ZAGREB – Controversial territorial claims

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has published a video with a sign “Rijeka, the Hungarian seaside” on his official Facebook profile, referring to Croatia’s major northern Adriatic port, which has triggered a wave of resentment in Croatia and forced prominent members of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ, EPP) to condemn Budapest’s post.

Rijeka, the third biggest Croatian city, was one of the key harbours in the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the signing of the Trianon Treaty – which redrew Europe’s post-WW1 borders on 4 June 1920 – a date which Orbán’s government has consistently campaigned to celebrate as the ‘Day of Hungarian national unity’.

Orbán’s controversial Facebook post was filmed at a ceremony commemorating the treaty’s 100 years.

However, this was not the first time Orbán had published controversial territorial claims on his social network accounts.

In May, his government published a photo of a pre-Trianon map of Hungary, which included parts of Croatia and Slovenia. At the time, the Croatian government did not react, citing the wish to preserve good neighbourly relations. 

This time, however, Transport Minister Oleg Butković called Orbán’s video “a cheap provocation.”

“We might have different positions on that part of history. However, history is history. I strongly condemn the provocation, which damages territorial integrity as the basic statehood principle of a neighbouring country,” said Butković. (Tea Trubić Macan, EURACTIV.hr)

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