Hungarian organisations in Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and Serbia have thanked the Hungarian government for its help in connection with the novel coronavirus epidemic. In an interview to public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió, Hunor Kelemen, the leader of Romania’s party for ethnic Hungarians (RMDSZ), condemned remarks by the opposition Párbeszéd party’s co-leader Tímea Szabó, who on Monday slammed the government for sending protective gear to Hungarian communities in Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia and North Macedonia. Szabó insisted that “doctors meeting the prime minister on his victory laps around hospitals lack masks half of the time, or the masks they do have are not up to standard.” Kelemen said that condemning the Hungarian government for helping others was “deplorable”.
László Brenzovics, head of the Hungarian Cultural Federation in Transcarpathia (KMKSZ), thanked Hungary for helping to resolve “serious shortages in equipment for health-care staff”, adding that Szabó’s remarks ran afoul of basic European values. István Pásztor, head of the Hungarian association in Novi Sad, Serbia, said the remarks were “unsurprising”. “We know the tune and those who play it,” he said, adding, however, that “hate-mongering of this sort does not have a ready audience in Hungary”.