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August 3, 2021

Bucharest rejects Hungary’s criticism over Nyiro Jozsef’s reburial

Prime-Minister, PSD say criticism is unacceptable and of electoral nature.

Romanian officials have called the statements by Hungarian Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kover on the cancellation of the reinhuming of Hungarian writer Nyiro Jozsef unacceptable and provocative. After the Hungarian official had said, on Sunday, in Odorheiu Secuiesc, that ‘the unfriendly, uncivilised and barbaric behaviour of the new Romanian Government, refusing to Nyiro the possibility of resting in his home land, had been extremely surprising’, and that ‘there had been a true hunting party for the urn with his ashes’, Prime Minister Victor Ponta (photo) said such opinions could be supported in Budapest, but not Romania. ‘The Romanian authorities have reacted in a calm manner, with caution but also firmly. After all, we cannot have everybody kicking over the traces on Romania’s territory and bring honours to someone who is officially recognised as a man of anti-Romanian, anti-Semitic and pro-fascist attitudes and actions. Therefore, the words addressed by the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament are unacceptable and I think he could say such things in Budapest, not in Romania,’ Mediafax quotes Ponta as having said yesterday.The PM said he and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban would meet in Bucharest at the end of the week and stressed that such extremist provocations during an election campaign, meant to help an extremist political party, are against the law, order and good relations between two European countries. ‘We have prevented – and we did the right thing, too – an event that had been confiscated by extremist political forces, be it the Civic Hungarian Party or – you could see the Jobbik leader was also present – or a far-right party from Hungary. The involvement of senior officials (…) in this purely electoral and purely provocative manifestation is simply unacceptable,’ Ponta also said. At the same time, the head of the Executive will ask the Harghita Prefecture to see if the local council’s decision to name streets after Jozsef Nyiro did not break the Romanian law prohibiting the recognition or honouring of people involved in fascist or anti-Semitic action. ‘Following the PM’s request, all the local council’s decisions through which schools and streets in the county had been named after Nyiro Jozsef will be checked,’ Harghita Prefect Cristina Augusta Urzica said. In Odorheiu Secuiesc, where the house where the writer lived during his stay in the locality, there is a street called Nyiro Jozsef. In the county there are also three schools named after him. PSD Honorary President Ion Iliescu on his part said the statements made by the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, Laszlo Kover, were a provocation, because the subject was the inhumation of a person with pro-fascist feelings. ‘These are provocations and it’s a regrettable thing that the Hungarian authorities allow themselves to be drawn into something like that, as long as this is all about someone well-known for his pro-fascist, revisionist views. So this whole reinhuming thing was a provocation and it’s regrettable that the Hungarian officials support something like that,’ Iliescu said. PSD Secretary General Liviu Dragnea yesterday said the critical statements made by the Hungarian officials about the Romanian Government were inadmissible and the reinhuming of Nyiro Jozsef was part of the election campaign of Hungarian political parties. A reaction to the reinhuming scandal also comes from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, Radu Ioanid, director with the International Records Division of the museum having told HotNews that ‘the attempted ceremonial inhumation of Jozsef Nyiro is part of a broader and relatively recent series of rehabilitation attempts in Hungary concerning other <people of culture>, some of whom being convicted for war crimes, even Miklos Horthy.’ Ioanid also says Nyiro ‘belonged to the virulently pro-Nazi faction of Hungarian fascism with which he also fled Hungary.’

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