Update: The diplomatic scandal between Romania and Hungary on the Szeklers’ autonomy prompted by the Romanian PM’s statements on the flags of the Szekler Land waving on the Romanian institutions has escalated. PM Mihai Tudose on the other hand, has toned down his statement on autonomy on Monday afternoon before attending the ruling party’s executive committee, arguing he referred to mandates waving and not to people “to be hanged”.
“I would like to tone down a statement I’ve made on last Wednesday, which has been misunderstood. I firmly maintain the position, as a Romanian citizen, that Romania’s territorial integrity is not negotiable, under any circumstance, not even an amiable one. We cannot talk about the autonomy of a part of Romania. When I referred to the flag waving, I was actually referring to the state authorities that must enforce the law. Their mandates are waving next to the flag if they don’t enforce the law. It was about that, not hanging someone,” Mihai Tudose pointed out.
The plaque on the gate of the Romania’s Embassy in Budapest has been covered with a flag of the Szekler Land on the night of January 12 to January 13. The authors are the members of an extremist group from Hungary, the Movement of the 64 counties, PMP deputy Marius Pascan announced on Facebook.
“A new aggressive and defiant move against Romania: on the night of January 12 to January 13 this year, the Hungarian extremists of the <Movement of the 64 counties> from Hungary have covered the emblem of the Romanian Embassy in Budapest with the Szekler insignia. I hope the Romanian authorities will not stay in a coward expectation and to firmly and official react, asking Hungary’s PM, Viktor Orban, to provide the due reactions and to apply legal sanctions. Such actions are dangerous and they can rise, amplify and radicalize if they are not checked in the bud. But maybe there is an interest even from the part of Budapest to artificially tense up the bilateral relations with our country and, even under these circumstances, I don’t see why we should be passive, our head down, in the year of the Great Union Centennial,” Marius Pascan posted on Facebook.
According to Antena 3, the extremists said that their action comes following Romanian PM Mihai Tudose’s recent statements on the Szekler flag.
Last Wednesday PM Tudose told Realitatea TV private broadcaster that “there cannot be any” autonomy of the Szeklers Land, and warned that “if the Szekler flag waves on the institutions there, everyone will hang next to the flag.”
Romanian ambassador in Budapest, Marius Lazurca was summoned by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on Friday to give explanations regarding PM Tudose’s statement on the autonomy of the Szeklers Land.
In retort, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Hungarian ambassador in Bucharest to the ministry, while slamming the action of several Magyar extremists.
According to a press release, the Romanian MFA considers the extremists’ action as “unacceptable”, while asking the Hungarian authorities “ to provide the inviolability of the Romanian mission’s HQs and of his staff”.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs voices its concern with the challenging action of the Movement of the 64 counties and condemns such incidents that aim at denigrating the national symbols”, the press release reads.
On the other hand, the foreign policy committee of the Hungarian Parliament will hold a special sitting on Tuesday to debate the Romanian premier’s remarks on the autonomy’s efforts, as the parliamentary group of the Fidesz ruling party has announced on Monday, quoted by MTI.
Fidesz opined that Mihai Tudose’s statements “are unacceptable and unforgivable”.
The Hungarian Parliament’s committee for national unity will also hold a similar meeting on this topic.