Hungarian FM scolds Romania for flag fines in Transylvania

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said it was not fair that at a time when his country was accommodating every request coming from Romania, authorities there fined a Transylvanian mayor for flying the Hungarian flag on March 15, the National Day of Hungary.

He said that if he “were to take it personally,” he would find it “a stab in the back” that on the same day the Romanian Government asked for Hungary’s aid by allowing Romanian citizens to pass through Hungary to return home, another government agency fined the mayor of Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe RON 10,000 (EUR 2,051) for flying the Hungarian national flag.

“It would be best to avoid such cases,” Szijjártó said.

“We assist Romanian citizens to

return home, but we ask that in these difficult times our relations be driven by mutual assistance and mutual loyalty.”

Szijjártó was speaking in Kolozsvár/Cluj, where he met Hunor Kelemen, the president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, otherwise known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ, on March 20.

The date is infamous in Transylvania as “Black March,” the day when in 1990 Romanians from neighboring villages attacked the Hungarian community in Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș, sparking the bloodiest interethnic conflict in post-communist Romania. Five people died and 300 were injured, including well-known Transylvanian writer András Sütő, who lost one eye when the Romanian crowd attacked the local headquarters of RMDSZ.

Title image: Hungarian flags in Sepsiszentgyörgy on March 15, 2020. (source: Árpád Antal’s Facebook page)

Author: Dénes Albert