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Orban angers neighboring countries with ‘irredentist’ scarf — RT World News

The Prime Minister was filmed wearing a garment with a Greater Hungary pre-partition map

Prime Minister Viktor Orban was seen wearing a football scarf depicting the shape of Greater Hungary, the historic territory that existed before the country ceded land to its neighbors after World War I. He downplayed the implied land claim, after some nations disputed the accessory. .

“Football is not politics. Let’s not see what’s not there, he said on his Facebook page on Tuesday, reacting to the outcry. The Hungarian national team belongs to all Hungarians, regardless of where they live, he added.

Greater Hungary refers to historic Hungarian lands, many of which were lost to Budapest under the 1920 Treaty of Trianon. Parts of the former Kingdom of Hungary now belong to Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia and Slovakia. Critics say the idea of ​​Greater Hungary is inherently irredentist, but proponents say it’s about the historical roots of ethnic Hungarians.

Orban wore the controversial scarf on Sunday when he met the national football team ahead of their friendly against Greece in Budapest. Footage of the meeting was posted on the Prime Minister’s social media. Some foreign officials condemned Orban for what they considered a provocation.

German MEP Daniel Freund brought the symbol to public attention in a tweet on Monday, sarcastically remarking that the map would be “reassuring” for Hungary’s neighbours.

A fellow Romanian MEP, Alin Mituta, said Orban had sent a “unacceptable message” it was a return to “Nazi period”. Hungary and Romania were Axis powers during World War II.

“Orban must be held responsible for such acts incompatible with belonging to the family of liberal democrats”, the politician wrote on social media.

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it transmitted “strong disapproval” to the Hungarian Ambassador in Bucharest. The stunt scarf contrasts with a “open atmosphere” during Minister Bogdan Lucian’s visit to Budapest last week, the statement added.

During his trip to Budapest, the senior diplomat met Orban and complained to him that some Hungarian officials were traveling to Romania on a private basis and doing “inappropriate statements” there, the Romanian ministry said at the time.

Ukraine, another nation whose current territory includes parts that once belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary, said it also intended to file a formal complaint.

“The promotion of revisionist ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Tuesday. His department will summon the Hungarian ambassador and await an apology, he added.

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