Romanian-Hungarian relations: Ethnic strife and corruption

The first Orbán government, between 1998 and 2002, managed to alienate practically all of its neighbors, so the past five years can be viewed as something of an improvement. Budapest now proudly claims to have excellent relations with Slovakia and Serbia. Relations with Croatia are less rosy, and as far as Romania is concerned, the two countries’ relationship is outright disastrous. Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Victor Ponta of Romania have never officially met. I don’t know about Orbán, but Ponta said that he has no intention of meeting face to face with his Hungarian namesake.

There are several reasons for the strained relations between the two countries, chief among them the Orbán government’s constant interference in the affairs of the large Hungarian minority in Romania. There exists an ethnic Hungarian party in Romania, Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség (RMDSZ) or Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România (Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania), which since 1996 has often been part of the government. RMDSZ is a right-of-center party whose leaders always had better relations with Fidesz than with the socialist-liberal governments. For many years the chairman of the party was Béla Markó, a poet of some renown. In 2011 he was followed by Hunor Kelemen, another writer. I don’t follow Hungarian ethnic politics in Romania, but my impression is that Kelemen has much closer ties with the current Hungarian government than his predecessor did. Moreover, while Markó used to be proud of his party’s achievements as far as the rights of the Hungarian minority were concerned, Kelemen is much more critical of Bucharest and often harshly criticizes Romanian minority policies. Only a few days ago he complained to the president of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, about the grievances of the Hungarian minority. Kelemen reproached the Venice Commission for praising Romania’s minority policy without consulting with RMDSZ, the representative of that minority.

But there are other issues of more recent vintage. One is Viktor Orbán’s pro-Russian policy, which Romania, boxed in between a less than friendly Russia on the east and a pro-Russian Hungary on the west, disapproves of. Another matter that divides the two countries is that while Hungary has been pursuing a less than friendly foreign policy toward the United States and is a very unwilling participant in the trans-atlantic alliance, Romania wholeheartedly supports it. From the vantage point of Brussels and Washington, Romania is a country that is heading in the right direction while Hungary is not.

In the last few years there were relatively few meetings between the Romanian and Hungarian foreign ministers. The last time a Hungarian foreign minister visited Bucharest was in 2013. Last February Romanian foreign minister Titus Corlățean was in Budapest, but it was not an official visit. He came to meet the foreign ministers of the Visegrád Four.

But now Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu came to Budapest on official business. He and his Hungarian counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, were supposed to sign a memorandum on minorities: Hungarians in Romania and Romanians in Hungary. According to the 2011 census there are 1,227,623 Hungarians in Romania and 35,641 Romanians in Hungary. Although apparently both sides wanted to sign the memorandum, at the end the two foreign ministers couldn’t agree on any of the ethnic issues. During the meeting they did sign some agreements on roads to be built and the opening of border crossings, but the ethnic issues seemed to be insurmountable. According to vs.hu, an internet news site, Zsolt Semjén, deputy prime minister in charge of minority policies, put pressure on Szijjártó not to move an inch on certain issues.

Bogdan Aurescu and Péter Szijjártó / MTI-MTVA / Photo: Tibor Illyés

Bogdan Aurescu and Péter Szijjártó / MTI-MTVA / Photo: Tibor Illyés

One topic that came up in the conversation will add to the poisonous relations between the two countries. That is the case of Attila Markó, a Romanian-Hungarian politician, who is currently sought after by Interpol and who is hiding in Budapest. And that takes us to the Romanian Anticorruption Directorate (Direcţia Naţională Anticorupţie/DNA) and its fearless prosecutor, Laura Codruța Kövesi.

I first read about her in a fairly lengthy New York Times article. Although DNA was originally established by the Romanian government in 2003 to placate the European Union, apparently the Romanians never meant it to be a serious corruption-fighting agency. Once Kövesi took over, however, things changed radically. Since 2013 several very important Romanian politicians have been charged and found guilty, including former prime minister Adrian Năstase and Dan Voiculescu, a politician and businessman who received a 10-year jail term for money laundering.

DNA became interested in Attila Markó, a member of the Romanian parliament and earlier undersecretary in charge of minority affairs. Markó was a member of the committee responsible for the restitution for confiscated property during Romania’s communist period. According to the charge, Markó and seven other members of the committee overpaid the claimants to the tune of 85 million euros. Markó in an interview with András Stumpf of Mandiner expressed his distrust of the Romanian justice system. In addition, he claimed that “the Romanian state is using the fight against corruption to decapitate the Hungarian political elite. To date there were too few Hungarians among those arrested.” So, Markó wants to make an ethnic issue out of a possible corruption case.

Of course, I have no idea whether Markó is innocent or guilty, but his claim that DNA is after him because of his ethnicity doesn’t ring true. After all, all eight members of this particular committee have been charged, and surely not all of them are Hungarians. Moreover, Laura Kövesi (née Laura Lascu) has lived all her life in near proximity of Hungarians. She was born in the county seat of Kovászna/Kovasna County, a predominantly Hungarian town in the middle of the Szekler region of Transylvania. She attended law school in Cluj/Kolozsvár, which also has a fairly large Hungarian population. And finally, judging from the name by which she is known today, she is or was married to a Hungarian. So, all in all, I doubt that Markó’s accusation is well founded.

Markó’s name apparently came up during the negotiations between Bogdan Aurescu and Péter Szijjártó. The Romanian foreign minister asked his colleague to inform the appropriate authorities about the international warrant issued for the arrest of Attila Markó, but Szijjártó refused to get involved, claiming that the foreign ministry has no authority in such matters.

I’m certain that we will hear the name of Attila Markó in the coming months because I doubt that the Hungarian authorities will extradite Markó to Romania. The Orbán government, which already has the reputation of doing nothing to combat the rampant corruption in Hungary, will now be in the unenviable position of harboring an allegedly corrupt politician from Romania.

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i-doubt
Guest

Hungarian Spectrum could invite Akos Kertesz to contribute an electrifying authentic report on today’s Hungary.

Theo Spilleman
Guest

good relations with Servie/Serb:good traject for agriculture products trade with Russia!?!?

Zombieee
Guest
OT: How Greepeace lost the Paks 2 debate. “Pedig Haverkamp szakmailag felkészült ember, aki fontos és jó kérdéseket tett fel, amikor végre a témával foglalkozott, de eddigre már mindenkit maga ellen hangolt. “Mind a kettő buzi” – mondta mögöttem valaki a hollandra és magyar tolmácsára, amivel nagyon szépen össze is foglalta a magyar közvélemény és a civil szervezetek bonyolult kapcsolatát. A Greenpeace-nél a balhézás a taktika része, és ez tökéletesen megfelel most azoknak, akik Paks bővítéséről döntöttek, hiszen addig sem az igazán fontos, még jóval a környezetvédelmi témák elől tisztázandó kérdésekről van szó. A közmeghallgatást az előírásoknak megfelelően megtartották, a halaknak jó lesz, a denevéreket befogják, és továbbra sem tudunk semmit arról, hogy minek nekünk ez az egész.” Rural Hungarian people want calm, serious, polite, average looking people, not unlike Aszódi (coming from rural backgrounds himself), the pro-Russian public head of the Paks 2 mission. And not obnoxious clowns like the usual Greenepace guys. With lots of efforts Mr. Heverkamp succeeded to turn everybody against him. People sitting behind the reporter simply said: never mind, what he says, “Both of them are faggots” Ie. the Dutch Geenpeacnik and his interpreter are well-dressed smartasses causing trouble but we believe the Hungarian… Read more »
D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

“erhaps it would be wiser to use a simple, decent Hungarian professor from rural backgrounds (not an intellectual type, jewish looking gay expert weighing 100 pounds) to debate the Paks 2 machinery”

Racism, homphobia, anti-semitism like you have just displayed there should never, ever be pandered to if Hungary is ever to have the chance of joining the civilised world.

And for your information the Liget project is deadin the water- the fact that elementswithin the Orbanist regime is saying it is dead because “of the EU” should tell you that.

dramatist
Guest
I disagree. There is a very good reason why Bill Clinton liked to use his Southern drawl when talking to rural people. Or there is a reason why W. Bush was sold as a folksy, salt of the earth, boy next door fellow despite having the most privileged upbringing possible. Rural people instinctively dislike people from “Pest”, from “DC”, effeminate smarteggs with university degrees telling them that according to the current Western standards they have to live like this or think like that way and that they are racist so they should not say this or that. They like structure and discipline and authority. They hate and are very uneasy being in the same room with obnoxious, aggressive people (which is one of the many reasons they don’t like gipsies, who tend not to respect authority, hierarchy and institutions in general) however good intentioned they are. Unfortunately, in this new system rural folks (people outside Budapest and main cities) decide Hungarian elections. The Hungarian Left has been sending these messages relentlessly to rural folks for decades now, no surprise that the Left is hopeless everywhere outside Budapest (where it’s still weak, though). Come to think of it, the Conservatives just… Read more »
MusicLover
Guest

Sorry to dissent but I really can’t compare the recent UK campaign with anything Fidesz has done. And I think “left” “right” “rural” “urban” analogies between the UK and Hungary are totally misplaced and ill informed. But I’ll leave you to your rather exhausted stereotyping which you seem to deliver here on a daily basis (under an array of names)

Bendegúz
Guest

Right, there’s no similarity between the Tory’s – it turns out effective and successful – longstanding campaign against the EU and the dirty immigrants in order to take away voters from Ukip and Fidesz’ campaign targeting the big bad EU and now the – nonexistent – black, brown, poor immigrants in order to take away voters from Jobbik, an insurgent extreme right wing party challenging the dominant right wing party.

I would mention that the current Hungarian election system is now heavily first past post based, and wait could it be that the UK system was similar with a seemingly insurgent party on the right…..

No, sorry, there’s no similarity whatsoever.

Webber
Guest

The similarity in rhetoric lies between Fidesz and the BNP.
UKIP would look left-liberal in the Hungarian context.
Where is the British equivalent to Magyar Gárda and halálbrigád, hmmm?
A few too many differences, I think, to make comparison worthwhile.

csemegedió
Guest

@MusicLover

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Lynton Crosby’s firm would’ve been retained by Orban.

Századvég’s people and Habony were seen in London lately quite often and Orban’s new ideas are clearly from old Tory playbooks.

Many articles were written about the Australian Crosby aka the Lyzard of Oz, I suggest you read them and then you decide for yourself who’s more successful: the Conservatives vs. Labour, Fidesz/Jobbik vs. the Hungarian left. Or in other words: the aggressive, nasty assholes vs. the timid clueless lefties?

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/08/lynton-crosby-wedge-politics-general-election-tories

D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

Don’t to justify your previous disgusting racism, anti-semitism and homophobia.

If we follow your and your party’s logic then Jews, Roma and gay people should stay locked up behind closed door rather than being permitted to “engage” in everyday life- wouldn’t want to disturb the salt of the earth scum that (apparently) we should all be trying to encourage to vote for what is right and moral.

dramatist
Guest
Please don’t hyperventilate here seeing racism and homphobia everywhere among the commenters. It’s the voters who are very often those and it seems all over the “Anglo-Saxon world” (at least in the US, UK and Australia) certain acceptable conservative politicians dare to use these insights to their advantage. Australia is a perfectly acceptable democracy but what does it do with the refugees? It puts them into Guantanamo-like legal black holes and so on. By the way would you need to behave the same way in Budapest or in Kiskunlacháza, when the standards of acceptable behavior are different? One one must respect that difference. In Budapest in guess you may now hold hands if you are gay, probably not in Kiskunlacháza unless you want to turn people against you. Provoking (because this is seen as provocation there) people is never a good strategy with rural, conservative areas if you want to reach results. Western Europe is admittedly more gentlemanly but not Hungary where Fidesz has been using the extremely aggressive (and effective) Republican templates. Unfortunately once one or two parties refuse to participate in the political cartel to behave gentlemanly anybody who remains a “gentleman” will come across as out of… Read more »
D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

“Please don’t hyperventilate here seeing racism and homphobia everywhere among the commenters”

No, on this thread, I have only seen you employ racism and homophobia. and when it occurs, then it is the duty of any civilised human being to highlight it.

Decent people should never, ever pander to the kind of filth that people like you and your party are trying to exploit.

dramatist
Guest

Why, of why do you think (at least this is what I think you imply) my party is Fidesz or Jobbik? I’m no supporter of either, I didn’t even vote in 2014.

All I am saying is, I try to repeat: any opposition needs to pay attention to details like the conservatism of its target audience whether at a Paks hearing or generally in (rural) Hungary.

In a democracy (even in a system paying lip service to the concept) eventually people decide and if they are – in your terminology – racist or xenophobic (there are indeed many who are, I agree) then I’m afraid this is the material you have to work from, as you can’t sack the voters.

Repeating the same old xenophobia, homophobia charges ad nauseam will not get you anywhere politically, they are probably even counterproductive.

Why this is racism, I don’t know.

Truth
Guest

Wrong. Rural people and people of countryside Budapest represent the East in Hungary rather than the West. (The general infrastructure of Budapest resembles more to an Eastern European city than a Central European..) Western Hungarian great cities are more similar to Western European similar-sized cities. See the polls about antisemitism, Budapest is an anti-semite city, the real center of antisemitism in Hungary.

petofi
Guest

So, what’s needed is “…a decent Hungarian professor…rural…(not an intellectual…)…” Right!

In short, what they need is a Kover-type.
There’s got to be a lot of those around–a dime a dozen.

Hajra Magyarok!

ps–a Hungarian wouldn’t know a ‘debate’ if it bitch-slapped him in the face.

Andor
Guest

The Liget project — which is just the consequence of the Castle Project (ie Orban is moving up into the Castle) is absolutely on.

Orban decided to move into the Castle and thus any and everything necessary to make that happen will happen.

Only wussy lefties would give up their dreams, not Orban. Worrying about costs is for losers.

http://hvg.hu/kultura/20150508_L_Simon_szerint_nincs_kerdes_a_Varosliget

petofi
Guest

Woderful, Andor.
Is this the kind of stuff you teach your kids?

Hajra Magyarok! Morons of Middle Earth…

Webber
Guest

“hooray?” Money thrown at another “good cause?”
Been in a Hungarian hospital lately? Seen what it’s like? Bribed (horribly underpaid) nurses for basic care lately? Paid “paraszolvencia?”
Wonderful news, that – now that he’s run out of space for stadiums, Orban wants to build palaces in the sky.. Great.

Tafelspicces
Guest
Unfortunately health care is not such a big issue politically (see Labour’s utter failure with NHS as the main campaign issue), since people think they won’t get sick in the near future. And when they do, they think they will “solve it” somehow to get a better treatment. It’s too contingent. Plus even to contemplate health and mortality is too problematic to most voters, it requires a rational, clear head and campaigns are not about rational choices. The threat of foreigners, however, seems real and imminent, voters see them in the videos arriving as we speak. Just like with Netanyahu who recently massacred the israeli left-wing, racist campaigns do work. The left-wing ignores this at its own peril. By the way yesterday afternoon I went down to Spar to do some grocery shopping and overheard two lovely old ladies (in district 12): “And then they sign up for welfare and arrive with Audis”. I guess that was a reference to the Audi driving roma accepting the free pigs seen in the news the day before. This is what percolates down in Buda about Ms. Hegedűs’ activities — I guess Janos Lazar is happy. She distributed a 100 pigs and achieved… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Well, if you lot were right, Fidesz would have won the last local elections.
I rather think quite a lot of retired people – the largest demographic among voters – care quite a lot about health care. I also remember that Fidesz suddenly realized, in the last election, that a certain hospital actually meant quite a lot to local people.
Never mind. Just carry on imagining that what you overhear means the populace loves the Party and is lapping it all up!

Webber
Guest

As to Labour’s failure – they had gall to bring up problems with NHS: THEY created them. People remembered that.
Anyway, that’s not, in my view, why they took a trouncing. They took a beating in part because Milliband is about as good a speaker as a wet rag, and in part because Scotland, traditionally a Labour stronghold, turned to SNP. And Scotland did that because Labour politicians made promises to the people of Scotland, but within weeks of the referendum made it clear that they never meant to follow through on those promises.
The English, in their turn, surprised all by rejecting UKIP so very thoroughly.

In any case, I don’t see that that has ANYTHING at all to do with Hungary. Fidesz rhetoric is closest to the BNP’s – if he were British Orban couldn’t win a place the Woking council.

Táfelspicces
Guest
I agree with the Scottish part, but as you see Labour would still be seriously behind the Conservatives even if they won all Scottish districts. Even in popular votes Labour was behind the Tories by some 6% when I last checked. George W Bush couldn’t talk either and people loved him anyway (at least by his reelection they liked him better than Kerry). Merkel is not a great, charismatic orator either. Miliband in my view just didn’t come across (I guess partly thanks to the conservative campaign) as someone having leadership qualities. I think the negative /controversial campaign Crosby devised was working and was effective. Just like with the Israelis where the polls showed a tight game until the last day, the conservative, anti-immigrant, racist party eventually won. The problem with the left-wing is that it cannot say anything to the immigration issue. When in fact “The Labor pollster Rod Cameron organised groundbreaking focus groups to probe the underlying attitudes of swing voters, and found that while their interest in political ideas was “very low”, as he put it in a 1980 report, they were “hardline about ‘dole bludgers’ [scroungers], refugees etc”.” The Conservatives just use these insights out and… Read more »
Webber
Guest

I think Fidesz is so smeared with corruption in the eyes of the electorate now that by raising levels of xenophobia or racism it will just drive more voters into Jobbik’s arms (as opposed to some other party – never Fidesz). Only Fidesz’s hardcore supporters will vote for it now, and that group too is fading away – the stench of corruption is turning stomachs from Bagamér to Zsira.

Webber
Guest

Also, there seems to be an increasing conviction among people in the parts of Hu. that I visit that the Great O is either a pathological liar, or clinically insane – and perhaps both.

Webber
Guest
As to leftist “voters hate immigrants” in England – if you mean traditional working-class labour supporters among the English, you may just be right because these people have seen immigrants taking their jobs and undercutting their wages (current target of hatred: Hungarians and Poles, and all other E. Europeans), rather like working-class people in Budapest who voted against giving citizenship to Hungarians outside Hungary (“Romanians”) in that referendum – people who had seen Transylvanians hired and willing to work for even less than they would. When the working class sees immigrants as scabs because of wage undercutting – wages that could be undercut because labour policies that liberalized the labour market and immigration to the benefit of business – it’s hard to convince the working class that immigration is to their benefit (as Labour kept saying). On the other hand, however, some immigrant communities are staunch Labour supporters (many West Indians, for example). Indeed, some of them would like to see the party go even farther to the left. In Hungary – by contrast to Britain – recent surveys have counter-intuitively shown xenophobia and racism to be lowest among the poorest white Hungarians, and highest among the middle-classes (Murányi did… Read more »
Kálmán
Guest

I would disagree with your last sentence. Fidesz did go after those votes, it knew it needed those votes. Fidesz in 2006 and 2010 was sure that it had many important constituencies (the nationalists, the religious etc.) but it knew it did not have the panelproletariat.

But with all the rezsicsökkentés and other ideas (and as the left became hollowed out of ideas which would be attractive to those people) it gradually but successfully gained the trust of hose voters (not in Angyalföld or Újpest, perhaps, but essentially all panel projects in Hungary were owned by Fidesz in 2010 and in 2014 too).

Maybe not any more as Jobbik is getting strong too.

Of course traditional Fidesz/KDNP supporters of Buda still look down on those prolis, but the leadership realized that Fidesz needed those votes.

Webber
Guest

Think again: in 2014 Fidesz could not win in Angyalföld or Újpest or Kispest or Csepel or Zugló…. actually…, not in ANY of the districts with major housing “projects” (to use the American term), or “estates” (to use the British one) – not even with massive gerrymandering that put (for example) part of Kispest in a voting district with Pest-Lörincz (parts actually separated by a highway!). Kispest was so leftist in 2014 that it turned Lörincz Socialist.
So, I’d say that IF Fidesz cares about the panelprolik, the subjects of their “care” don’t seem to have noticed.
And I must say, other than “rezsicsökkentés,” I haven’t noticed either. Have you?

googly
Guest

You’re very wrong about Fidesz not winning in districts with major housing estates. They won the 12th electoral district, which includes the largest housing estate in the country, Újpalota, and all the election districts along the eastern edge of the city, which includes such major housing estates as the one in Rákoskeresztúr.

They also won in Gazdagrét and Kelenföld, but those aren’t your typical “panelprolik”, since they are in Buda (not Óbuda).

However, in the 15th electoral district (which includes Pestszentimre and the remainder of Pestszentlőrinc), the left probably would have won if the “Együtt” candidate had not run separately (no pun intended).

Also, what highway are you talking about?

seinean
Guest
I was looking forward to see some comments on the Hungarian-Romanian relationship… Ethnic strife and corruption. Both important topics and not necessarily directly connected in the views of ordinary Romanians. Obviously, widespread corruption leads to the empoverishment of all citizens – and can hence exacerbate latent ethnic conflicts. However coruption is perceived by the Romanian society as being rather a “Romanian issue”. The Hungarian community and the UDMR/RMDSZ are perceived as being less prone to corruption. The Hungarians in Romania do not live under a crystal dome. Allegations about corruption and missbehavior of some UDMR/RMDSZ politicians are decades old – if only to mention Mr. Attila Verestóy ( AKA “Cherestoi” – nickname from “cherestea”=lumber and the augmentative Romanian ending “oi”, AKA “Drujba lui Dumnezeu”=”God’s Chainsaw”). As many know – nowadays the anti-corruption spree, led by the public prosecutor Laura Kövesi, has taken Romanian political elite in a windwhirl. Tens – if not more than 100 – politicians that were really important in the last 25 years in Romania were put under accusation and many were allready convicted and serve or serverd prison terms for corruption related deeds. There is a good momentum now for forging anti-corruption attitudes and – why… Read more »
Truth
Guest

The engine of chauvinism is the Orthodox Church in Romania (and in many Esatern European countries where the Orthodox religion is the dominant)

Webber
Guest

But what is the engine of chauvinism among Hungarians in Romania?

Truth
Guest

The demand of minority rights does not represent chauvinism. Do not Forget: Minorities have autonomy rights in Western Europe. However romania based on the crude version of 18th century “Nation State” idea. Romania is a so-called “ethnic democracy”

Webber
Guest

I am not talking about the demand of minority rights.
I am talking about chauvinism among ethnic Hungarians in Romania. Please don’t pretend I am mixing the two up. You have done so.
If you want me to be more specific and truly don’t understand what I’ve asked: what about anti-Roma and anti-Semitic sentiments among ethnic Hungarians in Romania?
If the Romanian Orthodox Church is “the engine of chauvinism” among Romanians – even if I accept that as true – the question remains:
What is the engine of chauvinism among ethnic Hungarians in Romania?
Let’s not pretend there isn’t any – let’s be honest here.

seinean sabisan
Guest

“…engine of chauvinism is the Orthodox Church in Romania”

No kidding ? Are you 100% sure ? Maybe you care to provide some arguments as well for your statement.

Just a memento: an alias like “Truth” is hard to live by…

Truth
Guest
Orthodox Church and Xenophobia in the 21th century How is it possible that a “christian” church generates racism and xenophobia in the 21th century? Which are the social causes of that phenomenon? Google book results from 21th century (Books, UN reports , and writtings of western Sociologist scientists and Civil Right movements) There are more than 3 090 results for the relation of racism xenophoby and the Orthodox church. (it is an engine of ethnic hatred and chauvinism until this day) https://www.google.comu/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q=xenophobia+%22orthodox+church%22&gws_rd=cr&ei=yttNVZ3DNsraU5y0gJAJ#q=xenophobia+%22orthodox+church%22&hl=en&tbm=bks&source=lnt&tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:2000,cd_max:2099&sa=X&ei=MI7FUe6oG6OJ4ASHg4HwDw&ved=0CCIQpwUoAQ&fp=1&biw=1887&bih=996&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&cad=b&sei=WI7FUY-bKKvc4QS0j4HwAw UN. Dag Hammarskjöld Library : United Nations Documents Index: No.4 January-march 2004 – Page 107 …by the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, focuses mainly on the status and importance of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the situation of non- Orthodox Cristian Romocea : Church and State: Religious Nationalism and State Identification … – Page 137 Attempts at inner spiritual resistance and formal denunciations of xenophobic and anti-Semitic political activities came only … Conclusion The investigation of the history of Orthodox church–state relations has shown that Romanian Orthodox John Anthony McGuckin – The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, 2 Volume Set – Page 504 .. (over Estonia and Ukraine) and the R.O.C.… Read more »
seinean sabisan
Guest

The Romanian Orthodox Church has many issues – like the Romanian society. It is also affected by corruption. It is a “National” church and some of its servants do have a nationalistic-chauvinistic stance.

However claiming that the BOR is THE “engine of chauvinism” is more than excessive. The ethnic issues in Romania are far from being solely due to the BOR. Now maybe you can move on to the topic.

Guest

@Seinean:
“Truth” is a troll – it has appeared here under different names but its “writing style” is always the same:
Copy and paste a lot of irrelevant stuff …
Just ignore the creature!

seinean sabisan
Guest

Point taken.
Thank you, Wolfi.

googly
Guest

I value your opinion and contribution, Wolfi, but I disagree with you on the best way to handle trolls, especially the ones who actually provide footnotes and links. If you ignore them, people might (though probably not on this blog, but you never know!) be persuaded by their arguments. If you take a minute to dismiss them with superior logic or show their links to be worthless, it might just do some good. No need to spend a lot of time doing so, however. Also, it’s important that we don’t seem too dismissive if they are pretending to just contribute to the discussion, since that can make us appear arrogant and intolerant of dissenting voices, thus playing into the stereotypes propagated by Fidesz. Besides, you might just chip away at their resolve, and eventually cause them to question their stances. Not likely, but isn’t it worth the time and effort?

Engaging them in the right way does not boost them or assist them. I’m sure they would prefer to drop their little offerings here and be ignored, so they can move on to the next blog, mission accomplished. Let’s tie them up here and expose them in the process!

seinean sabisan
Guest

Facts like those described here http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsee/2015/04/14/corruption-and-anti-corruption-in-romania-finally-turning-the-corner/ have nothing to do with chauvinism and/or churches.

Webber
Guest

Eva’s post (above) could not have been more timely. An interview with László Tőkés has just been published in which he says Fidesz’s policies toward Hungarians abroad and Hungarian parties in Romania is impossible to understand. Tőkés has also claimed that a lot of (former) ethnic Hungarian Securitate agents, particularly ministers from the Calvinist church, have moved from Romania to Hungary where they are, he believes, still working for the Romanian secret services. Sooner or later, perhaps, Tőkés or other Transylvanians will realize that Orbán’s government has blocked lustration in Hungary, and is deeply corrupt as well, and they MIGHT then start connecting the dots.
Story here, for those who read Hungarian:
http://mno.hu/magyar_nemzet_belfoldi_hirei/tokes-laszlo-mar-en-sem-ertem-orbant-1285472

Kirsten
Guest

And is there some idea why Orban’s Hungary might be interested in protecting Markó…? Certainly it will not be the nationality alone.

seinean sabisan
Guest

One small erratum: Laura Kövesi was apparently born in Sfântu Gheorghe/Sepsiszentgyörgy, who is indeed the seat of Covasna/Kovászna county and has about 20% ethnic Romanian inhabitants.

Covasna/Kovászna is also the name of a town in the same county.

uftiyfwiviu Balaj
Guest
I’m afraid Romania-Hungary relations will only become worse before we’ll see any improvements. I would say the main reason for that is that both prime ministers are playing the nationalistic card back home. Victor Ponta has very few cards left to play (after losing the presidential elections last year) so he will point towards the Hungarian/Russian “threat” for scoring cheap political points. Luckily, his nationalistic tendencies are being curtailed by our current President (member of the local German minority himself). However, none of this is related to the corruption case against Attila Markó. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) is almost completely independent from any political interference so all corruption cases handled by them have absolutely nothing to do with ethnicity, sex or political affiliation. We’ve seen over 1.000 (that is one thousand, folks) high-ranking officials under trial & convicted with jail time in the last 2 years. People from across the political spectrum (former prime minister, current and former government ministers, private companies, mayors, high-ranking functionaries, etc), across the ethnic line (Romanians, Hungarians, foreign nationals, etc). All of this is a result of the good work of DNA its director Laura Codruta Kovesi, which has become hugely popular in Romania… Read more »
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