Commentary Minorities

Serbian President apologizes to ethnic Hungarians

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has apologized to ethnic Hungarians for the “irresponsible” statements made by opposition party Movement of Free Citizens.

At a Belgrade opposition rally held on Saturday, Sergej Trifunović, President of the left-liberal Movement of Free Citizens, said the population of Serbia is declining by 35,000 a year and is the oldest in Europe because Vučić “drives the young away, bringing Hungarians and Syrians instead”.

President Vučić was quick to respond to the remarks. “What has been said about our Hungarian citizens is not the majority opinion of Serbia. For this, I apologize to them. This is but the opinion of irresponsible and light-minded people,” he said.

Defense minister Aleksandar Vulin joined Vučić in condemning the opposition.

“I am appalled by the insults of Trifunović addressed to our citizens of Hungarian nationality. Portraying the Hungarians – Serbian citizens born here – as foreigners and dangerous is an offence to everyone living in Serbia and is a call to ethnic hatred,” Vulin said. “Dear Hungarian neighbors, don’t you ever think that Trifunović is the voice of Serbia.”

Today (Monday) Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will meet Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić in Szabadka, Serbia, followed by the fifth joint Hungarian-Serbian cabinet meeting.

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