Szávay: Slovakia's Hungarian politicians either act as Bratislava's servants or Budapest's puppets
"Instead of a contest in disavowing Jobbik, Slovakia's Hungarian politicians should rather compete in representing the interests of the local Hungarian community," Jobbik's vice president István Szávay said in Dunaszerdahely (Dunajská Streda) on Wednesday, where he opened his first foreign representative office in Slovakia.
Although Jobbik's MPs have been present in the Carpathian Basin through European Parliamentary offices, this is the first time for an MP of a Hungarian party to open a representative office in the territories torn away from Hungary. The event was jointly announced in Dunaszerdahely, the centre of the Hungarian community by István Szávay and Péter Pallér, the local organizer of the movement.
Even the announcement of the press conference generated a minor "scandal", as the venue of the event (a privately-owned office, by the way) is in the same building with the City Culture Centre, and the Hungarian director of the institution was immediately attacked by the extremist liberal portal Parameter.sk on account of a misinterpreted invitation.
Péter Pallér and István Szávay
Whose interests are curbed by Jobbik in Slovakia?
Talking to Hungarian daily paper Magyar Nemzet, Gyula Bárdos, a member of the presidency of the Party of the Hungarian Community (SMK-MKP) explained that he considered Jobbik's appearance there as especially harmful and any cooperation between the two parties was inconceivable. The stakes were raised higher by MEP József Nagy of Most-Híd Slovakian-Hungarian mixed party, who said that as a resident of Dunaszerdahely, he was not happy about Jobbik's appearance in the city because he believed it would incite discord and cause damage to the peaceful Slovakian-Hungarian co-habitation.
In response to the accusations published in the media, István Szávay said in today's press conference that Slovakia's Hungarian politicians should rather compete in representing the interests of the local Hungarian communities instead of entering into a contest of disavowing Jobbik.
"Due to their various compulsions to conform, Slovakia's Hungarian politicians either submit to Bratislava's power or act as Budapest's subservient puppets," retorted Szávay, who may have addressed SMK-MKP when he said that local leaders should represent Slovakia's Hungarian community rather than the Budapest government in Slovakia.
Example to follow
"Representing the entire Hungarian nation is the right example to follow, so politicians should rather welcome this step and urge Hungary's other political parties to follow Jobbik's example and help transmit the voice of Slovakia's Hungarian community to the Parliament in Budapest," these were the words of Péter Pallér, Jobbik's organizer in Slovakia. Szávay added that ever since the extension of dual citizenship, it has no longer been a mere symbolic responsibility for Hungarian MPs but their duty, too.
The representative office, which has just been opened, will offer citizens a meeting time with local Jobbik members (from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays) and István Szávay expressed his intention to be present as often as he can. Anyone may enter and present their ideas, opinions or problems, pre-registration is not necessary. The reason why Jobbik considers direct contact so important is because if the party gets into government, they do not want to make national policy in Budapest offices. Instead, they want to involve the widest possible circle of citizens in the process. "The Dunaszerdahely office will also be open for Hungarian employees, students and businessmen commuting from Slovakia to Hungary," emphasized Jobbik's vice president.
"Our goal is to stand up for the individual and collective rights of the Hungarian community in Slovakia..."
Slovakian media is afraid of provocation already
The press conference was held amidst intensive Slovakian media attention, including TA3 news television, which asked in an interview whether Jobbik was afraid that some people might consider the establishment of this office as a provocation.
In response, Szávay stated that, contrary to any allegations, Jobbik is not interested in increasing tensions. The party's goal is to stand up for the individual and collective rights of the Hungarian community in Slovakia, and their efforts are not against anybody, but for something. He added that the lives of Central European countries are made difficult by several common problems, including the emigration of skilled labour, rampant corruption, co-habitation with Gypsies and, most recently, the massive immigration influx. Jobbik is willing to cooperate with Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Slovakia in these issues, which would of course never overrule their responsibility to represent the interests of the local Hungarian minorities.
J.B. - Alfahír.hu - Jobbik.com