POLITICS

Hungary’s Deputy PM Zsolt Semjen: President Iohannis’s visit to Szekely community fair and positive

Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen said on Wednesday at the Baile Tusnad (Tusvanyos) Summer University – Harghita County that President Klaus Iohannis’s visit the day before to the Szekely community “can be termed as fair and positive.”

According to Zsolt Semjen, the fact that the President of Romania paid an official visit to the counties of Covasna and Harghita, his having stood to respectfully listen to the Szekely anthem as well as his being presented a Szekley flag for which he offered in return a Romanian tricolor, are important steps forward.

Hungary’s Deputy PM also remarked as positive the fact that, although the President of Romania rejected the idea of ethnicity-based autonomy, he spoke of local and regional autonomy, which, in the opinion of the Hungarian official, is “the beginning of a dialogue” on this subject and the partial acceptance of the idea of autonomy.

Referring to territorial autonomy, Zsolt Semjen pointed out that Transylvania Hungarian ethnics did not ask for “something for which there is no precedent” in the European Union.

We are not second-class citizens (…), what is due to others is due to us too. (…) We, Hungarians, did not ask for something for which there is no precedent in the European Union, said Zsolt Semjen, according to official translation provided by the organizers.

In the same context, the Budapest official mentioned that autonomy is enshrined in the 1918 Alba Iulia Declaration, and that the Hungarians demand that the Romanians observe what they “promised through that document.”

Zsolt Semjen made these statements at the opening of the 28th edition of the Tusvanyos Summer University and Student Camp, organized by the Hungarian Youth Council (MIT) and the Pro Minority Foundation.

The program includes concerts, symposiums on economic, science, interethnic themes, cultural, sports, recreational and entertainment events. According to the organizers, over 60,000 participants are expected to attend throughout the duration of the manifestation. The Summer University will end on July 23, with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban also attending the wrap-up session.

 

“One million ethnic Hungarians have applied for dual citizenship”

 

One million overseas ethnic Hungarians have applied for Hungarian citizenship after the Hungarian Parliament passed a law on dual citizenship seven years ago, Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Semjen Zsolt said Wednesday at Baile Tusnad.

In a speech to the opening of the Tusvanyos Summer University at Baile Tusnad  he said the project for the unification of the Magyar nation that started in 2010 has reached a turning point with the recent filing of the 1,000,000th application for Hungarian citizenship.

“We have received application number 1,000,000 and by November we will have the citizen number one million to take a citizenship oath, ” Semjen said in Hungarian according to the official translation released by organisers.

Also addressing the opening session was Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Nemeth Zsolt, who said that he is hoping the Tusvanyos will turn back into a platform for dialogue between Hungary and Romania, as it used to be before 2012.

“We hope to be able to resume that Romanian-Magyar dialogue that has been in a state of cataplexy ever since the Romanian Cabinet Ungureanu was ousted in 2012 (…) There has been no such dialogue at a high level between the two countries over the past five years, but there are good signs now (…) We are hoping that this dialogue will resume in the interest of the two countries, in the interest of the minorities in the two countries and the renewal of Europe,” said Nemeth, according to translation.

He commended Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis for visiting on Tuesday the counties of Covasna and Harghita, voicing hope that Iohannis will be in attendance at the next editions of the Tusvanyos Summer University.

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