In reaction to a resolution signed by three ethnic Hungarian political groupings calling for the autonomy of part of Romania where ethnic Hungarians have a sizable population, Tudose told private television Realitatea TV:
“I have sent message that if the Szekler flag flies over the institutions over there, they will all fly next to the flag. Autonomy for Szeklers is out of the question.”
“As long as they sing in their yard, that is one thing, but from a legal point of view things are very clear,” Tudose said in a video of the interview.
Szeklers account for a large chunk of ethnic Hungarians living in the Romanian region of Transylvania.
On Thursday night, Tudose added on his Facebook page:
“As a Romanian and a prime minister, I refuse any dialogue concerning the autonomy of a part of Romania. It would go against the constitution of this country, which guarantees from the first line, the unity and indivisibility of the Romanian state.”
He did not refer directly to his earlier comments.
Budapest has been supportive of ethnic Hungarians’ autonomy aspirations and Hungarian politicians reacted with fury to the remarks.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Friday was cited by national news agency MTI as saying that Tudose’s “comments in which he practically threatened representatives of ...a national community with execution, are entirely unacceptable.”