MINELRES: Romania: Ethnic Diversity Briefs, No.38

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Wed Jan 15 20:18:34 2003


Original sender: Mediafax<divers@mediafax.ro>


No. 38 / January 13, 2003

DIVERS
- reporting ethnic diversity -

SUMMARY
1. MAYOR GHEORGHE FUNAR AGAIN REJECTS BILINGUAL SIGNS 
2. LEAFLETS IN CLUJ DEMAND TRANSYLVANIA'S INDEPENDENCE
3. DISPUTES ON CLASSROOMS CLAIMED BY ETHNIC MAGYARS 
4. ROMA LEADERS WILLING REPATRIATION OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM FRANCE 
5. HUNGARIAN CABINET UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE OPPOSITION REGARDING THE
STATUS LAW 


MAYOR GHEORGHE FUNAR AGAIN REJECTS BILINGUAL SIGNS 
CLUJ-NAPOCA - Cluj-Napoca Mayor, Gheorghe Funar, stated on January 6
that he would attack in court a decision passed by Government at the end
of last year, related to the bilingual inscription of the town's name.
In addition, Funar appreciated that the National Anti-corruption
Prosecutor's Office (PNA) should start investigations over this decision
"in order to see who and how much paid to be issued" and indicated that
he accounts on the possibility to organize a referendum to settle
whether Cluj's inhabitants are in favor of bilingual inscription or of
implementing the Magyar language into local administration. Gheorghe
Funar many times opposed to Magyar language inscription for the name of
Cluj-Napoca municipal as, according to the prior results of the census
held last year, Magyar population would be below 20 per cent of the
whole. (DIVERS)

LEAFLETS IN CLUJ DEMAND TRANSYLVANIA'S INDEPENDENCE
CUJ - NAPOCA - Hundreds of leaflets demanding Transylvania's
independence were found on 28 December in Cluj, according to reports
from Romanian press quoted by RFE/RL. The leaflets were written in both
Romanian and Hungarian. They called for "an independent and sovereign
Transylvania" in which Romanians and Hungarians "can live in peace and
mutual understanding." The leaflets claimed poverty in the region "is
due to Bucharest" and stated that "we need neither Bucharest nor
Moldavia nor Wallachia," on whose development Transylvanian resources
are spent and whose bankrupt enterprises Transylvania is forced to
support financially. "We want the old border along the Carpathian
Mountains back," the leaflets stated, calling on Cluj residents to
demonstrate on 31 December for the region's independence. Police have
opened an investigation and the Greater Romania Party has accused the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania of being "behind this
revisionist diversion."

DISPUTES ON CLASSROOMS CLAIMED BY ETHNIC MAGYARS 
CLUJ-NAPOCA - Students of Reformat High School from Cluj-Napoca on
January 6, seized on one of "Gheorghe Sincai" High School's buildings,
which they have claimed for many years and action in court was brought
for retrocession. The action raised dissatisfactions among the Romanian
students. For start, the Magyar students occupy ten classrooms located
in the old building of the high school, while the Romanian students
following to further benefit of the building's floor, of two classrooms
at first floor, canteen, library and medical units. Lately in Romania
there have been registered many of such incidents caused by retrocession
to Magyar ethnics of some schooling buildings, which used to belong to
them. (DIVERS)

ROMA LEADERS WILLING REPATRIATION OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM FRANCE 
BUCHAREST - At the invitation of France Ministry of Interior, a
delegation made up of the representatives of three Roma organizations
will pay a visit to Paris for January 13-20 period, in order to get
informed about the situation of Roma political asylum refugees living in
campuses of Paris suburbs, according to RomaNews agency. The delegation,
consisting of representatives of Romani CRISS, Aven Amentza
organizations and of Roma Christians Center, will visit a number of 15
campuses hosting about 2,000 persons. The purpose of the visit lies in
analyzing possible volunteered repatriation actions to be made by those
living illegally in Paris and Lyon suburbs. "First, we will approach the
volunteered repatriation, then followed by forced repatriation for those
refusing leaving France ", said CEO of Romani CRISS, Costel Bercus. The
representatives of Roma people from Romania will also attend a public
debate about international migration of Roma. (DIVERS)

HUNGARIAN CABINET UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE OPPOSITION REGARDING THE
STATUS LAW 
BUDAPEST - Opposition FIDESZ deputy Zsolt Nemeth, chairman of
parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, on 7 January urged an immediate
convening of the Hungarian Standing Conference in response to reports
that a draft amendment to the controversial Status Law has been
finalized, RFE/RL Newsline reported. Nemeth said he was informed of that
fact by a "high-ranking foreign affairs official, and claims the latest
draft was not drawn up according to the agreement reached by consensus
at an autumn meeting of the conference but rather on the basis of the
viewpoints of Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs and EU Enlargement
Commissioner Guenter Verheugen. Zsolt Nemeth said the current cabinet
will go down in history as the "hangman of the Status Law" if it is
implemented on the basis of the provisions drawn up by Kovacs. He said
it is unacceptable that the Status Law will not apply to ethnic
Hungarians in Slovakia and Slovenia once those countries join the EU in
2004, nor to those in Romania after that country's expected accession in
2007. Foreign Ministry political State Secretary Andras Barsony denied
that any new draft amendment has been finalized. In other news, in a
televised speech marking the New Year, Hungarian President Ferenc Madl
said that "the reunification of Europe also holds out the promise of a
chance for the reunification of our nation".
                                            

DIVERS is a weekly news bulletin edited by the Mediafax News Agency with
financial support from 
Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center (EDRC) in Cluj.
For now, the full version of the bulletin is only available in Romanian
and can be found at www.divers.ro
e-mail: divers@mediafax.ro