Hungary and Romania differ in their views of how they treat each other’s minority, a Hungarian official has said in reaction to related criticism by Romania’s new foreign minister.
Zsuzsanna Repas, the Hungarian deputy state secretary in charge of the policy of the nation, told MTI on Wednesday Hungary should be lucky if Romania treated the Hungarian community as well as Hungary treats the Romanian minority.
Titus Corlatean, Romania’s new foreign minister, in a recent television interview said Hungarians in Romania receive better treatment from the Romanian government than Romanians in Hungary do.
Appointed to his post on August 7, he said that the Romanian minority in Hungary got very different treatment from Hungarians in Romania.
“Different, in a negative sense,” he told Romanian public television TVR International.
He said several problems had been called to the attention of Hungarian authorities regarding the Romanian minority in Hungary since the 1990s. These included a lack of parliamentary representation for the Romanian minority, problems with education and the media in Hungary in the Romanian language, as well as insufficient support for the Romanian orthodox church.
Repas responded that it was well known that minorities in Hungary enjoyed cultural autonomy.
“We would be very happy if Hungarians in Transylvania had this right; these opportunities,” she said.
She cited the example of Romanians in Hungary enjoying the right to set up their own regional or national self-governments. The Hungarian government would like to see the same opportunity for Hungarians in Romania, she said.
As for minority representatives in the Hungarian parliament, Repas said this had been a long-standing demand of minorities and would be granted by new legislation from 2014.
Some 8,000 ethnic Romanians live in the south, southeast of Hungary, according to data from Hungary’s 2001 census. The ethnic Hungarian community living mainly in central Romania numbers 1.5 million.