RFE/RL on Hungarian minority in Romania


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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 13:41:02 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: RFE/RL on Hungarian minority in Romania

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

Original sender: Panayote Elias Dimitras
<balkanhr-owner@yahoogroups.com>

RFE/RL on Hungarian minority in Romania


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 235, Part II, 13 December 2001

INTERETHNIC RELATIONS STILL STRAINED IN ROMANIA. An opinion poll
conducted for the Cluj-based Ethnic Diversity Resource Center showed
that interethnic relations are still strained in Romania, local media
reported. Only 22 percent of Romanians from Transylvania feel that
Romanian-Hungarian relations within the country have improved compared
to 1989, while 44 percent of ethnic Hungarians agree with this
statement. Meanwhile, 43 percent of Romanians and 51 percent of
Hungarians view their relationship as cooperative. As for minority
rights, ethnic Romanians said ethnic Hungarians have enough rights,
while over 60 percent of ethnic Hungarians complained of insufficient
rights. The poll also showed that ethnic Romanians living among ethnic
Hungarians are more tolerant than those living outside Transylvania,
and that the majority of ethnic Romanians still believe that Hungary
wants to regain control over Transylvania. The poll was conducted in
October and used separate questionnaires for ethnic Romanians and
Hungarians from Transylvania, for Roma, and for ethnic Romanians
throughout the country. ZsM
-------------------

___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 237, Part II, 17 December 2001

ETHNIC MINORITIES FAVOR EU INTEGRATION. Representatives of all ethnic
minorities living in Romania, excluding Hungarians, on 16 December
signed in the Transylvanian city of Cluj a declaration in support of
Romania's European Union accession, Mediafax reported. According to
the declaration, ethnic minorities will act in order to consolidate
the political system and democratic institutions, and to activate
market economy structures and mechanisms. The Hungarian Democratic
Federation in Romania (UDMR) did not sign the declaration. Deputy
Chairman Gyula Szep said the declaration contains "worn-out and
exaggerated" phrases, and that while the UDMR does support Romania's
EU integration, his country cannot be considered "a model" for
interethnic relations. He added there are several basic requests
formulated by the ethnic Hungarian minority - such as the
establishment of a Hungarian-language university and the return of
confiscated church properties - that are still not fulfilled. ZsM
-------------------

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 5, No. 238, Part II, 18 December 2001

ETHNIC HUNGARIANS TO BE PROSECUTED FOR SINGING HUNGARIAN ANTHEM. On 17
December, Romanian Prosecutor-General Joita Tanase announced the
beginning of the prosecution process against members of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) for singing the Hungarian
anthem, Romanian media reported. Participants at UDMR's Council of
Representatives meeting in Targu-Mures on 15 December sang a religious
Hungarian song that is also the Hungarian anthem in protest against a
recent Romanian government ordinance that bans unauthorized singing of
other states' anthems or the exhibition of foreign symbols. Premier
Nastase said the UDMR members will be punished if it is found that
they breached on the law, but that it "shouldn't be turned into a big
problem." UDMR Chairman Bela Marko said the prosecutor-general's
measure is "a political action" against the UDMR. UDMR previously
announced it would ask for the ordinance's restrictive provisions to
be changed. ZsM

ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN NEGOTIATIONS ON STATUS LAW. Visiting Hungarian
Foreign Ministry Secretary of State Zsolt Nemeth announced in
Bucharest on 17 December that by the end of the year Romanian Premier
Nastase and his Hungarian Counterpart Viktor Orban will sign a
memorandum on the Hungarian Status Law, Mediafax reported. Nemeth
discussed the issue with his Romanian counterpart Cristian Diaconescu
and said he sees "the exit from the tunnel." He added that the
memorandum will show that between the two countries "there are no
tensions, just different points of view" on the issue. ZsM

ROMANIAN SENATE REJECTS MOTION ON ETHNIC HUNGARIAN COUNTIES. The
Romanian Senate rejected a simple motion put forward on 17 December by
opposition parties by a vote of 72 to 50, Mediafax reported.
Representatives from the Democratic Party, National Liberal Party, and
extremist Greater Romania Party argued in initiating the motion that
the government has lost authority over the Harghita and Covasna
counties, which have ethnic Hungarian majorities. Premier Nastase
previously dismissed those allegations as a "false alarm." Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania Senator Zoltan Puskas said the motion
was "an attempt to destabilize the political situation in Romania."
ZsM
-------------------


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