During a televised appearance on Wednesday evening, PM Mihai Tudose made some controversial statement about the idea that Szkely Land might try to become autonomous.
Tudose said that there is no point in talking about Szekely Land obtaining autonomy and warned that “if the Szekely flag starts flying on public institutions over there, they will all fly with it”.
UDMR, the party representing the Hungarian minority in Romania, had a strong reaction to the statement, saying that it was “medieval”. The president of the party, Kelemen Hunor, said that he was shocked and was waiting for an apology.
On Thursday, the Romanian ambassador in Budapest was called in by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, which saw the PM’s statements as unacceptable.
The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), on the other hand, responded to the controversy by saying that the PM’s statements are not anti-Hungarian and have no ethnic component, and that they instead shed light on the responsibility of central and local authorities in the country to ensure that the rule of law and the constitution are followed, as Romania is a unitary, sovereign and non-divisible state.
The Ministry also signals the fact that the discussion over the subject of autonomy on ethnic criteria has become more intense and several new initiatives have been started, all leading up to the signing of the common resolution of Transylvania’s Hungarian political organisations on January 8, which included a commitment to the autonomy of Szekely Land.
MAE added that these endeavours deliberately ignore the substantial measures adopted by the Romanian authorities over the years for the benefit of the Hungarian minority, which grant them protection of the highest standards, and which Romania is going to maintain in all its policies.