News 12 Jun 17

Romania ‘Must Confront Hungarian Nationalist Demands’

Budapest is taking an increasingly aggressive line over the rights of ethnic Hungarians living in Romania, yet Bucharest seems unwilling to tackle the issue head on.

Ana Maria Touma
A map of the Szekely Land. Photo:Sie/Wikimedia.

A few hundred ethnic Hungarians gathered on June 4 in a park in Sfantu Gheorghe, the capital of Romania’s Covasna County in Eastern Transylvania.

They had come together to mark Hungary’s National Day of Belonging, which commemorates the Trianon Treaty that saw the country lose 60 per cent of its territory to neighbouring states.

Similar events were held across Covasna, most were low key and limited to a few towns led by radical ethnic Hungarian mayors. The events went unnoticed by the mainstream Romanian media and were only reported in one local Hungarian-language newspaper.

Yet observers are becoming increasingly nervous about Hungarian nationalists who are agitating for the return of territory Hungary, after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War 1, was compelled to return to neighbouring states.

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