Budapest, November 29 (MTI) – Péter Harrach, group leader of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, has expressed concern over the declining number of ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of upcoming meetings of the Hungarian Diaspora Council and the Hungarian Standing Conference (Máért), Harrach said that over the past 20 years the Hungarian community in Transylvania had shrunk by 380,000 people. In the same period, the number of ethnic kin decreased by 108,000 in southern Slovakia, by 88,000 in Serbia’s Vojvodina province, and by 22,000 in western Ukraine. Harrach added that some communities of the diaspora were even more severely reduced, noting counties in Romania where the Hungarian community has halved.
Among the causes, Harrach mentioned assimilation and emigration, as well as legal violations and harassment of ethnic Hungarians.
Harrach praised the Hungarian government’s measures aimed at reinforcing the national identity of ethnic Hungarians and helping them stay and prosper in their homelands. Hungary seeks to promote businesses in those communities and provides aid to help finance Hungarian education and civil organisations, he noted.
Concerning the upcoming sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, Harrach said they could be “another step” in the process of “re-unifying the nation”.