Adevărul: What will happen if Jobbik governs Hungary
Romanian media has taken notice of Jobbik's growing popularity and daily newspaper Adevărul published an interview with Jobbik's vice president István Szávay. The journalist was interested in Jobbik's opinion about certain issues that relate to both countries.
The interview was made by Dragoș Tîrnoveanu.
DT: According to a statement on your website, you declared during your latest visit to Northern Transylvania that if Jobbik gets into power, they will encourage Hungary-based companies to create jobs in Transylvania. Would these new jobs be available for Hungarians only, or other nationals as well?
SzI: In our opinion, Hungarian (and non-Hungarian, for that matter) companies investing into businesses beyond the border should consider two things: at least in the Hungarian-populated regions, their HR policies should give preference to people who can speak Hungarian as well, and use two or more languages of business within their corporation. In Hungary, we consider it natural that a German company requires its employees to have a certain command of the German language, as it may be important for business operation.
So the question is not whether Hungarian companies should give jobs to Hungarian people, but that at least in the Hungarian-populated areas of Transylvania, at least the employees of Hungarian companies should be able to speak Hungarian, since it is a demand of the local community as well. In the minds of Transylvanian Hungarians, OTP is a Hungarian bank. That is the very reason for many people to choose this bank for having their account there, so it is quite disagreeable if none of the employees speak Hungarian in an OTP branch office in Marosvásárhely or Kolozsvár. By the way, there are several examples of Hungarian companies like that within the Carpathian basin but outside the borders of Hungary, not to mention firms of other nationality.
I am convinced that if at least the Hungarian companies made a point of employing staff who can (also) speak Hungarian, they could better accommodate the needs of the local population. In addition, speaking Hungarian would become a competitive edge for job seekers, which would in turn weaken the resolve of Hungarian-speaking Transylvanians to emigrate, slow down the assimilation of Hungarians living outside Hungary and may help them to preserve their identity in their own homeland.
DT: You mentioned that Romania and Hungary have several common issues to solve, but any potential solution is delayed by the national security considerations of autonomy published by Romania's Ministry of Interior Affairs. Can you tell us which these common issues are and how they could be solved? What steps would Jobbik take against the strategy for public order and security recently issued by the Romanian Ministry of Interior Affairs?
SzI: Let me point out that territorial autonomy of native ethnic communities, which has been an existing and functional practice all over Western Europe, may never be considered as a potential threat to public security. On the contrary: I am convinced that it would strengthen the country that provides such autonomy for its native ethnic communities. Let me add that the autonomy of Szeklerland would boost the economic development of the local Romanian community as well. However, if the said strategy for public order and security is accepted, which I hope will never happen, then we must and will use every bilateral and international forums to struggle for its cancellation. Autonomy is not a potential separatist threat, and the criminalization of autonomy efforts cannot be considered as an internal affair of Romania!
In my opinion however, this is nothing but a wilful effort by certain Romanian politicians to divert attention from the country's intensifying problems; the corruption scandals of the Romanian political elite, the blatant abuse of parliamentary immunity as well as the social, economic and financial problems. That is why I said in Kolozsvár that if the Romanian political sphere was more transparent, Romanian politicians would less often play the ethnic card.
This brings us to former Romanian president Emil Constantinescu's statement that there is no "grand common goal that could unite Romanians and Hungarians". In my opinion, there are indeed very many common goals like that. For example, one goal is to halt the emigration of the young and not-so-young generations, ensuring them to get jobs in line with their qualifications, knowledge and skills so that they could prosper in their homeland, thus preventing an impending demographic and social disaster. Another goal is to prevent the economic exploitation and colonization of the EU's recently joined Central Eastern European countries and nations by the more advanced Western states. Further grand common goals could be to eliminate corruption, to solve the situation of the Gypsy community or to preserve and boost national cultures disdained and considered as outdated by globalist Brussels.
I hope that the responsible thinkers of the Romanian political sphere will realize the importance of these goals and finally stop scaring citizens with baseless accusations of separatism, which pointlessly impairs Romanian-Hungarian relations at group and individual levels as well. On the grounds of the above, I also hope that Romanian politicians will eventually reject the current draft strategy for public order and security!
DT: What is your opinion about cooperation with the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ)? According to Romanian media reports, you declared in Satu Mare that Jobbik was ready to closely cooperate with the Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania (EMNP).
SzI: What we see is that the Hungarian People's Party of Transylvania is a political organization that more firmly represents the interests of Hungarians in Transylvania. However, I believe it is important to emphasize that Jobbik endeavours to cooperate with all organizations representing Hungarian people. The depth and quality of such cooperation mostly depends on the other party, not us.
DT: Could Jobbik and RMDSZ cooperate in developing a common standpoint on the strategy for public order and security published by the Ministry of Interior Affairs?
SzI: The strategy for public order and security is like the matter of territorial autonomy for Szeklerland. The former must be opposed by everybody, while the latter must be firmly supported by everybody. Jobbik can and will cooperate with any political organization that shares the same common ground in this regard.
DT: What measures would Jobbik, Hungary's second strongest party implement for the interest of the Hungarian community in Romania? If your party gets into government in Hungary, how would that modify your goals?
SzI: At present, Jobbik is Hungary's second strongest political party and the only government-capable challenger of current government party Fidesz, the voter base of which is constantly shrinking. According to the surveys, 1.5 million dedicated voters support us. The most recent opinion polls show that we are merely 3% away from Fidesz, therefore the idea of Jobbik taking over the government in 2018 or even earlier is completely realistic.
I know that there are certain fears about that but let me point out a few facts. Jobbik is not Noua Dreaptă. We don't want to drive away anybody, we are not anti-Romanian, we are pro-Hungarian. It is not commonly known in the Romanian political sphere yet it is a fact that Hungary's act on ethnic minorities currently in force was amended by certain chapters proposed by Jobbik to render it easier for local national minorities, including the Romanian community, to use their mother tongues officially in Hungary. You can easily check this out in the website of the Hungarian National Assembly. When we get into government, we shall maintain this expansive approach to ethnic minority rights, because it is our core principle that Hungary must conduct an exemplary ethnic minority policy.
It is an unfortunate yet well-known fact that Romanian-Hungarian relations are currently at a very low point. Getting into government, Jobbik will restore Romanian-Hungarian dialogue at the highest levels too, including joint meeting sessions of the two governments as well as forums on cross-border infrastructural and economic development. We are convinced that nothing but the honest declaration of problems can help us find solutions that are fruitful for all parties. Meanwhile, we will take a more firm stance on supporting the rightful demands of Hungarian communities living outside our borders, we will promote such issues as the widest possible territorial autonomy, the existential and legal safety of Hungarians living abroad as well as their rights related to language use, culture and education. We believe that the tendency of Transylvania being a net contributor and Wallachia being a net recipient in Bucharest's fiscal policy must be stopped. This approach blocks the economic development of the Transylvanian Romanian community as well. We also want to promote Transylvanian companies keeping the centre of their business operation in Transylvania so that they could support the development and growth of local towns and villages by the taxes they pay. We are convinced that the Romanian and the Hungarian communities of Transylvania would equally profit from such arrangement.
By the end of its government term, Jobbik will have raised fivefold the amount of Hungarian state subsidy given to the Hungarian communities living abroad. Our intention is to promote Hungarian education, culture and economy abroad, in other words, to help Hungarians stay in their homelands, which also benefits the neighbouring countries since fewer of their tax-paying citizens will emigrate and they can truly feel at home in their homelands.
Adevarul - Itthon-ma - Jobbik.com