Vol. 1, No. 87, 4 August 1997
HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT ON RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBORS. President
Arpad Goencz on 2 August, at a press conference held at the RFE/RL
headquarters in Prague, said Hungary will do everything in its power
to help Romania and Slovakia be admitted to NATO and the European
Union. He expressed support for NATO-Ukrainian cooperation, which
would bolster Ukraine's independence and sovereignty. Goencz said
he regards the incidents triggered by the attempt of the Romanian
nationalist mayor of Cluj, Gheorghe Funar, to block the display of the
Hungarian flag over the Hungarian consulate as "insignificant." He
said Hungary has its own "extreme nationalists" and added that he
will always remember the warmth with which both the Romanian
and the Hungarian population of the town received him when he
visited there earlier this year. Goencz said Hungary's option for
integration into Western structures is unlikely to change regardless
of the outcome of the May 1998 elections.
HUNGARIAN GYPSIES DEMAND COMPENSATION FOR HOLOCAUST. The
National Gypsy Minority Council on 1 August demanded collective
compensation for grievances suffered by Gypsies in World War II,
Hungarian media reported. According to Florian Farkas,
parliamentary representative of Hungary's 500,000 strong Gypsy
minority, at least 50,000 Hungarian Gypsies died in concentration
camps. Farkas said the community as a whole is entitled to collective
compensation for the crimes committed against it by the Hungarian
Arrow Cross fascist movement. Hundreds of people, including Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs, gathered on 2 August in front of the
Parliament building for a candlelight vigil to honor Hungarian victims
of the Gypsy Holocaust.
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