JÓZSEF KASA: Bad moment for the territorial autonomy of the Hungarians

16 Apr 2008

Former leader of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians József Kasza said that having focused in the election campaign…

Jožef KasaFormer leader of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians József Kasza said that having focused in the election campaign on the project of territorial autonomy for the Vojvodina Hungarians is a “thoughtless and bad move” of the Hungarian Coalition. In the interview for the portal www.autonomija.info , Kasza, today the honorary president of the Union of Vojvodina Hungarians but, as he points out, absolutely passivated as regards the political activities of this party and its coalition partners in the Hungarian Union, believes that this is “the worst moment” to initiate the theme of autonomy of Vojvodina Hungarians in view of the election campaign and the proclamation of independence of Kosovo.
“The question of territorial autonomy for the Vojvodina Hungarians is not opened now as it has kept recurring already 10 to 15 years, but I think that the current focus of the Hungarian Coalition on this theme is a quite bad move, absolutely tactless and inconsiderate. The worst timing for this theme is being chosen because the whole thing tends to suggest only a political campaign but also because Serbia boils because of the situation with Kosovo and the loss of this part of territory. They should wait till election to see its outcome and balance of power after May 11th to see what post-election agreements are made and only then through dialogue and agreement solve this issue. Because it is beyond doubt that this issue will come on the agenda if Serbia wants to be a democratic society’, said Kasza.

Can it make the position of Hungarian coalition difficult in the post-election agreements considering the negative reactions that the potential partners of the Hungarian Coalition towards the project of ethnical autonomy?
– Obviously that this thoughtless move of the Hungarian Coalition will make its potential post-election partners additionally cautious and certainly that it will be more difficult to establish a true cooperation after elections. Perhaps the political interests will prevail so as to form whatever government will be possible after elections but a true cooperation and the solution of this issue will certainly be out of question after the May election. It will be a long and difficult way to reach the right solution of the territorial autonomy of the Vojvodina Hungarians.

What effect may this have on the voting body of the Hungarian Coalition if there is no prospect of possible partners for realization of this key theme of the election campaign and is it real to expect that the election results will repeat those recorded at the presidential elections?
– The positive wave considering results of the presidential elections and the creation of the Hungarian Coalition will have this time also positive effects on the voting body. However, if only the theme of territorial autonomy remains the key theme of election campaign then it is really sad. And currently everything is turning around this issue…
The leaders of Hungarian Coalition must find the common language with political leaders of the majority population. However, it is obvious that the President of Union of Vojvodina Hungarians is under the pressure of their radical partners from the Democratic Party of the Vojvodina Hungarians (DSVM), the Democratic Community of the Vojvodina Hungarians (DZVM) and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM) and will have to pay dearly for this coalition if not now then in the near future. This is already an indicator that the bill is already on the way.
For me there is no doubt that the territorial autonomy is necessary but the problem is how to realize it. If it should be instituted in bloodshed as it had been with the former Yugoslavia then we don’t need such autonomy. The society in Serbia will mature one day and realize that autonomy is neither scarecrow nor secession nor it is against the majority population but that it will be advantage for all of us living in this area. And finally it should be understand that we are historically destined to live together and that contended minority can only be a stabilizing factor in one state.

Is the project of minority autonomy the reason for change of attitude of the Hungarian Coalition towards the issue of autonomy of Vojvodina considering that some Hungarian Coalition leaders launched the theses that it is a “Serb-Serbian issue”?
– The Union of Vojvodina Hungarians has always advocated strengthening of autonomy of Vojvodina. Another question is how much this is stressed in the campaign of the Hungarian Coalition. I am certain that the Vojvodina Hungarians sincerely wish the autonomy of Vojvodina, as much as they wish democratic society, the European integrations … The Union of Vojvodina Hungarians has never forgotten about the autonomy of Vojvodina but is seems that at the moment the priority is to preserve undisturbed cooperation between the coalition partners in the Hungarian Coalition and in order to preserve it this coalition made some unfitting compromises.

B.D.S.

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