“Our faith in the fact that the Hungarian peoples of Transcarpathia do have a future is unwavering, as also corroborated by the fact that the Transcarpathian Hungarian community has successfully made use of the over 18 billion forints (EUR 55.2 million) in economic development funding provided to it by the Hungarian Government over the past 2.5 years for its own construction”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Parliamentary State Secretary and Deputy Minister declared on Thursday in Berehove (Beregszász), Ukraine, where he announced new economic development programmes and tender opportunities.

In his speech before hundreds of Transcarpathian Hungarian entrepreneurs in the assembly hall of the Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education, Deputy Foreign Minister Levente Magyar emphasised that: “The Hungarian Government remains committed to reinforcing Hungarian life in Transcarpathia, including via reinforcing Hungarian enterprises that provide people with jobs and keep young people in place”. “Meaning this isn’t a one-time flash in the pan, but a policy of the mother country that has become constant, and which is confirmed by figures such as the fact that we have processed 24 thousand successful tender applications over the past two and a half years, and the total value of the funding provided to date exceeds 18 billion forints (EUR 55.2 million)”, he highlighted. He announced that from 15 July agricultural entrepreneurs and farming families will be able to apply for new kinds of funding, and the announcement of further economic development programmes can be expected during the next six months.

The politician expressed his appreciation of the Ede Egán Transcarpathian Economic Development Centre, which distributes the funding, for “the enormous amount of work that it has performed from the very beginning in the interests of realising this huge task”. He also thanked Transcarpathian Hungarian entrepreneurs for having the courage to plan a future despite the difficult situation in Ukraine. “Without this faith, there would be no Hungarian life in Transcarpathia and no strong Hungarian community”, he pointed out. Mr. Magyar said that in his opinion the changes going on in Ukrainian domestic politics are giving rise to confidence, and there is a chance that decisions are made in Kiev that are favourable to the Hungarian peoples of Transcarpathia. “There is a good chance that they will finally leave us alone, and we have never wanted anything other than to be left alone because we have never had any demands that are incompatible with Ukrainian state interests”, he said.

The Deputy Minister also spoke about the fact that the successful continuation of the work that began two and a half year ago indispensably requires the representation of the Transcarpathian Hungarians in Ukrainian legislation. “It is important that László Brenzovics, who has filled this role to date, continues to be there, and accordingly Transcarpathian Hungarian voters must come to the correct decision at the 21 July elections”, Mr. Magyar explained. In his speech, President of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) and Member of Ukrainian Parliament László Brenzovics called the economic development funding provided to Transcarpathian Hungarian businesses by the mother country extremely successful. Mr. Brenzovics said that in his evaluation this is thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of Transcarpathia Hungarians, as indicated by the fact that the number of Hungarian enterprises taking part in the tenders in the county is 5400, 3000 of which have been newly incorporated. “Travelling around the Hungarian settlements of Transcarpathia, one can see beautiful things all over the place, including greenhouses, horticultures, tractors and machinery, all of which are due to Hungarian economic development funding”, he said.

The KMKSZ President condemned the fact that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has been performing a criminal investigation against the Ede Egán Economic Development Centre for months for lleged separatism, and is continuously harassing its staff and calling them in for questioning, whereas the operation of the organisation is absolutely lawful and transparent. “It is most gladdening that not even this huge pressure could dissuade Hungarian entrepreneurs from submitting tender applications”, he pointed out. Mr. Brenzovics thanked the Hungarian Government for its economic development funding and asked those present to take part in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections in as large numbers as possible and vote for the candidates of the Transcarpathian Hungarian community.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)