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The premiere of the latest documentary film about Sebastian Kurz's career took place in front of a full house in the Uránia National Film Theater in Budapest. Following the film screening, the former Austrian chancellor participated in a panel discussion with Zoltán Szalai, the director of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium, Bence Bauer, the director of the Hungarian-German Institute for European Cooperation, and Andor Nagy , who served as the Hungarian ambassador in Vienna for five years.
"Seeing one's face on the big screen is always a strange feeling, even if you're used to the spotlight as a politician. This is a film where everyone could have their say, both my supporters and opponents," said Sebastian Kurz, whose current role involves managing his IT-sector business. He added that despite everyone talking about his record-breaking career and how quickly he advanced, he personally felt it was a tiring and challenging journey.
Addressing the audience, Zoltán Szalai recalled the strong interest in the words of the former Austrian chancellor at the summer MCC Feszt and that organizers were surprised at the recognition he received on the streets of Esztergom, where many wanted to take pictures with him. While it was not surprising that he was recognized at Uránia, after the panel discussion, many people again requested photos with him. Szalai added that for the Hungarian-German Institute, the German part signifies the importance of getting to know and understanding the culture of German-speaking countries in Hungary, as he believes there is too little knowledge about neighboring states, including Austria. Referring to the film and the "Ibiza affair Zoltán Szalai remarked that it seemed to him that too many people wanted to intervene in the affairs of the Austrian state.
Andor Nagy also spoke about the importance of allowing the former chancellor to react from his own perspective to harsh criticisms in this film. "What impressed me in this film is the person himself. When a politician is attacked, there are three sides to it: the political, the legal, and the human. The first can be handled with the right routine, a good lawyer is always available, but it is not easy to endure the attacks as a father, husband, friend, and child," said the diplomat.
Regarding European politics, Kurz pointed out that freedom of speech and diversity of opinions should be the foundation for democratic debates, but he feels that this debate has shifted nowadays. There is a spectrum that determines what one can and cannot say or think. He believes caution is necessary because this is dangerous for democracy and democratic discussions.
The business of the former Austrian chancellor is linked to Tel Aviv, and he frequently visits Gulf countries, so he has a strong opinion on the events of October 7th: he believes terrorism is unjustifiable, and Hamas acted exactly as the Islamic State did before. All participants in the panel discussion emphasized that, unlike in some
European countries, there is no need for fear among the Jewish community in Hungary.