Former Prime Minister and VMRO leader Nikola Gruevski on Friday attended a business promotion event in Budapest, where he lives in political exile. Gruevski also met an official of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, a move which the Ministry described as routine, given the high position Gruevski held in Macedonia for so long.

Left wing outlets in Hungary tried to portray the meeting with Ministry official Istvan Joo as a controversy, even though the meeting was held in a public place in broad daylight, and a journalist followed Gruevski to his car asking questions. Hungarian authorities approved Gruevski’s request of asylum to shield him from the politically driven persecution he faces in Macedonia.

The business event on Friday, the Budapest Business Party, was organized by the Italian chamber of commerce in Hungary ITL , as a place for company managers to meet and network. Before becoming Prime Minister of Macedonia, Gruevski worked as a stock broker and as business policy consultant for the Serbian Government.