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December 1, 2021

Hungary does not want the issue of flying the Szeklers’ flag to be raised at European level

The EC, too, says this pertains to “domestic policy.” FM Titus Corlatean discussed with his counterpart Janos Martonyi about avoiding an escalation of attitudes between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean spoke with his Hungarian counterpart Janos Martonyi on the phone Thursday evening, and both officials agreed that in the interest of cooperation between the two states, one should not escalate the public attitudes and statements made in both countries. The two dignitaries also decided that both sides will continue the bilateral political contacts in the future, by using the regular diplomatic channels and standards, also through the diplomatic missions of the two countries accredited in Bucharest and Budapest, respectively, the Romanian MAE informs.
Zsolt Nemeth, state secretary with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday evening that his country wants to solve by dialogue the situation which appeared when Romania prohibited the flying of the Szeklers’ flag on public buildings. He mentioned that Budapest does not want to raise the issue at European level. The European Commission (EC) shares the same opinion. Mark Gray, spokesman of the EC, said Thursday that the statements of officials from Romania and Hungary pertain to the internal policy and Brussels will have a position only if the issue becomes a matter of debate in the European Parliament. Also Thursday, Nemeth stated on the Hungarian public television that allowing minorities to use their symbols without restrictions is one of the major values of Europe.
On the other hand, UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor said Friday that he considers that the controversy that surrounds the flying of the Szeklers’ flag is “an artificially created conflict” because the legislation does not prohibit the use of community symbols and many have overreacted, “including the Hungarian ambassador.” The leader of UDMR senators, Marko Bela told RFI that the resuming of Romanian-Hungarian joint government meetings might solve the problems in the bilateral relation, as there is a need for prudence and vigilance in solving ethnic issues.
Over the weekend, there were encouragements to using Szeklers’ symbols, made by local authorities from Harghita and Covasna. The president of the Covasna County Council, Tamas Sandor (UDMR) considers as natural that the Szeklers’ flag is raised in localities of Hungary, because it is “a very important symbol for Szeklers.” The mayor of Sfantu Gheorghe, Antal Arpad encouraged his friends on a social network to send him photos showing regional and national symbols on display in various states, and created an album with these pictures. The county authorities of Bekes (Hungary) flew the Szeklers’ flag and the president of the institution, Farkas Zoltan encouraged all the mayors of the county to raise the Szeklers’ flag on the buildings of local administrations. A similar appeal was launched by the mayor of Bonyhad.
President Traian Basescu, who refused to comment the issue so far, was photographed while having a dialogue with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, Thursday evening, at Brussels, in the meeting hall of the European Council. The press commented the photographs that show the two dignitaries smiling at each other.

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