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Hungarian Press Roundup: Üzvölgye Cemetery Incident Dispute

Hungary Today 2019.06.17.

A left-wing commentator fears that the Hungarian government will use the skirmish between Hungarians and Romanians in Transylvania to unleash irredentist hatred. A pro-government pundit calls for moderation.

Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu

Background information: last week, Hungarians and Romanians clashed over a military cemetery in Úzvölgye, Transylvania, after Romanians wanted to erect crosses to commemorate around a dozen Romanian soldiers, buried there, alongside hundreds of Hungarian soldiers. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó underlined that Hungary wants to facilitate the peaceful coexistence of Hungarians and Romanians in Transylvania. He called on the Romanian government to stop provocations by anti-Hungarian Romanian nationalists and summoned the Romanian ambassador to Budapest. The ambassador ignored the Foreign Minister’s request. The two defence ministries have pledged to find a solution to the problem.

President Áder on Úzvölgye Cemetery Incident: ‘Blasphemous, Unlawful and Immoral’

In Népszava, Tamás Beck fears the revival of revisionist nationalist sentiments. The left-wing commentator finds it disappointing that despite the reconciliation between Germany and France, the integration of Europe and the disappearance of internal borders, national resentment has not disappeared in Eastern Europe. Concerning the Transylvanian events, Beck suspects that the Hungarian government will escalate the conflict. He speculates that if anti-immigrant fear-mongering becomes less salient, PM Orbán will embrace traditional nationalist discourse, and advocate the restoration of a Greater Hungary in the spirit of Regent Horthy.

 

In Magyar Nemzet, Samu Csinta says that the ethnic dispute is part of efforts by Romanian nationalists to weaken the Hungarian minority in Transylvania. Csinta believes that the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), the main Hungarian ethnic party in Transylvania can no longer be as moderate as it used to be in defending Hungarian interests. Csinta, however, calls for moderation to find a new modus vivendi, and dismisses suggestions that the dispute over the cemetery is in any way similar to historic and violent ethnic conflicts in Transylvania.