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February 3, 2023

Hunor: ‘Many blame me that UDMR is standing by PDL’

The UDMR leader says the Union has lost ten percent support within the Magyar community following austerity measures implemented together with its government partners.

UDMR President Kelemen Hunor states in an interview published by ‘Adevarul’ daily yesterday that the territorial autonomy demanded by Hungarians in the Counties of Covasna and Harghita, harshly denounced by the Romanian authorities and the mass-media, is a form of administration within the sovereign state that would not alter Romania’s borders in any way. ‘Such forms of administration exist in rich sovereign countries with a very good performance in the European Union. (…) If we want it, this should also be possible in Romania. But it cannot be done without the participation and consent of the majority’, Kelemen said. As for the concept of an equal degree of autonomy in all of the country’s regions once advocated by the head of state, the UDMR president seems to disagree. ‘I can accept that, on one condition: local communities should have an as big autonomy as possible and not to consider ethnic demographics. Because, either we speak of devolution or some form of autonomy, in Harghita and Covasna there will still be Hungarians. It may be regarded as an ethnic thing, but it also applies to other areas inhabited by Romanians. The two matters should not be intermingled’, he explained. In the context, Kelemen took a tough position against the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Laszlo Tokes, regarding his aggressive pursuit of a form of territorial autonomy, saying that he wouldn’t have been in the European Parliament if it hadn’t been for ‘a certain strong support’. ‘I am not saying he was helped by Basescu (as it was suggested at the time – our note), because I don’t have arguments to claim such thing, but he did receive substantial support from the authorities’, he said.

In what regards his formation’s participation in the government with PDL, the UDMR leader admitted to the fact that there are voices holding that against the UNION: ‘Some blame me  that we are standing by PDL during this period, for the ongoing decline of the living standard, other ask why there isn’t more money out there for investment and infrastructure. (…) But there are even more people who are telling me we should stay in the government.’ Moreover, he says the austerity measures taken together with PDL have caused UDMR to drop in opinion polls from 87 – 88 per cent in 2008 – 2009 to 77 – 78 per cent now. ‘We have suffered an erosion by almost ten per cent’, added the UDMR leader.

Asked if he would accept to be in the new government next to USL after the autumn election, although he did not give a very straightforward answer, Kelemen Hunor suggested that it might be possible: ‘If USL wins over 50 per cent, it won’t be needing us. If it doesn’t (…), that’s a different discussion and another possibility. In my view, any political formation (…) should stay on good terms with everyone else.’

On the other hand, the leader of UDMR in Sfantu Gheorghe, Antal Arpad, yesterday said Hungarians can appreciate for themselves the Romanian state based on its policies benefiting communities and if the authorities try to force them love the state, that’s called ‘rape’.

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