Zilah (Zalau), Romania (MTI) – Hungary stands ready to straighten out intergovernmental relations with Romania, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said at the congress of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) in Zilah (Zalau), in northern Romania, on Saturday.
Semjén told the participants, including Liviu Dragnea, the leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), that in the past Hungarian-Slovak and Hungarian-Serbian relations were not any less “burdened” than current Hungarian-Romanian relations. Hungary has since managed to make relations with those countries flourish and “if we could do that, Hungarians and Serbians, and Hungarians and Slovaks, then why couldn’t Hungarians and Romanians do it,” he added.
Hungary’s interest lies in the development of the best possible links between Romania and the Visegrad group, he said. Romania and Hungary are destined to cooperate, he added.Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, Kelemen Hunor, the president of RMDSZ and Liviu Dragnea, the leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD)
Semjén requested the Romanian guests at the congress to ask those Romanians who have emigrated to western Europe whether guaranteed autonomy to indigenous minorities in their new home country is harmful to anyone. Semjen insisted that in every country where autonomy is offered to minorities it has been beneficial to all. If ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania accepted that they have no right to autonomy, they would become second-class citizens in Europe, he added.
He asked “Romanian friends” to reread the 1918 proclamation of Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) which declared the union of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania and put into practice the principles it included.
He congratulated RMDSZ on joining forces with the Hungarian Civic Party of Romania and their growing popularity demonstrated by last year’s election results.
He said that Hungary and all areas with ethnic Hungarian minorities would participate in the collection of one million signatures needed for the Minority SafePack European initiative. Transylvania will not be left out from the economic development plan that the Hungarian government has already launched in Transcarpathia and Serbia, he added.
He criticised recent trends in Romania which involved “cutting back some acquired rights”. He cited the stopping of the restitution of church and community properties nationalised by the Communist regime, legal violations at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu Mures (Marosvásárhelyi Orvosi és Gyógyszerészeti Egyetem), procedures launched against the Roman Catholic secondary school of Targu Mures (Marosvásárhely) and the case of local council leaders persecuted under what he called the disguise of the fight against corruption.
“It is obvious that these are cases of intimidation under the pretence of the law,” he said. The fight against corruption is important but some in Romania abuse this fight, he added.
Representatives of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, opposition Socialists and green opposition LMP also addressed the congress.