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Merkel Upbraids Hungary’s Orban as Two Leaders Meet in Berlin

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel reproached Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hours after the visiting leader gave a speech touting nationalism and exhorting European leaders to respect his political reforms.

At a conference in Berlin held by German broadcaster WDR, Merkel was asked about the speech, in which Orban decried immigration and celebrated Europe’s Christian identity. Without citing details, Merkel said she often disagreed with Orban.

“I often don’t completely agree with his tonality, because he’s among those who at least give the impression that he knows things 100 percent exactly,” Merkel told the audience. The two leaders later met in the Federal Chancellery.

Orban, who trounced the opposition to win a second term as premier last month in an election criticized by the international observers, has been taken to task by European leaders for amassing power and sidelining the opposition. Merkel previously has also criticized the Hungarian leader.

The chancellor’s reprimand of Orban drew chuckles from the crowd.

“Yes, but he’s not the only in the world who is like this,” she responded.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at James Kraus, Zoe Schneeweiss

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