As Hungarian Conservative also noted on Friday, there were fears ahead of Prime Minister Orbán’s customary Tusványos speech that Romanian nationalists might attempt to disturb the Hungarian premier’s remarks, as it happened last year. Mandiner reported that due to these concerns Chairman of the Hargita County Council Csaba Borboly, a leading politician of the Transylvanian Hungarian community, asked the Romanian Interior Ministry in a letter eaerlier this week to provide gendarmerie presence outside the festival’s venue during Viktor Orbán’s speech.
Gendarmes were indeed deployed, and they effectively prevented the radical nationalist protestors from heckling the speech as well as from obstructing the departure of the PM’s motorcade following his remarks. Members of the nationalist groups Calea Neamului (The People’s Road) and Frăția Ortodoxă (Orthodox Brotherhood) attempted to enter the festival area on Saturday morning, but as the organisers had announced in a statement on Friday evening, they were denied entry despite their having registered in advance. The organisers cited security concerns to justify the decision.
According to Hungarian language Romanian website Maszol.ro, Mihai Tîrnoveanu, the head of Calea Neamului, the same ultranationalist organisation that illegally erected wooden crosses earlier this month in the Úzvölgy Hungarian military cemetery, accused the Romanian police of ‘ethnic discrimination’ after he and his followers were not allowed to enter the site of the festival. According to media reports, in an argument with the head of the gendarmerie, Tîrnoveanu said: ‘Romania is controlled by Hungary. Does Viktor Orbán control Romanian foreign policy? Orbán is bothered by our placard and the Romanian flag.’
During Orbán’s speech, the demonstrators sang patriotic songs and chanted nationalist slogans such as ‘Harghita, Covasna are Romanian land.’ According to HVG.hu, after the prime minister's speech the Romanian police did their job well, as they successfully pushed back the protesters and cleared the way for Orbán’s convoy. As festival participants were leaving, the police also managed to keep the Romanian demonstrators away from them. As the Romanians were shouting ‘Mongolia’, meant as an insult, among other slogans, the Hungarians sang the Szekler anthem as they walked past the protesters.
The PM’s press chief, Bertalan Havasi told MTI that in a letter sent on Saturday, Viktor Orbán expressed his gratitude to Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu for having received him in Bucharest earlier this week, and for having ‘ensured the safety and security of the Tusnádfürdő Free University and made it possible for me to deliver my remarks today in undisturbed and peaceful circumstances.’