Photo: MTI

Gulyas: National unity most important achievement of last 12 years

Gergely Gulyas, the prime minister's chief of staff, called the establishment of national unity the government's "most important accomplishment" of the past twelve years and acknowledged the "outstanding role" of the Hungarian media beyond the country's borders in that endeavour, addressing the second Carpathian Basin Hungarian Media Conference in Visegrad, in northern Hungary, on Saturday.

Gulyas said Hungarian media beyond the borders was “indispensable” to achieving national unity.

He thanked the Hungarian media in Transcarpathia, working in extraordinary conditions amid the war to keep the local Hungarian population informed.

Addressing a decision to remove a statue of a Turul, a mythical bird that is a national symbol of Hungarians, from the Mukachevo (Munkacs) Castle in western Ukraine, Gulyas called the measure “unacceptable” and said Ukraine was unappreciative of the fact that Hungary was undertaking “the largest humanitarian aid operation in its history”.

Gulyas pointed to surveys showing that over 50 percent of people now get their news from online sources, while around 40 percent get it from television and the rest from print media.

He acknowledged that media must function as a business, but said journalists who “work actively and well” should not be allowed to be laid off because of a lack of support.

Arpad Janos Potapi, the state secretary in charge of policies for Hungarian communities abroad, noted that 1.15 million ethnic Hungarians had taken oaths of citizenship, adding that more than 318,000 ethnic Hungarians had voted in the last general election, 94 percent of whom had backed the current government.

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