In an interview given to Transylvanian Hungarian Television (ETV), Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that it would be a great mistake for Hungarians to have no representation in the Romanian legislature. He added that the stakes in the parliamentary election in Romania on Sunday are closely linked to the survival of Hungarians in Transylvania and the Partium.
The interview with the Transylvanian station – which was also released by ETV on Friday via its internet video sharing site – was given by the Prime Minister on Thursday, during his visit to Szatmárnémeti/ Satu Mare.
“Those who do not stand up for themselves will be ignored – if not trodden upon – by the majority”, Mr. Orbán said. The Prime Minister warned that if Hungarians want to live decent lives in Transylvania, and if they expect the Romanian people to give them the respect, appreciation and the rights they deserve, then they must stand up for their communities, and must go out and vote.
He stated that if the Hungarian community in Transylvania does not attain representation in the Parliament in Bucharest, it will send the message to Romanians that they are free to ignore them, and that they can bypass them even more than they have done to date.
“The worst policy imaginable would be to show weakness and to sink into insignificance. But the Hungarians will only be represented in the Bucharest legislature if Hungarians cast their votes and give a mandate to the Hungarian political forces which have forged unity to represent their interests and make their voices heard. The stakes in the upcoming elections could not be more closely linked to the survival of the Hungarians in Transylvania and the Partium”, Mr. Orbán said.
Answering a question about infringement of the rights of Hungarians in Transylvania and the harassment of their most successful leaders, Mr. Orbán said that Hungarian communities living in the successor states have a changeable, fluctuating relationship with the majority societies of those states.
“What we can achieve is that majority governments motivated and inspired by the desire to cooperate should be able to work well together with the Hungarian communities over extended periods”, he explained. He added that, with the historical legacy there, it is almost impossible to eliminate the possibility of anti-Hungarian sentiment being expressed.
He pointed out that while the situation of Hungarians in Serbia is now much easier than at any previous time, one can see a deterioration in Romania; it is hard to distinguish efforts in Romania aimed at the restoration of legality from political actions motivated by anti-Hungarian sentiment.
“This is how Hungarians living here experience what is happening to them. In Budapest our duty is to see this the way it is seen by the Hungarians living here – and so we, too, are concerned about these phenomena”, Mr. Orbán told the Hungarian television station in Transylvanian.
In Szatmárnémeti on Thursday the Prime Minister met the leaders and parliamentary candidates of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), and at a press conference held jointly with RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen he urged members of the Hungarian community in Romania to vote in the largest possible numbers in the parliamentary election in Romania on Sunday.
ETV can be received in the majority of Transylvania’s Hungarian-inhabited areas. The interview was broadcast by the station on Thursday evening.