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Gulyas: Ethnic minority rights among European values

Despite all the debates about European values, there is general consensus that the rights of ethnic minorities are among the values of Europe, the head of the Prime Minister's Office told a plenary session of the Forum of Hungarian Deputies in the Carpathian Basin (KMKF) in Budapest on Friday.

Gergely Gulyas, referring to the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, said the Hungarian government was loyal to Ukraine, a country which had been attacked, but added that “it is inconceivable that Ukraine, neglecting European values and trampling on the community and individual rights should become a European Union member”.

“We expect Ukraine to restore the individual and community rights that it has removed since 2015,” Gulyas said. He added that a lack of those rights made Hungarian education in Transcarpathia “extremely difficult”.

The Hungarian government urges “the earliest ceasefire and peace” in Ukraine, a position that “not only serves our interests but will save Ukrainian and Hungarian lives”, he added.

He said the Hungarian government condemned Russia’s aggression, and would accommodate refugees from Ukraine without limitations, as well as provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Gulyas said the Hungarian government had provided assistance to the operation of some 5,000 Hungarian institutions and organisations in the Carpathian Basin and in the Hungarian diaspora since 2010. Hungary supports the full range of Hungarian education to an annual 300,000 children. Each ethnic Hungarian child and student receives an education subsidy of a yearly 100,000 forints, he added.

Gulyas called the Korosi Csoma and Mikes Kelemen programmes as success stories, and also mentioned that the Hungarian government provided financing to the renovation of 1,600 churches and church-run institutions and to 100 sports projects.

The Hungarian government’s economic development programme has helped over 60,000 ethnic Hungarian entrepreneurs with over 200 billion forints, the minister added.

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