By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife Columns)– Stop the press! Hungary’s center-right government is launching an aid operation for victims of Japan’s worst earthquake on record and tsunami.
The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is adding a whopping 10 million Hungarian forints to the effort. That’s about 51 thousand U.S. dollars. One forint (0.00519662 dollar) for every Hungarian. Theoretically ofcourse. Minimum minted coins are nowadays five forints.
The money is almost enough to buy the usual limousine for a Hungarian cabinet member. Hungary currently chairs the European Union “so the world is watching”, Budapest must have thought.
“Consultations” obviously “continue with the Japanese embassy” about this crucial aid from Hungary for the devastated Asian nation, the MFA explained Friday, March 18, in a special press release.
Soon, Japanese men and women line up at an airport — or what is left of it — deeply bowing to Hungarian rescuers bringing water and (some) long-lasting food.
Where would Japan be without Hungary while facing nuclear disaster from an earth-quake stricken plant on top of human misery amid destroyed towns?
Hungary has experience. Some years ago, it gave a few million forints to hungry Africa after long days of negotiations with the United Nations World Food Program. Its extensive delegation enjoyed breakfasts and dinners at a Budapest five-star hotel.
Impressed by Hungary’s compassion, the EU will surely continue pumping billions of dollars, or euros, into Hungary and the region. Ofcourse, without making demands how these subsidies are spend. “We will not allow anyone to dictate to us from Brussels or anywhere else, ” says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Thank you Hungary. Or in this case: Arigatou gozaimasu ( どうもありがとう。).
(BUDAPEST BRAINWAVE is a regular, opinionated, column distributed by BosNewsLife Columns. These views do not necessarily reflect those of BosNewsLife or its parent company. BosNewsLife is based in Hungary.)