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House speaker persona almost non grata in Romania

June 7th, 2012

Népszabadság accuses Fidesz of trying to draw ethnic Hungarians in Romania under its own political control. Magyar Hírlap rejects Romanian charges of Hungarian interference in the local election campaign in Transylvania.

House speaker László Kövér has been sharply criticised by Romanian officials for campaigning in favour of a small ethnic Hungarian party before next week’s local elections. The new Romanian prime minister has even threatened that he will be declared persona non grata  “if he violates Romanian law.”

In a front page editorial, Népszabadság suggests that Mr Kövér owes the attacks on his visit to his harsh condemnation of the attitude of the Romanian government, when the local authorities prevented the reburial of a controversial war-time Hungarian writer (see BudaPost, May 30).  The left wing paper remarks that Fidesz is also at loggerheads with the RMDSZ, the main Hungarian party in Romania, against whom its leaders are presently campaigning in Romania. Népszabadság accuses Hungary’s governing party of intending to “colonise Transylvania”.

In Magyar Hírlap, Gyula T. Máté finds it strange that leading conservative Hungarian officials should campaign for two rival ethnic Hungarian parties in Romania.

While Mr Kövér is a guest of the Hungarian Civic Party (MPP), undersecretary of foreign affairs Zsolt Németh, as well as deputy PM Zsolt Semjén are campaigning for MEP László Tőkés’s People’s Party (EMNP).

On the other hand, the commentator remarks that the same Romanian officials, who accuse Mr Kövér of interference in Romanian affairs, regularly attend campaign meetings in neighbouring Moldavia as well as in Spain and Italy (to campaign among Romanian immigrants). “Rome and Madrid never say a word, for we all belong to the European Union, where we can all move – and campaign – freely.”

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