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Pressman’s Bread: The Drying Rate of Bread and the American Visa Regulation (video)

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A megjelenés dátuma

Pressman bakes Hungarian bread and strengthen the regulatory of visa exemption
A cikk meghallgatása

On the 20th of August news broke that David Pressman, the United States Ambassador to Hungary, not only symbolically but in fact, with all his heart and soul, appeared at the Budapest residence of gastronomy writer Eszter Rubin to bake celebratory bread. They kneaded and kneaded there, as witnessed by the video uploaded to Twitter, while Eszter encouraged David to vigorously smack the dough onto the table. So, stronger and stronger, while the politician laughed that no one had ever encouraged him to do something like this. Then they baked it, and sat down to eat.

We don’t know if they finished the whole thing, but let’s assume they did. Moreover, we presume they also baked some for the American relatives. Which is really a rhetorical question here. Because what we actually want to examine is what happens when we personally want to hand over a bread tied with a national ribbon to our “kinship” abroad. Let’s say, not through some kind of diplomatic express mail. (This might be more complicated than we think.)

The point is, well after this year’s harvest – whether we count from Saint Vitus’ Day or from Peter and Paul’s Day – the news arrived that the USA is limiting the visa exemption for Hungarian passport holders. Washington justified this unpopular step with security concerns. What’s particularly thought-provoking about this is that among the forty countries enjoying the exemption, only Hungary is affected by the restrictive measures. Some immediately saw the hand of the American ambassador (though flour-dipped only later) in this, but there is hardly any concrete evidence for that. According to the official commentary on the M1 channel, the ambassador probably played a significant role in the course of events, but what is more important in practice is that the wind is blowing from the Capitol. Specifically, this happened unfortunately because the Hungarian government did not address the concerns that arose regarding the new passports issued between 2011 and 2020.

– But what concerns specifically? 

Well, in a nutshell, what is good to know anyway is that citizens of countries participating in the American visa waiver program can travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to ninety days without a visa. They only need to use an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). However, from now on, the validity of ESTA for Hungarian passport holders is reduced from two years to one year and is valid for only one entry.

kenyér amerikai vízum

The US Embassy justified the decision in its statement by stating that during the aforementioned period, the Hungarian government granted Hungarian citizenship to nearly one million people, but the biggest issue here is that – according to the American perspective – this was done without the proper security checks of their identity. The Hungarian state television also spoke about this with slight numerical discrepancy, emphasizing that it’s hardly possible to comply with American demands, namely to hand over the data of so many people. And as we see from our little table here, this issue will hardly find a resolution anytime soon. (Neither.) Especially if the topic is stuck as a scratched record in the revenge of the Americans. In the context of this retaliation, Hungary’s other positions, such as its “pro-Russian” stance, also play a role.

In any case, it’s worth knowing that the validity of ESTA before the statement of the embassy remains unchanged. So, permits issued before the first day of August 2023 are still valid for two years and multiple entries.

In our next step, let’s try to find a simpler and more straightforward case here, unlike the complicated drama of the protagonist Macbeth. We are not looking for someone who was not born of a woman, but for someone who was born outside the present-day borders of Hungary but later moved to the homeland for one reason or another and eventually became a Hungarian citizen. – Yes, this is a general formula, there are many such individuals. Historical cataclysms can expedite the process, as was the case with the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the southern sphere, but we don’t want to brandish statistics here; instead, we’d like to present a freshly concrete example of an American visa. – But what’s the issue again? Why would someone who has already been beaten by God get slapped again?

kenyér amerikai vízum

“Stronger, David!” (Forrás: Screenshot)

One of our poets, born in the Southern Region and living in Hungary, shared her encounter with the aforementioned problem. (Name withheld for editorial reasons, although nothing was said that could anger the American administration.) He recounted that in January of last year, he could have traveled to New York and Boston for a magazine presentation. It was then that she discovered a significant obstacle. She needed to obtain a regular visa since she wasn’t a Hungarian citizen from birth. She could apply for it, but the processing could take from six months to two years. Of course, the outcome is uncertain: either they grant it or they don’t. – She wasn’t prepared for this, the trip was lost, and others flew to America.

According to her, this regulation was introduced in 2020 during the pandemic and has remained in place since then. Regardless of her Hungarian citizenship or even dual citizenship, she cannot just enter the territory of the USA.

Essentially, our accomplished writer, internationally recognized legal expert, Dr. Tibor Várady, confirmed these points with more expert explanation, but we think this is enough. For those who absolutely want to go, perhaps bringing that cursed bread, even if it turns rock-hard in the meantime, they will certainly need more extensive information. Dr. Várady, who once attended an American university and later taught at one, added that he was last in the United States in 2012. Probably for the last time, as he wouldn’t want to endure the dozen-hour flight again. Primarily.

Speaking of flying, it was a turn-of-the-century sensation that a unit of the Yugoslav Army – led by Air Defense Officer Zoltán Dani – shot down one of NATO’s presumed invisible stealth aircraft near Temerin. Dani later stated that they didn’t initially know it was invisible, which is why they managed to hit it accurately. It’s comical in its own way, but then we heard that the great military feat didn’t bring much happiness to the Colonel. We don’t know the full story, we’re just trying to imagine what might have happened if, somehow, Colonel Dani got into that American-defined million? (Let’s assume…) Or someone similar? (Not just an innocent, perhaps fantasizing writer.)

One thing, however, can be stated without excessive wandering of the mind: this presumably well-thought-out “friendly fire” American regulation primarily affects the regular guard of those who don’t want to shoot. FOR SHURE, DEAR FRIENDS! (FRIENDLY FIRE.)

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