Hungary's president angers Romania's government
A few days after taking office, the new Hungarian President Katalin Novák visited Romania and met mainly Hungarian-speaking representatives there. While in Transylvania she posted on Facebook that she wanted to represent all Hungarians - whether they lived in Hungary or outside its borders. This elicited an annoyed response from Bucharest - which commentators, however, don't take entirely seriously.
People who live in glass houses...
Bucharest is applying double standards, writes journalist Sabina Fati of Deutsche Welle's Romanian Service:
“Relations between Romania and Hungary have cooled in recent years, which does not mean that Bucharest has not allowed Budapest to invest in Transylvania or exert its influence in this historic province. Romania has made these concessions because it wants to expand its own political, economic and cultural influence in the Republic of Moldova. Just as Romanians from Moldova vote in Romanian elections, Hungarians from Transylvania vote in Hungarian elections. Such distortions are not only electoral in nature, they will also have political repercussions in the future.”
This is not the 19th century!
The president's critics do not understand modern Europe, the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet comments mockingly:
“Now we have learned once again that no one but the Romanian state can represent Romanian citizens, and that with Hungarians a distinction must be made using their place of birth and citizenship as a pretext. We are not quite sure about that. Perhaps because our concept of the nation is more modern than that of the Romanian government. We do not believe in the nation states of the 19th century, nor in sacred and unchangeable allegiances, but in the borderless Europe, and accordingly in individual and civil freedom, regionalism and broad powers.”