The Newest Consular Office Arrives
The setting was the Hyatt Hotel on Alhambra. A lone violinist played while the room filled. Then came the Hungarian national anthem, followed by the U.S. national anthem. At the podium – with a bouquet of lilies for the violinist – the new Hungarian consul for Miami, Petra Katalin Schmitt, welcomed the audience. The event marked the opening of the Vice-Consulate of Hungary on Ponce de Leon Blvd., a ceremony important enough to lure Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “Thinking about Florida as a state with sunshine, beach and holiday helped make the decision to open a consular representation,” he quipped to the audience. “But we have some other arguments as well.” Among these is the large Hungarian population in Florida – about 100,000 strong – and the burgeoning trade between the U.S. and Hungary (where some 1,700 U.S. companies operate).
And then there is theGables itself. “This is a very attractive place to conduct business,” said Burton Landy, the attorney and Gables resident who is also honorary consul for South Korea. “You have all of the advantages of a big city, but not a lot of the downside. Plus, there’s the Latin connection.” Mayor Raul Valdes-Fauli was on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon with Minister Szijjarto. The addition of Hungary brings the number of consular offices in Coral Gables to 19.