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Jobbik Politician Criticizes Romania’s Treatment of Ethnic Hungarians on ‘Great Union Day’

By Tom Szigeti // 2017.12.01.

Today is Great Union Day in Romania, the 99th anniversary of Transylvania’s official detachment from Hungary. Yesterday, István Szávay, a politician with the far-right Jobbik party (which has made significant efforts to move towards the center in recent years), held a press conference in front of the Romanian embassy in which he called on the country to defend the minority rights of Hungarians.

The holiday in question commemorates the day of the Alba Iulia (Gyulafehérvár) National Assembly, which passed a resolution declaring Transylvania to be a part of Romania. That resolution also guaranteed total protection of minority rights for all ethnic groups in Romania. In particular, it declared

Full national freedom for all the co-inhabiting peoples. Each people will study, manage and judge in its own language by individual of its own stock and each people will get the right to be represented in the law bodies and to govern the country in accordance with the number of its people.

According to Szávay, however, to this day Romania has failed to keep these promises. He claimed that government administration is still not fully guaranteed in minority languages, and argued further than the Romanian state has repeatedly attacked Hungarian educational institutions in Transylvania. In addition, the Jobbik MP noted that the justice system works entirely in Romanian.

The right-wing politician also claimed that, to this day, Romania treats its nearly 1.5 million Hungarians as second-class citizens, while at the same time hobbling efforts to bring about autonomy for the Hungarian-majority Szeklerland.

Szávay argued that, while he understands that December 1st is a holiday for Romanians, he asked Romania to understand that this could not be a day of celebration for Hungarians, as it marked the “anniversary of the day they lost their country.” He also claimed that, if Jobbik wins next year’s elections, autonomy for Szeklerland will be a top priority.

Via MTI and

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