Reading through history I always find one amazingly big loophole in the political life of the Hungarian state, kingdom, republic and so one…The way it handles/handled its external relations and policies is just appalling. The examples are plentiful, but this year alone gave us some examples that were pretty much ignored or were not reacted upon by the Hungarian foreign ministry.
I remember how a couple of months ago there was a small diplomatic scandal, between Romania and Hungary, when the Hungarian presidential airplane was denied the right to land on a Romanian airstrip. If I recall well, the Hungarian president was on an unofficial visit to one of the battle sites of the Hungarian revolution of 1848-1849.
Further on, I recall how some time later there was a meeting between the two heads of state, Băsescu and Sólyom. Of course the question of the Szekler autonomy was razed as well. Now I personally just cannot comprehend how Basescu became the president of any country at all, but from a political point of view his reaction was exceptional. Basically he is the head of state of a country (in this case Romania), on an official visit to another country (Hungary) and he stands up for his country. His reply was straight forward:”Romania is a unitary, national state. Local autonomy’s are a must, but the same decentralization is needed in both Tulcea county and Harghita”. Although I have something against the notion of a “national state” and I am an advocate of autonomy for consistent regional minorities, the Romanian president’s response is straight forward. Where ever he is, he protects the interests of his country.
Later on, at the Tusvanyos summer festival, the leader of the FIDESZ (HU) party, which is going to win the upcoming elections, calls president Basescu a good friend and ally, but his words were said in a hurry, as Basescu was pretty clear that he doesn’t want to hear about the Szekler Autonomy.
Now today one of the newspaper’s headline, put it frankly, shocked me. So two words about the circumstances. In a southern Slovakian town (Komarno) the local government decided to dedicate a statue to Saint Stephen (the 20th of August is one of the national days of Hungary. Saint Stephen was the founder of the Hungarian Kingdom, in 1000 A.D.) and the president of Hungary was due to attend the unveiling. Now what happened? President Sólyom is stopped on the bridge linking Hungary and Slovakia, and he is denied entrance in Slovakia!! So the president basically turns around and goes home…Now first of all I completely dislike this Slovakian Government as the level of nationalism is sickening, and I just happen to have something with nationalists of any kind. But denying access of a country’s president on your territory is just outrageous. It is not Obama visiting North Korea. It implies two nations that are members of the European Union, who sort off have friendly relations, nations that share 1000 years of common history… So what the … just happened? And even worse, where is the Hungarian Government’s response? It is a clear sign of diplomatic hostility which demands a proper response…It is just like in the previous cases. Hungary seems to be incapable of protecting its own interests on the international forum and it is pretty worrying. A president of a country is still a president of a country and the denial of entry in another country is quite a serious diplomatic misstep that needs to be solved…
Utrecht 2009, 21st of Aug.