Viktor Orban Asks for the Autonomy of Transylvania
POLITICS - July 26 2004Viktor Orban, the former Hungarian PM and current leader of FIDESZ, the main opposition party in Hungary, thinks the time is now ripe for the Hungarian ethnics in Transylvania to ask for their political autonomy, because an equally propitious occasion will come only some 15 to 20 years from now. GABRIELA ANTONIU Orban made this statement in a Saturday speech at the Summer University at Balvanyos, in Romania. He urges his fellow Hungarian ethnics living in Romania to ask for their autonomy now, Mediafax wire services reported.
"Now is the right time to ask for autonomy because now the European Union looks with sympathy towards this idea," said Orban, who went on to explain that if the Hungarian community will not follow his advice "it will make a huge mistake."
The FIDESZ leader said Hungarians living in Romania will never get autonomy via agreements and protocols, but only with organizing themselves for this purpose and forcefully demanding it. "Autonomy could be achieved here only with support from the masses," said Orban, who went on to explain that people should be organized into parties able to articulate their will. For Orban, granting autonomy to the Hungarian minority would be "the test of democracy in Romania," because in case a large minority whishes to separate and is not let to, then the state is not fully democratic to join the European Union.
Orban also criticized the fact that the Hungarian Civic Union was not allowed to take part in the local elections in June [but only the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania] and added that "both the Hungarians and the Romanians [in this country] will be greatly disappointed if things will go on like this because the status of EU membership cannot be achieved while showing such deficiencies of democracy."
Orban speech was delivered in front of some 300 people from Romania and Hungary.
The Hungarian politician also stated that Romania does not comply with some mandatory requirements for EU integration. "The current status of democracy in Romania does not allow for a hasty welcome of this country into the EU," Orban said. However, he said that the moment of acceptance cannot be far as long as Romania "takes some needed decisions and leaves behind some old habits and tricks."