Anti-discrimination watchdog fines ex-president for Hungarophobic comment

The National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) has fined former Romanian president and now MEP Traian Băsescu RON 5,000 (~EUR 1,000) for his Hungarophobic comments regarding the workplace conflict in Gyergyóditró (Ditrău, Dittersdorf, Dittrichderf) in 2020.

Speaking with Romanian news agency Agerpres (via Transindex), Hunor Brassai, president of the Marosvásárhely/Targu Mures branch of the Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania (EMNP), said that the anti-discrimination watchdog’s fine is a strong warning to all who believe they can attack or insult the Hungarian community without consequence.

When the conflict between the Gyergyóditró locals and the Sri Lanka bakery workers erupted in 2020, Traian Băsescu rushed to comment on the matter. “Hungarians, in general, are complex [people] and unable to tolerate others because of their complexities,” Băsescu said at the time.

As the anti-discrimination watchdog didn’t launch an investigation into the matter, Brassai brought Băsescu’s remarks to the attention of the council. After investigating the former president’s comment, the (CNCD) ruled that his words were discriminatory and violated the Hungarian people’s dignity; therefore, they fined him RON 5,000 (~EUR 1,000).

With their action, Brassai and his party are seeking to send a warning signal to all politicians that they will not allow anti-Hungarian comments, provocation, and stigma based on ethnicity and that they strongly reject any action that aims to divide the Hungarian community and Romania’s ethnic majority.

Title image: The former president of Romania, Traian Băsescu. Image source: Băsescu’s Facebook page

Author: István Fekete