POLITICS

Kelemen Hunor praises Ponta

In an interview given to ‘Romania Libera’ daily, UDMR leader claims PM Ponta is ‘fair, open and receptive’ to minorities’ problems.

The President of UDMR, Kelemen Hunor, says the Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlatean, and his Hungarian counterpart, Janos Martony, could have settled the scandal of the flag in the Szekely region in silence, meaning ‘behind closed doors’.
In his opinion, the heads of the two diplomatic services could also negotiate the main UDMR claim, which is the autonomy of the Szeklers’ Land, all the more so – he notes – as the Hungarian Constitution stipulates that the Governments of Hungary must support the aspirations and projects of the Hungarian communities that do not live in Hungary. Asked if he thought the autonomy of the Szeklers’ Land was possible in the following ten years, the UDMR leader would not give a straight answer, just saying that the representatives of the Hungarian community ought to be looking for partners and arguments and demonstrate that what they want to achieve ‘is not against Romanians and Romania’. ‘Romanians are still under the impression that they will lose Transylvania, yet no one plans to steal Transylvania, not even a tiny part of it, not even the Szekely Land that stands right in the middle of Romania. This is why we need patience, openness and empathy: one needs to feel and recognise their partner’s sensitivities that  have built up during centuries. Romania will not be any less strong and Romanians will not be any less happy if Hungarians in Romania have more rights,’ said Kelemen Hunor in an interview run by ‘Romania Libera’ daily yesterday.
Asked who would win from this ‘war of the flags’, he answered that the winners would be all those people who wanted Romanian and Hungarians to be able to live together in peace. ‘Thee are two parties, one being represented by the politicians in Budapest are playing this card in order to obtain the votes of Hungarians with double citizenship from Romania in next year’s election. Both Budapest and Bucharest leaders have a cynical approach.’ Furthermore, the UDMR president claims that, within the ruling coalition, PNL leader Crin Antonescu and PC founder Dan Voiculescu are the promoters of he nationalist current. ‘I have talked to Antonescu several times over the years and, each time, I told him that, if he was preparing for Cotroceni (…), he should start considering this important community that lives in Romania, as well as inter-ethnic relations. All short-term calculations for obtaining votes  – votes no one can be absolutely sure will go in his direction – may be damaging, as he may end up losing more on a medium and long term’, said the UDMR leader. On the other hand, he appreciated as positive the attitude of PM Victor Ponta towards Hungarians: ‘Ponta has made a lot of progress in the last few years and has always been open to our suggestions and issues. He always tried to find solutions on a medium and long term, and I admit this, no matter what people may believe. Ponta has been very fair, open, receptive to us and, if I may say so, has demonstrated empathy with us and responsibility when preparing for making decisions for building something’. Asked if UDMR would accept to be in the Government should one of the two major USL players (PSD or PNL – a/n) step down, Kelemen Hunor avoided giving an answer, just noting that every political party looks for ways to come into power.

Hungary and Romania interested in alleviating tension, Hungarian official says

The alleviation of tension between Hungary and Romania is in the interest of both parties, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban’s spokesperson said on Sunday, referring to the recent talks Orban and Romanian President Traian Basescu had held in Brussels last Thursday, Mediafax reports quoting MTI. As a matter of fact, President Basescu said Sunday afternoon that it would be an ‘irresponsible’ thing to use the recent dispute between Romania and Hungary ‘for inciting nationalist feelings’. ‘Of course that I will never encourage the use of illegal symbols on institutions of the Romanian state,’ said the president, referring to the Szekely flag.

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