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Jan 12, 2018 - Zoltán Kovács

That day when the Romanian PM threatened to hang ethnic minorities

Responding to Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose’s claim that the Szekler people will hang next to their flag, if they dare to fly it, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said that threatening an ethnic minority with execution is unacceptable

“Should that [Szekler] flag fly in the wind, those responsible for it will hang next to it,” Romanian PM Mihai Tudose said in an interview with Romanian Realitatea TV, responding to the recent meeting of Hungarian parties in Romania to synchronize their concepts of a potential Szekler autonomy.

The response from the human rights activists? Crickets. At the time of writing, the Associated Press had run the story, but that was about all.

This primitive, threatening tone is intolerable in European politics and, needless to say, not exactly in harmony with European values. During his press conference this morning, Minister Szijjártó said that the Romanian ambassador had been summoned to the MFA, but the ambassador offered only “some grammatical explanation”.

“We demand that the prime minister of Romania, the Romanian Government, that they urgently clarify the situation,” Minister Szijjártó said, because “threatening an ethnic minority with execution is unacceptable.” The Romanians have a commitment going back to 1918 to guarantee equality to non-Romanians and their right to national cultural autonomy.

I’m also hoping to hear a little outrage from the social justice warriors and human rights groups who were quick to denounce Prime Minister Orbán for building a fence to stop illegal immigration. Is it okay with those human rights advocates for a European prime minister to threaten an ethnic minority like this?