MINELRES: Romania: Ethnic Minority Briefs No. 60

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.delfi.lv
Mon Jun 30 10:31:21 2003


Original sender: Divers Buletin <edivers_buletin@mediafax.ro>


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No. 60 / June 23, 2003

DIVERS
- reporting ethnic diversity -

SUMMARY

1. ROMANIA ADMITS ROLE IN HOLOCAUST, AFTER ROW
2. ETHNIC MINORITIES TO BE ABLE TO USE MOTHER TONGUE IN COURT
3. ETHNIC ROMA HOLD 422 SPECIAL SEATS IN HIGH-EDUCATION SECTOR
4. EUROPEAN OFFICIAL SAYS ROMA MATTER IS NOT A LOCAL CONCERN
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ROMANIA ADMITS ROLE IN HOLOCAUST, AFTER ROW
The Romanian government finally acknowledged that its former leaders
had deported  and  exterminated Romanian  Jews during  World War II,
after an  initial denial  that any part  of the  Holocaust had taken
place on Romanian soil

The Romanian Government  appears to have backed  down on a statement
it made last week, which suggested there was no Holocaust within the
country's  borders during World War  II, international news agencies
reported.
A second  statement  issued last  week said  administrations between
1940 and 1945 were "guilty of serious war crimes" and used "methods of  
discrimination  and   extermination"  against  the  local  Jewish
population.
The admission followed  recently statements denying that any part of
the  Holocaust had  taken place  on Romanian  soil. That  denial had
outraged  Romania's  Jewish  community  and sparked  a  warning from
Israel that relations  between the two  countries would be strained.
On June  13, a  day after Romania  signed an  agreement allowing the
Holocaust  Memorial Museum in Washington  to study Romanian archives
about the  Holocaust,  the Ministry  of Public  Information issued a
statement  saying, “We   firmly  claim that  within  the  borders of
Romania  between   1940   and  1945     there  was   no  Holocaust.”
Soon after,  Israel summoned the Romanian  ambassador to the Foreign
Ministry,  telling  her  that the  statement was  incorrect  and had
strained relations between the two nations.
According to  the Federation of  Jewish Communities  in Romania, the
dictator   of Romania  in  that  time,  Marshal  Ion  Antonescu, was
directly responsible  for  sending 250,000  Jews to  their deaths in
Nazi concentration camps.
The  group  says  Antonescu  was  also  responsible  for inciting  a
massacre of between 3,000  and 10,000 Jews in the north-eastern town
of Iasi in June 1941.
Antonescu was arrested  in August 1944 by  then King Michael. He was
tried and executed in 1946.
Reversing itself, the  Romanian government issued a statement saying
that the  pro-Nazi Romanian regime from  1940 to 1944 “was guilty of
grave war crimes, pogroms, and mass deportations of Romanian Jews to
territories   occupied  or  controlled  by  the  Romanian Army.”  It
employed “methods   of discrimination  and extermination,  which are
part of the Holocaust,” the statement added.
The government  insisted that Prime Minister  Adrian Nastase and his
Cabinet   had consistently  condemned  the  wartime  persecution and
killing of Jews, but did  not explain why the government had changed
its view. (DIVERS)

ETHNIC   MINORITIES  TO  BE  ABLE  TO  USE  MOTHER  TONGUE IN  COURT
BUCHAREST –  Romania’s second Legislative Chamber  on June 17 passed
mediation  report to  a  bill  changing the  Penal   Procedure Code,
settling  the possibility  to  use the  mother language   before law
authorities.
The deputies passed this  text without restrictions, in the version
nacted by  the Chamber  of Deputies, the  version that  recently was
negotiated by the  Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR)
with ruling  social-democratic  party PSD.  According  to the  texts
passed, the  procedure documents  yet will be  drawn up  in Romanian
language.
The text voted  by the upper-chamber the  Senate and rejected by the
mediation Commission  restricted the possibility  to use  the mother
language  before the  court,  the mother  language being  used  only
before the  authorities of territory-administrative  units inhabited
by ethnic minorities. (DIVERS)

ETHNIC ROMA HOLD 422 SPECIAL SEATS IN HIGH-EDUCATION SECTOR
BUCHAREST – Romanian  Ministry of Education and Research granted for
University year  2003-2004 a number of  422 special seats for ethnic
Roma candidates  applying for admission  to University faculties and
colleges,  thus 25  seats   were added  compared to  last  year. The
special seats are  offered in 37 public high-education institutions,
the  admission  procedure  being  held   based  on minimum  criteria
(average 5,00)  and the  Roma students will  pay  no schooling taxes
while deploying the studies. (DIVERS)

EUROPEAN OFFICIAL SAYS ROMA MATTER IS NOT A LOCAL CONCERN
BUCHAREST – “The Roma matter is an European problem, yet not only of
Romanian  nation”,  said  EU  commissar  for  Social  Affairs,  Anna
Diamantopoulou,  in  a  press  conference  organized while  visiting
Romania,  on June  13. Diamantopoulou  explained that,  in 2007, the
European  Union    would   enclose  Roma   ethnicity  population  of
seven-eight million people. "It  will be a higher population than of
Baltic countries. This is  why there should be a cooperation between
the European Commission and  the candidate countries and this is the
reason why  it is important this  matter to turn  into a priority as
soon as possible ", Diamantopoulou said. (DIVERS)

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with financial support from
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