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News 01 Feb 18

Romanian Ex-PM Apologizes for anti-Hungarian Remark

Romania’s former Prime Minister Mihai Tudose apologized on social media for suggesting  ethnic Hungarian separatists should be hanged  – words that strained relations with Budapest. 

Ana Maria Luca
BIRN
Bucharest
Former Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose. Photo: NATO/Flikr.

Romania’s former Social Democrat Prime Minister Mihai Tudose apologized on Thursday for threatening to hang ethnic Hungarian political leaders, when he said that “if the Szekler [ethnic Hungarian] flag flies on an institution, they will fly next to the flag.”

Tudose made the shocking statement during a talkshow in January 10, when he was still in office, after three ethnic Hungarian parties signed a joint statement in support of autonomy of those parts of the Transylvania region with a majority-Hungarian population. The statement angered Hungary and strained diplomatic relations. 

“I want to apologize publicly to any community or minority members who felt offended by my statement which left room for interpretations of inciting to hatred or violence” he wrote on Facebook on Thursday, adding that he had been called for a hearing by the National Council against Discrimination. “This interpretation is not in agreement with my values and principles … It was a lesson which taught me that I need to be more careful with what I say in public, so as not to generate interpretations that I do not stand by,” he added. 

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