Gyöngyösi: The Szekler community must be protected both from Budapest's vote buying and Bucharest's oppression

The opposition MP told us he wanted to represent his party in the annual event held for Szekler autonomy each year since 2013 because “ever since its establishment, Jobbik has always been most consistently representing the autonomy efforts of Hungarian communities living across our borders.”

Explaining that his party laid a great emphasis on achieving autonomy for the Szekler community, he added that even though the Orbán government had realized one of Jobbik’s longest held demands by granting dual citizenship and voting rights for ethnic Hungarians living across the border in 2010, there were still a lot of things to do in this matter: “We’ve always said that being able to prosper in your own homeland is a key condition for achieving autonomy. However, Budapest’s national policies are not enough for that: you also need to adopt good European practices in the region.”

He added that autonomy ensures stable and peaceful co-existence for the endemic ethnic minorities, the motherlands as well as the countries where Hungarian minorities live. Márton Gyöngyösi also noted that Jobbik was not the only one to include this policy in its political programme as he participated in a study tour to South Tyrol in 2017 where “we were given an opportunity to study one of the best known and efficient autonomy models and see for ourselves how autonomy can provide the best guarantee for endemic minorities to stay and prosper in their homelands”. When asked why Jobbik was not represented by President Tamás Sneider in the demonstration for autonomy, Mr Gyöngyösi said the opposition party had clearly been laying a great emphasis on autonomy efforts in the neighbouring countries since last April’s elections, too.

He noted that Jobbik had set up a special autonomy working group headed by Tamás Sneider and their EP election programme also focused on the matter. He revealed that the party was soon going to organize a conference on South Tyrol’s autonomy with presenters and experts from the Northern Italian province. He also explained that the party’s President and Executive Vice President share their tasks on a regular basis. “The fact that I am the one to attend the march this time has no special significance. Tamás Sneider had already represented Jobbik in the demonstration previously so we thought it was my time to take over this noble task.”

He added that even though he had visited Marosvásárhely countless times, he had never had the chance to participate in this event so he was especially happy and considered it an honour to be there. We also asked Mr Gyöngyösi what message he would send to the Szekler community if he was given a chance to make a speech. Jobbik’s executive vice president answered that “I would point out that our Szekler brothers and sisters can always rely on Jobbik in terms of their autonomy efforts, regardless of the polarizing Hungarian partisan politics.” Noting that Szeklers wanted a chance for living and prospering in their own homeland, the vice president said autonomy was the only way to achieve that goal. “This would guarantee that Szeklers would neither be oppressed by Bucharest nor expected by Budapest to vote a certain way – in return for economic aid or EU funds,” Mr Gyöngyösi concluded, adding that one of the most ancient groups of the Hungarian nation must be protected from this double threat.


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