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Szijjarto encourages Romania Hungarians to participate in April 3 vote

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has encouraged dual Romanian-Hungarian citizens to cast their ballot in Hungary's parliamentary election set for April 3, and pledged the government's continued support to Romania Hungarians if the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance wins.

Speaking in front of a Reformed church built with the Hungarian government’s assistance in Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyorgy), the minister noted his government’s efforts to “strengthen and support” ethnic Hungarian communities ever since 2010, and insisted that the upcoming vote would “fundamentally determine the future of both Hungary and ethnic communities across the border”. Encouraging ethnic kin to vote, he said “every vote counts, not a single vote should be lost”.

With Fidesz staying at the helm, the government will carry on with its economic promotion programme for Hungarians in Romania, continue to provide assistance to local kindergarten and school construction, aid to religious communities and go on financing cultural and sports programmes, Szijjarto said.

Concerning the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, Szijjarto said it was “a crucial stabiliser in Romania’s domestic politics” and that its being a part of the Romanian government “clearly has a positive impact on bilateral cooperation”.

Answering a question, Szijjarto said bilateral ties with Romania were “at their best in ten years” but added that the government was working to further improve those relations. The government is planning to further develop cross-border infrastructure, he said, adding that he hoped the two countries could strike deals concerning energy supplies, too.

“We live in each other’s neighbourhood and we are interested in each other’s success; it is high time each player on either side recognised that,” he said.

Meanwhile, addressing a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial of Szekler martyrs in Siculeni (Madefalva), in central Romania, Szijjarto said the April 3 general election would decide whether Hungary would have a government pursuing policies focusing on enforcing Hungarians’ national interests, or if the country would see a return “to the era of subservience to imperial will”.

The massacre of 1764 made the Szekler locality a symbol of courageous resistance to the cruelty of imperial oppression, the foreign ministry cited Szijjarto as saying.

On January 7, 1765, the troops of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, retaliated a protest by some 2,500 Szeklers who refused to serve in the Habsburg army.

“Madefalva reminds us how cruel an imperial logic wanting to bend everything to its will can be just because a community has a different vision for its future, thinks differently about its fate and dares to make all this clear,” the minister said.

“The only way we have a chance of standing up to imperial will is if there are enough of us and if we’re organised enough,” Szijjarto said. “Otherwise not only will we not be able to enforce our truth, but we could lose everything we fought so hard for: our homeland and our freedom.”

“Our task is to continuously strengthen our nation and national unity so that we are not overrun by the imperial aspirations that are constantly besieging us,” he said.

“In just a few weeks the Hungarian nation will again have to make an important decision,” Szijjarto said. “It will again decide whether Hungary is to see a return to the era of subservience to imperial will or if we can continue to enforce our national interests as we began twelve years ago.”

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