“While maintaining our friendship and unconditional commitment towards Ukraine, we will make a stand in the strongest possible terms against any and all efforts to restrict or threaten with restriction the success and prosperity of Subcarpathian Hungarians and their continued existence as Hungarians”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy declared on Wednesday in Beregszász (Berehove) at a ceremony to commemorate Hungary’s 15 March national holiday.
At the ceremony held at the Petőfi statue in the city centre, Levente Magyar stressed: “We are one of those people for whom the glorious events of the distant past are not just memories and not simply red letter days on the calendar which one ought to and must commemorate, but are events that to us bear relevant messages even under today’s circumstances, and from which on each occasion we must draw strength for the struggles of today”.
“This is particularly relevant for the Hungarians of Carpathian Ruthenia, because no other part of the Hungarian nation must face such challenges and difficulties as the Subcarpathian Hungarians”, he added.
This year, the Hungarian Government is continuing the economic development programme it launched last year, within the framework of which in 2016 funding was provided to over a thousand Hungarian businesses in Carpathian Ruthenia from a budget of two billion forints (EUR 6.5M), he told those present.
“Today, we are launching a 20 billion forint programme, meaning that in 2017 the Hungarian budget will be providing some 70 million euros in funding and preferential loans to Subcarpathia with the goal of providing tangible assistance to enterprises here, primarily in the fields of agriculture and industry, and will be jointly establishing businesses that will thousands of people living here with jobs and a perspective for thousands of families living here, indicating that there can be prosperity and the is a Hungarian future in Carpathian Ruthenia”, Mr. Magyar explained.
“The economic development programme offers a market for tens of thousands of people working in agriculture, who struggle day after day to stay afloat”, he noted.
“This is a huge opportunity, the likes of which Subcarpathia has never experienced”, he said.
“We must be on continuous guard to prevent the rights we have acquired from being restricted, because there are constant attempts to do so”, the Minister of Sate declared.
“While the Hungarian Government’s solidarity with regard to Ukraine is unbroken, which is also expressed with relation to the issue of visa free travel, and while maintaining our friendship and unconditional commitment towards Ukraine, we will make a stand in the strongest possible terms against any and all efforts to restrict or threaten with restriction the success and prosperity of Subcarpathian Hungarians and their continued existence as Hungarians”, he explained.
Drawing a parallel between the revolutionary events in Hungary 169 years ago and the processes currently occurring in Ukraine, President of the Cultural Association of Hungarians in Subcarpathia (KMKSZ) and Member of the Ukrainian Parliament László Brezovics highlighted the fact that stability and internal security cannot be established in a mulita-national country if the rights of the minorities living there are not assured.
“It is for this reason that we cannot understand the planned measures that would attempt to revoke and restrict our rights in a war-torn Ukraine that is struggling with internal problems”, he said. “The Hungarians of Subcarpathia will make a stand in favour of protecting our Hungarian teaching and language rights, and supports our right to dual nationality”, he pointed out, with relation to which he announced that over 60 thousand people had signed the petition to protect the rights of Hungarians in Ukraine thanks to joint efforts on the part of Hungarian organisations and Churches.
Consul General Endre Szalipszki from Hungary’s Consulate General in Beregszász read out a letter to cross-border Hungarians from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to mark the national holiday.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)