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Greg DoreyAmbassador to Hungary, Budapest
The 683rd Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Michael Bear, is currently in Budapest with a party from the City. Rushing back from meetings in Brussels, I narrowly made it back to Ferihegy Airport just in time to greet him on arrival. The Lord Mayor tries to visit all countries taking on the EU Presidency just before they do so and this is Alderman Bear's first overseas visit.
He has had a very packed programme already, with meetings for example with the Prime Minister, the Economy Minister, the Mayor of Budapest and British businesses already and there is more to come today. The Lord Mayor is a sort of ambassador for the City of London and it has been very useful to have him remind the Hungarians how important the health of the City is for them too and to discuss the EU economic agenda with them. I think it's fair to say that the Lord Mayor has found a good understanding of the latter, even where it does not directly impact on Hungary.
And now I'm off for a briefing breakfast with the Speaker of the House of Commons, who has just arrived for a Parliamentary visit.