“I would like to respectfully ask Transylvanian Hungarians to participate in the parliamentary election this weekend, to participate in this great decision about their future and the future of their community,” Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, said in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş) on Wednesday. His statement came at a press conference held together with Hunor Kelemen, the president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (otherwise known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ), at the end of his very short visit to Maros (Mureş) County, maszol.ro reports.
Hunor Kelemen said they had visited several large agricultural enterprises in the county, which were established with the support of the economic development program of the Hungarian Government; they also spoke with Zoltás Soós, the new Hungarian mayor of Marosvásárhely. Regarding the parliamentary election, Hunor Kelemen said that it hopes to keep the party’s strong parliamentary position. The president of the RMDSZ also said that his party could always count on the help of the Hungarian Government, as it has morally and politically supported them.
Kelemen stressed that participating in the election is safe. “We see that the people are angry because of the government’s silly decisions, but anger is not a great adviser. We are facing a great opportunity, so I would like to encourage everyone to participate in the parliamentary elections. It would be great if we could be unavoidable. Let us contribute to the decisions that will take our community and the country forward,” the president of the RMDSZ said.
The politician also stressed that his party is interested in improving Hungarian-Romanian relations in the short term, as the two countries have similar interests in the region and in the EU. “Using these [interests], everyone would win, Romanians and Hungarians, Romanian citizens and Hungarian citizens as well. We want to improve this with our modest tools,” Kelemen added.
Péter Szijjártó, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, stressed that he didn’t come to Romania to intervene in Romanian home affairs, underlining that Budapest is very sensitive in this regard. Szijjártó stressed: Romanian citizens should decide the future of their country, and the Hungarian government respects that. “However, many of the citizens of Romania are Hungarians. I would like to respectfully ask them to participate in the parliamentary election this weekend, to participate in this great decision about their future and the future of their community. The stronger the representation of Hungarian values is in Bucharest, the stronger the voice of Hungarians will be in decision-making about the future,” the Minister said.
Szijjártó said that Hungary is also interested, for pragmatic reasons, in cooperating with Romania: It is Hungary’s fourth-largest export market, with more than EUR 5.5 billion of Hungarian goods and services targeted at the Romanian market every year. In addition, Romania is the eighth top destination of Hungarian investors and its ninth most important trading partner. He added that a good relationship between the countries would benefit both the Hungarians living in Romania and the Romanians living in Hungary. “In our opinion, in order to make the Hungarian-Romanian cooperation more successful, a stronger RMDSZ representation in the Romanian parliament would be useful. Therefore, for the future of Romanian-Hungarian relations, I would like to ask the Hungarian nationals living in Romania to vote in the parliamentary election this weekend,” Péter Szijjártó stressed.
The Hungarian Minister also said that he asked Hunor Kelemen and the RMDSZ how the Hungarian Government could help Transylvanian Hungarians. Péter Szijjártó said, the Hungarian politicians asked for economic support, as that strengthens the Hungarian community and the areas they live in. Responding to a journalist’s question about the fact that the Romanian Government had asked for a written agreement to continue the program, the Minister said that special attention had been paid to complying with international, European and Romanian legislation when establishing the economic development program. “Therefore, I can say that the program is in sync with Romanian, European and international law. This creates jobs here, generates tax revenues for the budget here and improves the economic development of this country. In addition, it strengthens the Hungarian community living here,” Szijjártó said at the press conference.
Title image: Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó (L) and RMDSZ president Hunor Kelemen (R) at a Marosvásárhely press conference on December 2, 2020. (MTI/Gábor Kiss)