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Leader of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia urges action against Beneš decrees

Failure to revoke the part of the Benes decrees, which impose collective guilt to ethnic Hungarians and Germans in Slovakia is a disgrace to Europe, Jozsef Berenyi, leader of the Party of the Hungarian Community (MKP), told a Budapest conference on Saturday.

Berenyi welcomed the fact that the issue of invalidating these “gravely amoral, discriminative rules of law” had been raised in European Parliament’s Petitions Committee. This is all the more important as Slovakia and Hungary would never be able to resolve the issue through bilateral negotiations, he said.

Although the EU “verbally declared that an entire nation cannot be considered guilty”, the related legislation is still in force in Slovakia, Berenyi said.

Bela Bugar, leader of the inter-ethnic Most-Hid party, said that demand for revoking some of the Benes decrees did not challenge the legal continuity of the Slovak state. He said that not even the ethnic Hungarian community demands that all Benes decrees be declared nul and void.

Bugar said that Slovakia’s government in office seems to be more open to discussing both this issue and dual citizenship, a bone of contention between the two countries over the past two years.

MEP Zoltan Bago of Fidesz said the petitions committee would decide in two weeks if it sets up a fact-finding committee.

The Benes decrees were passed immediately after World War Two, depriving Czechoslovakia’s ethnic Hungarians and Germans of their citizenship and property on the basis of collective guilt. Under the decrees, over 100,000 ethnic Hungarians were deported or sent to labour camps. They have never received compensation.

Politics.hu - October 1st, 2012


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