POLITICS

President Basescu invites Hungarians to dialogue

The Romanian head of state addressed a message to Hungarian Studies Congress in Cluj-Napoca. Hungarian President Schmitt Pal advises Magyars living in Romania to apply for double citizenship.

President Traian Basescu sent yesterday an official message to the participants in the seventh Hungarian Studies Congress which started yesterday in Cluj-Napoca.

“We need now more than ever a shared understanding of the real problems we are facing today. (…) I think that the academic elite can play a key part in redefining the priorities that will guide our joint action, including action in the cultural sphere. Please receive my remarks as an invitation to a dialogue that can lay the premises of a new understanding and can help us erase the traces of the old centralised, communist, regime, allowing us to rediscover the cultural values we share,” the head of state’s message went, as read in the opening of the Congress proceedings by prefect Florin Stamatian.

“I hope that your discussions, analyses and research will help to erase prejudices, change mentalities, bridge cultures and find solutions to face current challenges, because, outside a comprehension of the pre-eminent role of language and culture, Europe would no longer be the Europe we hope for and imagine,” the president’s message further reads, quoted by Realitatea.net.

On the other hand, the Hungarian president Schmitt Pal (photo), attending the opening of the Congress proceedings in Cluj-Napoca, urged the participants to learn foreign languages and to use their linguistic expertise in enriching the Hungarian language. On the same occasion, Schmitt Pal awarded distinctions to a number of important figures in Transylvania who, by their work, contributed to the development of Hungarian culture. The distinction in question is an award founded by the Hungarian president, titled the “Medal of the Hungarian Republic.”

The Hungarian head of state arrived in Cluj-Napoca on Sunday, meeting prefect Florin Stamatian and attending the concert which marked t­he closing of the Hungarian Days. According to Mediafax, on this occasion, the official advised the Hungarians who attended the concert to apply for double citizenship, to “consolidate not only their spiritual bond, but also their legal bond to the motherland.” “A community is best maintained through culture, music, art, visual art, literature – these are the forces through which we communicate amongst ourselves and with other nations. People living in this land should strive for harmony through language, faith and tradition. (…). I hope there will always be Hungarian people living here, I hope we can live in peace and love that which is our own, so help us God,” Pal Schmitt concluded.

Over 600 guests – academics and researchers – from all across the world are expected to take part in the Hungarian Studies Congress in Cluj-Napoca and present papers. Up to now, the manifestation was held every five years, in Vienna (Austria), Szeged (Hungary), Rome (Italy), Naples (Italy), Jyveskyla (Finland), Debrecen (Hungary). Guests attending the official opening also included the presidential aide Peter Eckstein Kovacs, the Hungarian ambassador in Bucharest, Fuzes Oszkar, the Hungarian general consul in Cluj, Mathias Szilagyi, the rector of the Babes-Bolyai University, Andrei Marga, and the Cluj deputy mayor Laszlo Attila.

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