RFE/RL Newsline on the adoption of Hungarian 'Status Law'


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Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 09:19:12 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: RFE/RL Newsline on the adoption of Hungarian 'Status Law'

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

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RFE/RL Newsline on the adoption of Hungarian 'Status Law' 


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 117, Part II, 20 June 2001


HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES 'STATUS LAW.' The parliament on 19 June
passed by a sweeping majority of 92 percent the "Status Law" that will
provide benefits to ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine, Romania, Yugoslavia,
Croatia, Slovenia, and Slovakia. According to the law, which will go
into effect on 1 January 2002, ethnic Hungarians will have the right
to work in Hungary for three months each year, and will be given
social, health, transportation, and education benefits. Persons who
wish to receive those benefits need to apply for a certificate proving
their Hungarian origin, which will be issued by a Hungarian authority
and will be based on recommendations by ethnic Hungarian organizations
in those countries. According to government officials, the law intends
to prevent mass immigration by some 3 million ethnic Hungarians once
Hungary joins the EU. Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said
that, contrary to concerns expressed by Slovak and Romanian officials,
the law will promote regional stability and cooperation, Hungarian
media reported. MSZ

SLOVAKIA'S REACTION TO HUNGARIAN 'STATUS BILL' IS RELATIVELY
RESTRAINED... The Foreign Ministry, reacting on 19 June to the
approval by the Hungarian parliament of the "Status Bill", said in a
statement that it hopes the law will be applied "in line with
relations between sovereign states and existing bilateral agreements,"
TASR reported. The ministry said that, as passed by the neighboring
country's parliament, the law "takes into account only some of the
reservations earlier raised by Slovakia." It also said the law "will
not in any way be implemented on Slovak territory without further
consultation as a prerequisite." The ministry expressed the hope that
"in exercising the law, the Hungarian government will act in line with
our common interest in successful EU integration, confidence-building
and understanding in mutual relations." MS

ROMANIA'S REACTION TO HUNGARIAN 'STATUS BILL' IS HARSH. Reacting to
the approval of the "Status Law" by the Hungarian parliament earlier
on 19 June (see above), the cabinet said in an official statement that
it has "taken note" that the Hungarian parliament has "ignored" the
Romanian observations "presented to the Hungarian side on numerous
occasions." It said the law as a whole is "discriminatory" and
infringes on international legislation. It also said no provision in
the bill contravening the bilateral treaty between the two countries
"can apply on Romania's sovereign territory." Premier Nastase said in
Cluj that the law "will not be applied in Romania, just as is not
applied in Austria," and Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana called the law
"an anachronism" stemming from "the pre-electoral atmosphere in
Budapest." With the exception of the Hungarian Democratic Federation
of Romania, all parliamentary parties condemned the bill. MS

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