Bratislava, Slovakia – Hungary will help renovate churches in southern Slovakia despite the Slovak government not giving its approval to the programme, Euractiv reported.
The Hungarian government has earmarked 1,5 billion forints (over €4 million) for the reconstruction and renovation of 101 churches in 96 parishes, mostly located in municipalities with a Hungarian majority in southern Slovakia.
While most of them are Roman Catholic churches, the programme also includes some Reformed and Greek Catholic churches as well as one synagogue.
The only catch? The Slovak government did not give its consent to the programme, only hearing about it from the media.
“We have asked Hungary to construct its government programmes extending to Slovakia or implemented on our territory only after mutual agreement,” Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok said after meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto earlier this month.
The Ministry of Culture, which is commonly in charge of the reconstruction of religious and other sacred monuments, confirmed it had not been informed of Hungary’s intentions.
Slovakia’s Catholic Church, on the other hand, welcomed the support and thanked Hungary for taking part in the renovation of its churches.
The Hungarian funds, totaling a value of €73 million for up to 1,400 churches, are not entirely restricted to Slovakia, and include other neighbouring countries with important Hungarian minorities.