Hungarian far-right party slams EU, calls for independent Transylvania

BUDAPEST, Mar 16, 2000 -- (Reuters) The head of the far-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIEP) hit out at the European Union Wednesday and called for independence for the northwestern Romanian region of Transylvania.

"We must see that the unity of Europe is not a goal but a means to dissolve historic nations," MIEP head Istvan Csurka told several hundred party supporters during a celebration of Hungary's March 15 national holiday marking its 1848 revolution and freedom fight to break away from the Hapsburg empire.

Csurka said the EU would only adopt Hungary -- a first-round candidate for accession -- "to make it into a clashing zone between itself and the danger created by the 300 million people who live on the ruins of the former Soviet empire".

He said for Hungary's EU accession, "among other things Hungary's rivers should be protected from pollution from the east," referring to recent cyanide and heavy metal pollution spills from Romanian industrial units after severe weather conditions there.

"For this, Transylvania should become a territory of independent status," Csurka said.

"The best solution of course would be if Trasylvania were pulled back to European history, and were made into an independent state with its seven million Romanians and three million Hungarians, just like Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia," Csurka said.

The some 1.7-million strong Hungarian national minority in the Romanian Transylvania, who remained there after the Trianon peace treaties that closed World War I severed the territory from Hungary and attached it to Romania, has for decades been a clashing point between the two states.

But bilateral tensions started to ease years ago after the political party of the Hungarian minority in Romania received posts in the Romanian government.

Csurka's party has 12 seats in Hungary's 386-seat parliament after it won barely over the necessary five-percent support to get there in 1998 legislative elections.

This opposition party generally supports Prime Minister Viktor Orban's rightwing coalition government, and has expressed support for the entry in government of the far-right Freedom Party of Joerg Haider in neighbouring Austria.

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