The Adevărul newspaper is accusing the Hungarian government of ethnic discrimination in relation to its donations for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The donations were sent to several Transylvanian counties, however, naturally, not only Hungarians are benefitting from them.
The article released on the paper’s online platform on Monday says that according to the announcement of Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (also known by its Hungarian acronym of RMDSZ), the government of Hungary has sent medicine and protective equipment to Transylvania. The author of the article – via a rather forced comparison – claims that the donations and the announcement resemble the “image building” of China and Russia on social media platforms.
In addition to this, the article claims that both the declaration of the Hungarian minister and the RMDSZ president state that the equipment “will exclusively reach only people of Hungarian ethnicity.’’ “It is old fashioned to mention that the SARS-2 virus does not consider religion, gender, race, nationality or civic affiliation when it comes to infecting the human body. That is why I find Péter Szijjártó’s and Hunor Kelemen’s declaration populist and rather unfortunate in times like this. When it comes to humanitarian support, you simply cannot set terms relating to geographical region or ethnicity,” says the article.
The author of the article further asks: The doctor wearing the Hungarian mask will not have to supply the Romanian patient, or the doctor using the gloves from the Romanian government will not have to treat the Hungarian patient?
As opposed to the statement of the Romanian newspaper and its author, neither the Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister nor the president of RMDSZ said that only patients of Hungarian ethnicity will be able to use the donation from the Hungarian government – neither in Romania nor in any other neighboring country to which the Hungarian government has also sent supplies.
Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Péter Szijjártó has declared on Friday that the Hungarian government will offer help to the Hungarian communities living beyond its borders. A total of 600 masks and tens of thousands of other protective equipment were sent to Transylvania, the Highlands, Szeklerland, Subcarpathia, Slavonia, the Mura region and Vojvodina. In the meantime, Hunor Kelemen declared that at the request of the RMDSZ, the Hungarian Government has terminated the export ban so that Romanian hospitals can also be able to obtain the critical medicine, hydroxychloroquine, that is being used in many countries to treat infected patients.
While according to the president of RMDSZ, the emergency aid, masks, gloves, protective equipment and disinfectants from Hungary are sent to counties with Hungarian populations, naturally not only Hungarian patients benefit from them. Donations have reached Bihar/Bihor, Szatmár/Satu Mare, Szilágy/Sălaj, Hargita/Harghita, Kovászna/Covasna and Maros/Mureș counties. In Szilágy/Sălaj County, for example, the donation given to the emergency hospital in Zilah/Zalău contains the following: 75,000 FFP masks, 8,000 medical masks, 150 pleximasks, 2,000 protective gloves, 260 protective caps, 500 shoe covers, 500 liters of disinfectant, 800 items of protective clothing and 150 protective glasses. The hospital from Kraszna/Crasna treating patients with chronic diseases and the nursing home in Szilágycseh/Cehu Silvaniei received 5,000 FFP masks, 3,000 protective gloves and 250 bottles of disinfectant.
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