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Romania is taking over as Europe’s black sheep – but no reason for schadenfreude

August 9th, 2012

Hungary should not feel relieved if European criticism is now directed against neighbouring Romania. A pro-government commentator fears that as a result, the whole of Eastern and Central Europe risks losing face.

In Magyar Nemzet, István Pataky warns that the progress reached by Romania over the past two decades through painful effort may evaporate overnight as a result of the policies pursued by the new left-liberal government. He describes the controversial measures introduced by Socialist PM Victor Ponta “in violation of the law and of the constitutional order”, as being aimed at annihilating its opponents. Pataki believes Romania is now taking over “the role of Europe’s black sheep” from Hungary, but “we have no reason to rejoice”. On the one hand, the ensuing economic difficulties might spark nationalist campaigns against ethnic Hungarians in Romania, all the more so, since some of the new cabinet ministers are known for their anti-Hungarian leanings. On the other hand, Pataki continues, recent events in Romania may further tarnish the image of the whole region and make co-operation among its countries increasingly difficult for several years to come.

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