Romanian president slams Orban’s race remarks, demands statement from ethnic Hungarians in gov’t

Foto: INQUAM/Raul Ștef

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Friday criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent remarks on race during a visit to Romania.

He also called on the ethnic Hungarian party, which is a junior party in the ruling coalition, to to clarify its position on the statements.


The Hungarian prime minister triggered international outrage after a speech he made in Romania last Saturday in which he warned against mixing with „non-Europeans.”

The comments sparked an outcry, with the United States calling his remarks „inexcusable.”

„It is wrong and inadmissible …. for a senior European dignitary to publicly deliver a speech  on the race theory that led to the most terrible catastrophe of the 20th century,” he said on Friday at a news conference in Bucharest with Moldovan President Maia Sandu.

Speaking at an event at Baile Tusnad, central Romania last Saturday, Orban told an audience of thousands: „We move, we work elsewhere, we mix within Europe, but we don’t want to be a mixed race,” a „multi-ethnic” people who would mix with „non-Europeans.”


Iohannis said that the place where Orban delivered his speech–Transylvania, a Romanian province which is home to a sizable ethnic Hungarian minority – added to the gravity.

„It is regrettable that a European dignitary delivers a public speech with an anti-European bias. That’s valid wherever that would occur. But the fact that this happened in Transylvania is a problem for us,” he said.

He called on the UDMR, a junior partner in Romania’s governing coalition, to clarify its position on the remarks.


Its leader Hunor Kelemen and several other ethnic Hungarian ministers accompanied Orban during his stay in Romania and were seen applauding his statements.

„UDMR needs to offer public clarifications since a significant part of its leadership and ministers were present at that event,” Iohannis said.

However, he rebuffed calls to expel the Hungarian party from the coalition saying it would be counter-productive.


Figures from the main two coalition parties, the Social Democratic Party and the  Liberal Party,  said that  the expulsion of the Hungarians could trigger anther political crisis in the NATO and EU-member country that has a long border with war-torn Ukraine.

Iohannis, despre discursul lui Viktor Orban: Este o eroare majoră şi este inadmisibil / Este nevoie de clarificări publice din partea UDMR



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