House Speaker László Kövér presented the Order of Merit of Hungary, Middle Cross, to Eero Olavi Heinäluoma, the speaker of the Finnish parliament in 2011-2015, in Budapest on Friday.
Heinäluoma, who serves currently as chair of the Finnish parliament’s Hungarian friendship chapter, received the honour for his merits in strengthening bilateral relations and his outstanding diplomatic service in promoting Hungary’s goodwill.
Addressing the ceremony, Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Hungary’s ambassador to Finland, commended Heinäluoma for standing up for Hungary against the criticisms recently levelled at the country.
In his acceptance speech, Heinäluoma said he accepted the honour on behalf of the entire Finnish parliament and as a recognition of the friendship chapter’s work.
He said he had held an affection for Hungary ever since he first visited the country in 1978.