POLITICS

Budapest replies: Hungary and Romania share an interest in protecting the minorities



The President’s speech in Izvorul Muresului aroused vehement reactions. Not only the Hungarian Foreign Ministry reacted, but also the president of the Sfantu Gheorghe UDMR branch, who labeled the statements as being “dangerous”.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister reacted to the statements of the Romanian President, Traian Basescu, who said on Monday, at a forum in Szecklerland that Hungary has become “a hotbed of instability” in the issues of the ethnic minorities and that Romania will assume the role of “putting Budapest in its place”. Basescu also said that the “elite Hungarian politicians” who took part in the Hungarian cultural events “exceeded the limits of decency”, a thing that “would never happen again”.
Following these statements, The Hungarian Foreign Minister said Monday evening, that Hungary and Romania share an interest in protecting the ethnic minorities and that Hungary is committed to a constructive dialogue with Romania on this issue. The Hungarian ambassador in Romania, Oszkar Fuzes, presented the position of his country at the Romanian Foreign Ministry, a press release of the Hungarian Ministry informs, according to MTI. Fuzes said that Hungary is committed to maintaining the stability in the region and ensuring human rights and minority rights.
Another harsh reaction came yesterday from PNL leader Crin Antonescu who accused president Basescu in a press conference that he supported the Hungarian extremists. “Mr. Gabor Vona represents an extremist and isolated party, party which reminds us of the sad period from the 40’s. He relapsed and made unacceptable statements,” said Antonescu. The liberal leader also stressed that the statements didn’t come from a Hungarian official, as has happened in previous years when President Traian Basescu didn’t react.
Antonescu also said yesterday, referring to the position expressed by MEP Laszlo Tokes, that he should have been withdrawn the ‘Star of Romania’ medal by president Traian Basescu.
Another reaction to President Basescu’s speech came from the President of the UDMR Sfantu Gheorghe branch, Antal Arpad, who considers that Basescu’s statements in Izvoru Muresului are “dangerous”, especially since the Hungarians in Transyvania have always rejected extremist positions, whether they came from Hungary or from Romania. Antal said that the current dispute is a “disproportional” one, as the statements of the opposition party in Hungary are also in opposition with the opinion of the Government and of the Romanian President. He recalled upon the fact that the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, in Baile Tusnad, had a position of “friendship” towards Romania and the Romanians. At the same time, the Sfantu Gheorghe UDMR leader said that what is going on now and any such dispute is “unfortunately, at the cost” of the Hungarians in Transylvania. “Our interest (that of the Hungarians in Transylvania) is that the leaders of Romania and Hungary not to subordinate the interests of the Hungarian community to their own political interests, but rather to discuss about what they can do for us to live better on our native land”, Antal said.
On the other hand, the leaders of organizations of Romanians in neighboring countries and Balkans on Monday, in the works of the Summer University of Izvoru Muresului, Harghita County (north-west of Bucharest), presented both to President Traian Basescu and to National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa the identity problems they were confronted with and warned that if Romania did not help them, the process of assimilation would speed up and the Romanian communities in the countries they lived in could disappear.
There have been reactions in connection with President Basescu’s statements about the Moldavians. So the PCRM Deputy Artur Resetnicov criticized the latest statements of President Basescu, according to whom the Moldavian citizens should ask for the word “Moldavian” in the Constitution to be replaced with “Romanian”. The communist classified these statements of the leader form Cotroceni as “hazardous”. “No sane Moldavian will ever declare himself a Romanian, under no circumstance. Not even the Romanians consider Mr. Basescu a President. With such statements, he destroys all the relationships Romania has with her neighbors, and I am not referring just to the ones with Moldova, but to the ones with Hungary and Serbia, too”, Resetnicov said for Publika TV.

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