20/11/2010 12:47


Romania on Thursday criticised a Hungarian director for cancelling a concert to mark Romanian national day, accusing him of bowing to pressure from a far-right group, the foreign ministry said.

The Romanian foreign ministry “regrets that the director of the Hungarian National Theatre, Robert Alfoldi, has had to cancel a previous commitment to host the event scheduled on November 30,” it said in a statement.

The ministry blamed the cancellation on threats of protests organised by Jobbik, a far-right political party.

In a letter to the Romanian embassy in Budapest, Alfoldi explained he had initially thought a concert including works by Romania’s George Enescu and Hungary’s Bela Bartok “would bring Romanians and Hungarians closer, after a tumultuous past.”

Alfoldi said he had not realised his decision could “hurt (his) compatriots’ feelings,” the ministry quoted the letter as saying.

Romania’s national day on December 1 marks the 1918 union between Transylvania, until then part of Austria-Hungary, and Romania.

Hungary‘s ruling Fidesz party criticised Alfoldi for failing to recognise that ”the loss of Transylvania was a trauma to most Hungarians,” according to a statement widely quoted in Romanian media.

The Romanian foreign ministry said the two countries should step up efforts to overcome the past, the statement said.



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