Romanian president criticizes Orban for his statements about “mixing races”

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s recent statements about race during a visit to Romania and called on the country’s UDMR party, which represents ethnic Hungarians, to clarify its position on these statements.

This was reported by Ukrinform with reference to Radio Liberty.

“It is wrong and unacceptable in principle for a European official to speak on a public stage based on racial theory, which led to the most terrible catastrophe of the 20th century,” Iohannis said at a joint press conference on July 29 in Bucharest with Moldovan President Maia Sandu .

Iohannis drew attention to the location of Orbán’s statement, the Romanian province of Transylvania, which has a significant ethnic Hungarian minority. In his opinion, this adds seriousness to the remarks of the Hungarian prime minister.

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The Romanian president also called on the UDMR, which is a junior partner in the country’s ruling coalition, to publicly clarify its position on Orban’s statements.

UDMR leader Hunor Kelemen, also vice prime minister, and several other ethnic Hungarian ministers accompanied Orban during his stay in Romania. They were noticed when they applauded his statements.

“They will have to explain whether they agree with the content of the speech they applauded,” Iohannis said.

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In response to this call, UDMR speaker Silla Gegedus said on July 29 that Orban’s remarks were taken out of context and her party “is not under any obligation to provide any explanation.”

Earlier, Kelemen told Hungarian-language media that Orbán does not have “a drop of racism in him,” and his words were misinterpreted.

With all that, some critics in Romania are calling for Kelemen to step down and for the UDMR to leave the coalition. However, senior officials from the two main parties of the coalition – the Social Democratic and the National Liberal – did not support these calls and, apparently, were ready to ignore the incident, arguing that the withdrawal of the UDMR from the government could provoke a new political crisis in the country.

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Meanwhile, Orban’s longtime adviser Zsuzsa Gegedyush, who on July 26 criticized the speech as a “pure Nazi text” and resigned, reversed her decision on July 29, reversing her decision to step down.

In an open letter cited by Hungarian media, Gegedyush said she changed her mind after hearing Orban’s explanation the day before in Vienna, where he said his words were “misinterpreted.”

Despite this, she subsequently confirmed that she was leaving the position of Orban’s adviser.

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As reported, far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in his recent speech in the Romanian city of Beille Tusnad opposed the mixing of European and non-European races, which led to the indignation of opposition parties and a number of European politicians. In his speech, the head of the Hungarian government also made an anti-Semitic joke about gas chambers and sharply criticized Western military support for Ukraine, positioning himself as Russia’s main ally in the European Union.

Hungary is a NATO member, but the far-right Orban has a long-standing warm relationship with Putin and spent five hours in Moscow talking to the Russian leader in February, shortly before the Russian invasion.

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