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The situation of national minorities in Hungary cannot be negatively affected by a potentially difficult relationship between Hungary and the given motherland, the deputy prime minister in charge of policies for national minorities said on Monday. Hungary’s Fundamental Law declares that the 13 indigenous national minority groups in the country are part of the Hungarian state and have self-governments, Zsolt Semjén said at his annual hearing before parliament’s committee for national minority communities.
The government aims to have the closest possible ties with the motherlands of Hungary’s ethnic communities, Semjén said, adding that even when there are disagreements, it could not have any sort of negative consequence for the minority groups. Highlighting the example of the current disputes between Hungary and Ukraine, Semjén said this could not put the Ukrainian community in Hungary at any kind of disadvantage. If relations with the motherland in question are good and fruitful — as they are in the case of Serbia — it can also benefit the given ethnic community, he said. Meanwhile, Semjén said government support for ethnic minorities had been increased six-fold, while the number of national minority institutions had risen eight-fold. Whereas in 2010, there were only 12 national minority schools in Hungary, today there are 106 attended by 20,000 students, he said.
The government this year invited bids for a total of 1.3 billion forints (EUR 3.4m) in funding for national minorities, and some 1,000 projects worth a combined 2 billion forints have been carried out in the recent period, he said. As regards key investment projects, he noted the renovation of the Slovak Evangelical church and centre, support for the construction of the Bulgarian education and cultural centre and the construction of a German primary school in Biatorbágy, on the outskirts of Budapest.