Kövér in Cluj: Hungary sets the record straight

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By Modeste Schwartz.

Hungary/Romania – Viktor Orbán’s annual speech in Tusnádfürdő, now widely followed and eagerly anticipated, even by members of the international press, generally contains political professions of faith and strategic road-maps which extend far beyond Magyar-Romanian relations, or those of Hungary with its extra-territorial minority living on Romanian soil – they touch upon the future of Hungary as a whole, and often also that of the region, ever since the region has begun attempting to gain institutional identity, notably through the Visegrád Group, whose political engine is Orbán’s strong personality.

After a (too) rapid reading, one could interpret along the same lines the speech given last Monday by László Kövér (President of the Hungarian Parliament and a historical pillar of FIDESZ) at the opening ceremony of a series of Hungarian cultural events in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár, in Hungarian), the historical capital of Transylvania: based only on a quick review of the themes addressed, one would be falsely tempted to see only a sort of seismic aftershock of the very important speech delivered ten days earlier by Orbán at Tusnádfürdő, on this same Transylvanian land, and before a public seemingly consisting of this very same Hungarian national minority of Romania.

Appearances are deceptive. In Tusnádfürdő, located in the heart of the Szekler Land (an ethnic enclave where Hungarian-speakers are very much the majority, although it is located in the middle of Romania), Orbán was de facto speaking on Hungarian soil, before a public which included many leaders of his own FIDESZ party on a Transylvanian tour. Kövér, on the other hand, spoke in Cluj, where Hungarians are in a minority (15% according to official statistics – a little more in reality, particularly during the academic year, because of the temporary presence of many Szekler students in this university town). And if we read it carefully, we realize that Kövér’s speech was addressed primarily to the local Hungarian minority as a minority and to the Romanian majority that surrounds it.

Here is a significant passage:

“We Hungarians wish all our neighbours the same as ourselves: a sovereign nation-state, strong, capable of international collaboration, built not on the idea of national exclusiveness, but on respect for the dignity of its citizens irrespective of the ethnic group to which they belong; guaranteeing its identity, not only to the majority ethnic group living on its territory, but also to the national communities living there in a situation of demographic minority; capable of granting to all its indigenous communities the proper conditions for remaining in the country and prospering, against so-called global, external interests.”

Faced with a Hungarian minority in Transylvania politically loyal to FIDESZ in great majority by historical realism/opportunism, but whose urban elites seem mentally stuck in a globalist liberalism of the 1990s, Kövér sets the record straight, and now openly counteracts 27 years of hard work by the Soros-based civil society, strongly represented in Cluj, to convince the aforementioned minority that its minority status inevitably makes it hostage to the “Open Society” project – that is, that a society without collective identities, without roots and axiological hierarchies, the wet dream of MM. Soros, Attali, Habermas & Cie, would be the only one capable of guaranteeing the survival of this minority in the face of “Romanian obscurantism” (a local replica of “Russian barbarism”).

It was high time. Contemptuously disregarding the cultural conservatism of their rural hinterland, the Transylvanian (almost all liberal) Hungarian intellectuals have, at the present time, pushed the deleterious logic of the cult of minorities into its final consequences without retreating from any absurdity. On the occasion of the recent organization – by forceps delivery – of the very first Gay Pride Parade in Cluj, on local Hungarian-language forums there were numerous comments which stated without apparent humorous intent that it was the duty of all Hungarian (as a “minority”) to support the LGBT community. An appeal to reason written in Hungarian and signed by the author of these lines, seeking – without any homophobia – to re-establish the necessary distinction between statistical/structural (e.g. sexual) minorities and historical/territorial minorities (e.g. ethnic or religious), sent to the Főtér site – which nevertheless receives subsidies from the Hungarian government – was refused outright. Despised and ignored in Hungary for their decades of complicity with the pre-2010 neo-liberal and antipatriotic governments, the liberal rhetoricians in Budapest had even begun to build “castles in Transylvania”, describing in bucolic editorials the “Transylvanian exile of the Hungarians of European sensibility”, fleeing from “Orbanist totalitarianism”. In reality, it was just a bunch of Erasmus students (who have meanwhile returned to Hungary: could it be they have reconciled themselves with “totalitarianism”?), and a few loud-mouthed city-breaks to Bucharest by the sometimes socialist, sometimes liberal philosopher G.M. Tamás – one might consider, in view of his advanced age, that he has had the merit of acclimating in Central Europe to the Western fashion of devoting one’s senior years to tourism.

Kövér’s speech was also addressed to the Romanians, and here again it was potentially salutary. Indeed, if, on the Hungarian-speaking side of things, deep Transylvania largely disregards the liberal-globalist agitation of Transylvanian-urban news-sites such as Transindex, preferring to follow the Hungarian media (especially those close to FIDESZ), this agitation, duly relayed by its objective allies of chauvinist Romanian nationalism (dominated by a Magyarophobic and Russophobic propaganda cleverly fed by a segment of the secret services, and certain Atlanticist networks which I described in detail in another editorial), had wound up convincing scores of Romanian patriots – despite their open admiration of V. Orbán – that, at least on Romanian territory, the Hungarians were to be considered as perpetual stooges of the globalist agenda, engaged in a vengeful plot to dissolve the Romanian nation-state.

In wishing all of Hungary’s neighbours – thus implicitly also the Romanians – a strong state, Kövér very probably expresses a sincere wish of FIDESZ, who knows that in Bucharest he needs a patriotic and voluntarist counterpart, sitting like him on a solid Democratic majority, because countless precedents in diplomatic history show that this is exactly the profile of the ideal negotiating partner – situated in its own camp above all suspicion of treachery – in order to improve relations between Hungarians and Romanians, in particular by securing for the Szekler Land a status of autonomy (which, in spite of the statements of many Romanian publicists enjoying the affection of Berlin and Brussels, does not threaten Romanian sovereignty), by relaunching the process of regional integration now blocked by the refusal of Westerners to admit Romania (and thus also its port of Constanţa, on the Black Sea – a potential competitor to Dutch ports …) into the Schengen area – in short, to say it in the words of the great Hungarian poet Attila József (whose father was Romanian): “to put order in our common affairs”.

Will the Romanians get Kövér’s message? Will they finally understand that, caught between the interests and appetites of Westerners, Turks and Russians, they absolutely need the Hungarian alliance (and, a fortiori, the V4) to escape their de facto colonial status? As for the Hungarian minority, will it finally be able to resist the temptation to allow itself to be transformed into a Trojan horse of globalism in Romania and to renounce the posture of civilization-lecturing so dear to the liberal Hungarian intellectuals of Cluj? The future will tell. Meanwhile, we can only welcome the extremely constructive role that FIDESZ is now playing on the inter-ethnic chessboard of the Eastern Carpathians.


  1. Riiight. I almost hear Nagy Lajos wishing to Vladislav Bessarab to have an independent and strong nation-state. Probably you don’t know that the same play was performed over and over again in the last centuries. Why, but every self-respecting nation needs its own backyard, don’t they?

  2. Hello Modeste, this is a crude attempt at Hungarian 5th column propaganda. So now you are published by the Hungarians at Visegrad, and you cannot even spell the names of the Romanian cities in Romanian. You seem to have moved overnight into a new country, speaking of “a sovereign nation-state, strong”. Is that the nation-state of Romania or the nation-state of the Secui?

    Never mind the laughable concept of FIDESZ helping Romania stand on its feet as Romania, against . . . whom ? The Turks, the Russians? Come on! The Hungarians cannot sleep out of worry for the “dignity” of the majority of Romanians in their own country!?

    With an ax at the ready, right in the back of the nation that feeds you and shelters you and hosts you as a honored guest in the heart of Dacia, you now reveal why you are published by Visegrad.

    The “obscurantist” Romanians should kick you out altogether with your airs of journalistic impartiality, pretending that all you care about is the plight of the Romanian labor exploited by the “international” globalists. Is it better to be expropriated by the nostalgic Hungarian/Jewish compradors ?

    You, traitor to the country you are set to undermine, are now revealed.

    Some 6-7 million Hungarians will never again rule over nearly 30 million “strong”, indeed, Romanians (which includes the Moldovans, soon to be reintegrated).

  3. Dear Dacian,
    I am not really interested by your chauvinistic delirium (any reader with access to Wikipedia can make his own opinion about a guy talking about “30 million Romanians”).
    As for the “spelling”, as you call it (which shows that maybe you start learning English: in English, “spelling” is not a synonym of “translation”), indeed, the Szekler (not “secui”) place name Tusnádfürdő has a Romanian equivalent: Băile Tușnad – which I should have mentioned (as I should have mentioned the Hungarian equivalent of Cluj: Kolozsvár).
    Însănătoșire grabnică!

  4. Hello again, immodest Modeste,

    Let’s see what are your objections to my comments:

    1. Typical, an attempt at ad hominem attack. But let me tell you, I “started” learning English before you were born.
    If your take on one word used in a casual comment is all you found to be wrong, I am flattered. But the sad thing is that you are wrong even on matters of English. Now, for such an arrogant French Jew, let me educate you. “Spelling” is the right word when it comes to describe the use of foreign geographical names. Read this: RULES FOR THE SPELLING OF FOREIGN GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES, FOR OFFICIAL USE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    (Adopted by the United States Geographic Board, May 1, 1929)
    1. The names of major territorial divisions, such as countries, self-governing dominions, colonies, and protectorates, shall be spelled in accordance with conventional English usage.
    Examples: Germany, not Deutsches Reich; Finland, not Suomi.

    2. As for the more extreme attack by you, calling me a “delirious chauvinist”. Can you substantiate what part of my post was either chauvinistic or under delirium? I can say for sure that your calling the Romanian nation “obscurantist” is straight out of the book of ethnic denigration. I take great offense at such blatant ethnic denigrations by you, as well as by your sponsors at Visegrad, a pretty telling sign of your “chauvinistic delirium”.

    3. In 1985, before the counter-coup of 1989 and the following “time of troubles”, the Romanian population was officially just under 24 million, of which about 1.8 million were Hungarians. Add to that another 6 million Moldavians, at that same time. Plus, factor in some minimal rate of demographic growth over the last 35 years. Yes, there are roughly 30 million Romanians, true, some of them, like me, in the diaspora, but “strong Romanians” — with loyalty and attachment to their country. Wikipedia is CIA garbage, everybody knows that.

    4. And no, you should not have said “Kolozsvár” for Cluj-Napoca. Even by EU’s standards, a town under 20 percent minority population does not even remotely mandate dual “spelling”. It only shows again you hate of the nation in the middle of which you chose to infiltrate.

    Your intellectual pretensions are pathetic! Go back to school in. . . France!

    1. @3. There were never 24mil Romanians, highest figure ever was just above 21mil, and wonder why you include moldavians, since Rep. of Moldova is an independent country!?hello?

  5. Well, Claude…sorry, I meant Modeste, the simple fact that you forgot to tell even a word about how Mr. Kover spat on our laws and hurled a whole load of insults our way is a dead giveaway in respect to your intentions. So hear me out: you’re whipping a dead horse simply because no East or Central European country is insane enough as to replace the German economic jackboot with the Hungarian one. End of story. Visegrad is never going to be more than a stillborn foetus. Open a history book if you want to know how the Hungarian dreams of being the Alpha dog in the area ended. As for us…well, we learned how to deal with those who spit on us since 1330. We still have plenty of narrow valleys and loads of patience.

  6. Hahaha… big-mouthed chauvinistic trolls… if you love Romania that much, why do you leave her, căpșiunarilor?
    Go back to work, I’m sure there are some UK toilets there in need to be cleaned, and let Central Europe be built by Central Europeans. We don’t need migrants – maybe not even retro-migrants, if all they have to bring home is warmed-up ethnic hatred after 20 years in a suburb UK flat between to Paki families…

  7. And why did you leave your own country, my dear Modeste? Are the Romanian strawberries easier to pick than your own? It would really seem so if you found people stupid enough as to publish your fairy tales even you’re blissfully ignorant of almost 1000 years of history between Romanians and Hungarians, as well as of the fate of every political construction attempted around here. By the way, I find that some things remain true even after hundreds of years in a row: this country shelters too many cockroaches for its own good.

  8. I left the West because I am heterosexual (while others feel the need to join it, because… hm…). And no, I’m not that much into strawberries, so, based on this information, I let you guess what I’ve been picking in Romania. The shape is similar.

  9. Gross. Modest?! You are just a pig, a Jewish Pig!

    And for Visegrad editors: is that your standard of publishing? Are you underwriting such a Pig?

  10. Oh good, then you must have picked in Romania your only functional braincell. Although the poor thing is fated to die of loneliness, your achievement is truly remarkable considering that the West failed to provide you with either brains or sense. And it seems that you left West because you are…overcompensating. Much.

  11. O halcă de șorici contra unui volum de Șerban Papacostea, bunăoară “Geneza statului în Evul mediu românesc”. Seriously now, bre, dacă într-adevăr dorești să sprijini cauza Intermariumului (ceea ce, între noi fie vorba, n-ar fi chiar așa de rău, cu toate mofturile ungurești care vor veni la pachet, cuz better the devil you know than the one you’re about to know), documentează-te temeinic de cum stau treburile pe-aci in the last millenium (aci însemnând întreaga Europă Centrală și Estică) și propune soluții: cam ce-ar trebui să se petreacă pentru a putea avea o construcție politică, socială, economică, etc. care să meargă. În afară de a avea o umbrelă americană/chineză/ patagoneză. A bon entendeur, salut, bre!

  12. Romania might not have the freedom to decide at all on this matter, since it’s being run by a government constantly sabotaged by ngo’s (ngo’s who’d love to harness the emotional frustration of hungarian minorities in Transilvania, reason why they put equal sign between sexual and historical/ethnical minorities), by corporations (the new ‘legal person’ and type of migrator/gipsy, milking everyone and loyal to no jurisdiction!), at the root of mass migration, and by the foreign boys with the stars on the shoulders.

    Incidentally, these few past days workers in a shipyard owned by the dutch co Damen were on strike becuase of low wages (average pay €700/mth) and workers were told to either take the abuse or migrate!? http://splash247.com/strike-damen-galati-shipyard-enters-third-day/
    This is the same city where is located the blue chip 40 CAC steel prod. Mittal Steel part of a group that reported 234%increase in its earnings in first quarter of the year, compared to ’16, but a city that had 1/2mil ppl in the ’90s and now it barely has 200k ppl!?
    Overall direction seem to be distruction of legit govt and of the national borders, by reviving historical animosities, and external sabotage, local populations move out because, new boys move in, worst like in Afghanistan. One issue is that Romanian population seems to give up a bit too fast..

    However, Romania might find itself isolated, between Hungary setting the record straight with EU, Serbia, Bulgaria, even Rep of Moldova, and left with it’s overseas ‘strategic’ partners, who protect their national interest, in Romania!lol

  13. The author (who I often don’t like because of him being very biased – to some extent likely as a result of the misfortune of being French) is, however, definitely right on how people in Romania (especially those who don’t even live in Transylvania) have a Pavlovian reaction/pathological reaction against Hungarians. It’s ridiculous to believe that a minority which is less than 20% of a “historically disputed region” could dream of separating when history shows that the only separatist that have been successful are those with an overwhelming minority-majority which also happens to be in a border area, neither of which is the case for Transylvanian Hungarians. Romanians are extremely outdated when it comes to understanding international relations.

    @Jon: Galați never had “500K”, it had 320.000 people in 1992, and one has to admit that Communist industrialisation was stupid and simply unsustainable, regardless of the subsequent theft during the 90’s and 00’s (when the all-too-dear-to-the-author Social Democrats themselves participated in). But yes, the workers there are exploited, that’s a given, just like in many, if not most, international companies that function in Romania. Such are the joys of neoliberalism and universal suffrage.

    1. Well, if I’m not mistaken, back in 1940, the majority of the Transylvanian Hungarians weren’t placed anywhere near the borders either. However, Germany and Italy, in cahoots with the USSR, did find a prompt solution. Have you forgotten? As for some feelings nurtured by Moldavians and Wallachians, these particular feelings have been noted several centuries ago as being not directed against Transylvanian Hungarians but against the kingdom of Hungary proper. I suppose you know why. And by the way, if you don’t like the idea of having universal suffrage, you can keep the right to vote and I shall keep the right to bring out the pitchfork. Works for me.

      1. Intrigat, you have to be … rather limited to consider that conditions in 1940 apply today, since they don’t, which is why I specifically said that the understanding of international relations is outdated in Romania. If you believe WWII conditions still apply today, please be free to use a typewriter, crush your smartphone, etc. to understand the analogy.
        Please name me a successful separatist region post-WWII without a majority-minority. The ones I can think of (which are ongoing or already accomplished) all have the same defining feature which I’ve already mentioned and I’ll name some: Chechnya, Kurdish insurgency in Turkey/Iraq/Iran/Syria, Kosovo, Western Macedonia, Singapore, Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Balochistan, Kashmir, Transdnister, Krajina in Croaita, Srpska in Bosnia. The only one I can think of where there was a specific ethnic cleansing post-WWII to achieve that was the Abkhaz region of Georgia, where apparently Georgians were the majority and a lot were made refugees by a mixture of Abkhaz militias, Russian soldiers and Chechens (ironic consdering that Chechens themselves were separatists back then, but Caucasians – and Chechens – love to fight and will fight anyone just for the sake of it. They also did that even during the 90’s instead of being united against a Russian threat, alas Chechens – though brave, are hotheads whose main ocupation is internecine warfare and the Russians were also stupid enough to want to waste lives to get that smoldering rape camp).
        There’s the Uyghur case in Turkestan/Xinjang, but, alas, the Uyghurs stand no chance considering Chinese strength and the fact that they already heavily colonised the region since 1949. It sucks for them, I guess.
        So mr. Intrigat, I am definitely not intrigued by your profound ignorance. And stop believing it’s “only us” who would be the target of actual Versailles or Trianon revisionism. Ever heard of a country called Slovakia – where there’s an actual compact Hungarian minority alongside the Border? What about Northern Vojvodina in Serbia? Does the Benes decrees or the expulsion of Germans from what is nowadays Poland, the Czech Republic, etc. ring a bell? So stop regurgitating nonsense, there’s no chance our borders will be changed besides a more or less inevitable reunification which should have happened in 1991.

        1. Actually, I’m not that…limited as to think that the specific circumstances of 1940 would apply today. I rather think of tomorrow. Or of the day after tomorrow. I think as well of some historians from our favorite neighboring country writing around 1848 about a certain people having no chance to accede to the country’s leadership despite outnumbering by far other people who did lead the country. It took only 60 years for them to be proved dead wrong. Are you ready to bet on tomorrow’s geopolitical framework on account of today’s? I am not. And I’ve known for more than 600 years who am I dealing with.

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