Illustration - Photo: MTI

Szijjarto: Voters abroad offered more voting places than ever

By opening an honorary consulate in Monaco, Hungary has raised the number of voting venues abroad to a record 147, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said in Monaco on Tuesday.

Peter Szijjarto said at the inauguration that “during the current hard times, when we have been living in the shadow of war for two and a half years … we must strengthen our peace efforts as it has become clear that there is no solution on the battlefield”.

At the same time, “dangerous ideas” threatening escalation “keep on surfacing”, he said.

“A day is nearing in Europe when European citizens can pull the emergency brakes … June 9 might become the most important day in recent European history,” he said.

He called on Hungarians to turn out and “vote for peace”.

“Altogether 21,058 compatriots have registered to vote abroad worldwide, they have 147 polling places in 99 countries to choose from.”

Voting will start on June 8 in the US, with polling places opening in other countries on the 9th, he said.

Noting that this was the first time for a Hungarian foreign minister to visit Monaco, Szijjarto said the visit was timely, among other things, in view of Hungary’s upcoming EU presidency.

He said the EU “is in a state of decline and needs new momentum and fresh energy”, adding that one way to revitalise it was by strengthening ties with outside players such as Monaco.

“We respect and understand Monaco’s decision to not enter into an association agreement with the bloc; we sympathise with their commitment to sovereignty because we Hungarians are the same: we are committed to our sovereignty, traditions, culture, history and religion.”

At the same time, Hungary will continue to work to forge strong ties with the city state in the areas of the economy, trade, tourism and environmental protection, he said.

The number of Hungarian tourists in Monaco is growing, and was over 1,200 last year, with 5 flights a week connecting the nearby city of Nice with Budapest, he added.

Hungary also has an interest in having a representation in all European states as a first step towards improving economic relations, he said.

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