Hungarian nation’s unification should continue through constitution, says Tokes

Budapest, March 25 (MTI) – The unification process of the Hungarian nation should continue through the new constitution, Hungarian MEP of Romania, Laszlo Tokes said after his talks with Hungarian President Pal Schmitt in Budapest on Friday.

He said it was important that Hungary’s new supreme law would include in its main chapters a section stipulating that there is one Hungarian nation as a whole and the Hungarian state bears responsibility towards ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries,

In this framework, ethnic Hungarians beyond the borders should be given the right to vote in Hungary, said Tokes, adding that Schmitt had expressed agreement with this view.

Tokes said that as president of the Council of Autonomy for Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin (KMAT) he would initiate launching the Hungarian version of UNESCO’s World Heritage Programme, to be dubbed Hungarian National Heritage Programme.


EU Presidency – Ministers sign letter on intent on Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve

Budapest, March 25 (MTI) – Hungarian Minister for Rural Development Sandor Fazekas and his Austrian, Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian counterparts on Friday signed a letter of intent to set up the Mura-Drava-Danube Cross-border Biosphere Reserve.

Before the signing event, Fazekas said this would be the first cross-border biosphere reserve in the region.

Director of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Danube-Carpathian Programme, Andreas Beckman, said this would be the largest biosphere reserve and the first in the world to be created jointly by five countries.

The five participating countries agreed to set up a 15-member coordination body that will control the steps required to gain the biosphere reserve status.

The reserve will cover a large and diverse area from the Alps to central Hungary between the rivers Danube and Tisza, Fazekas said. It will stretch from the Julian Alps in Slovenia to Kopacki Rit in Eastern Croatia, along the Mura and Drava valleys and the confluence of the Drava and Danube, he added.

Fazekas said after Friday’s informal meeting of EU environment ministers in Godollo that a strategy on the protection of European waters is planned to be prepared next year. The Hungarian presidency would like to get council recommendations approved in June, he added.

“Water is national heritage and the most important natural resource in the 21st century,” Fazekas said.


State sec to propose writing forint into constitution

Budapest, March 25, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Mihaly Varga, Prime Minister’s Office state secretary, on Friday said he would propose inserting a clause into Hungary’s new constitution making the forint the official currency of the country.

Budapest, March 25, 2011 (MTI-ECONEWS) – Mihaly Varga, Prime Minister’s Office state secretary, on Friday said he would propose inserting a clause into Hungary’s new constitution making the forint the official currency of the country.

“If Hungary adopts the euro, then the text of the constitution will have to be changed,” Mr Varga said.

Changing the constitution requires the votes of two-thirds of MPs.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said earlier that Hungary’s eurzone entry is “unimaginable” before 2020.


State secretary discusses church issues in Romania

Bucharest, March 25 (MTI) – Laszlo Szaszfalvi, Hungary’s state secretary in charge of church issues and ethnic minorities, discussed topics including restitution for Hungarian churches in Romania, the situation of the Orthodox Church, as well as using the mother tongue in services for Csango Hungarians, during talks in Bucharest.

Szaszfalvi told MTI on Friday that his Romania visit was aimed at continuing the dialogue between Hungary and the Orthodox Church, as well as to strengthen the role of traditional Hungarian churches in Romanian society and in the preservation of cohesion between the Hungarian community.

During talks with Orthodox Patriarch Daniel, Szaszfalvi urged that the restitution process involving Hungarian churches in Romania should be accelerated. He also told the patriarch that Hungary was mulling an agreement with the Orthodox Church under which its organisations in Hungary would receive the same subsidies as other traditional churches in the country.

At a meeting with Apostolic Nuncio Francisco-Javier Lozano and Roman Catholic Archbishop Ioan Robu, Szaszfalvi reviewed issues around the minority Hungarian churches, including the possibility of providing services to Csango Hungarians in Moldavia in their mother tongue. The nuncio voiced full support to that possibility, while the archbishop suggested that local church authorities should be approached with a request, Szaszfalvi said.