After a heated exchange of statements coming from Romania and Hungary last week about the unofficial flag of the Secuiesc land in Romania, which is inhabited by a Hungarian majority in the area, Romania’s President Traian Basescu followed up with a comment. Basescu, who met Hungarian PM Viktor Orban at the European Council summit in Brussels last week (both in picture), said upon his return home on Sunday (February 10 ) that he will never encourage the use of illegal insignia on the Romanian state’s institutions. “But it depends how we approach this, without propaganda, without pathos, but with the law at hand,” said Basescu. He explained why he was laughing when talking to Viktor Orban, as seen in the official EC pictures. “It is true I was laughing, but while saying: be careful when carrying the piano on the stairs with the nationalist issue,” Basescu explained.
He further commented on the sparks between Romania and Hungary on the flag issue: “The solution is responsibility. […] Certainly, there were small gestures, reprehensible, but promoting, and pushing the nationalist theme during the current economic crisis looks like irresponsible behavior, both in Budapest, and in Bucharest,” Basescu said.
The recent incident involving the unofficial flag of the the Secuiesc region, or Székely Land triggered comments from both the Romanian and Hungarian sides, which could fuel a bigger diplomatic quarrel. After the state secretary of Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Nemeth Zsolt said that Hungarians from Transylvania are subjected to a symbolic aggression and asked all mayors in Hungary to display the Székely region flag, it was Romania’s turn to respond. Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta asked the Foreign Affairs Minister to take a firm position and say that Romania does not accept impertinence anyone from abroad or lessons about how local authorities should work and which flags should be flown. The set of comments came after the Székely Land flag was recently flown at the investiture ceremony for the new Covasna county prefect, but was taken out of the room by Romanian authorities. More about it here.
(photo source: European Council)