pandemic, falling by 87 percent globally in the past year and revenues from the sector dropped by over a 1,000 billion dollars, endangering 100 million – 120 million jobs worldwide.

“People will now set off again and we must be prepared to be able to help our citizens when necessary during their travels abroad,” he added.

Szijjarto said opening a foreign mission in Andalusia was also a reasonable move in terms of economic interest representation considering that Andalusia, being the second largest autonomous community in Spain, contributed 15 percent to the country’s GDP. Additionally, it has significance for sports diplomacy because many first-class Hungarian football teams choose the region for training during the winter, he said. “We would like to see this also apply the other way round and sports cooperation to become bilateral,” he added

He also said that the consulate could help the around 4,000 Hungarian citizens living in Andalusia to maintain active relations with their motherland.

Deputy government commissioner Teofilo Ruiz Municio said Spain would like to see Hungarian tourists return as soon as possible, adding that before the pandemic in 2019, some 300,000 Hungarians visited Spain.

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