The deputy premier reacted yesterday to a statement made by UDMR President Kelemen Hunor who had warned that Hungarians might take to the streets if regionalisation led to the assimilation of the Szekely County by regions with a majority Romanian population.
UDMR President Kelemen Hunor and Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea exchange hard lines after the former said Hungarian ethnics might take to the street if regionalisation led to the assimilation of the Szekely County by regions where Romanians represent the majority of the population. ‘Such assertions are rather dangerous and unfair’, Liviu Dragnea said yesterday, according to HotNews.ro. He noted that he could think of no reason why UDMR should be scared by the project, because ‘it will not be the kind of regionalisation that would determine a region where Hungarians could possibly be not at ease’. ‘As a party leader, one just cannot instigate to such thing’, the deputy PM further said. He added that the regionalisation caravan would also visit the Szekely County. ‘I have repeatedly talked to colleagues in the local administration of Harghita and Covasna. I have explained to them in detail the components they would need to have in the regions in the future, I answered all the fears they had and probably still have, therefore I can see no reason why UDMR, for example, through President Hunor, should be scared, because we are not setting up states inside Romania, we are not setting up structures with border crossing points or with borders where one would need to show a passport to be able to cross over’, Dragnea explained.
The answer of the deputy prime minister followed shortly a statement made by Kelemen Hunor in an interview for RFI that Hungarian ethnics in Harghita, Covasna and Mures ‘feared a very perverse assimilation’ introduced by regionalisation. He warns that people may take to the streets if the Szekely County is ‘assimilated in the direction of Brasov, Buzau or Neamt’. ‘In Harghita, in Covasna and less in Mures, we like it or not, there are Hungarians. It is a region, the same as Tara Motilor, Moldavia or Dobrogea, with specific historic, cultural traditions, with social and economic connections. From this point of view, any approach will also carry an ethnic connotation there’, the leader of UDMR said. Kelemen also noted that not even Ceausescu had dared, back in 1968, conduct a reorganisation of the territory splitting the two or three counties into four-five-six other areas or assimilate the population towards Brasov, Buzau, Neamt. ‘People took to the streets in 1968. If anyone thinks they will not do the same in 2013, I say they are wrong!’ said the UDMR leader.
Regionalisation cannot add to bureaucracy, Dragnea says
On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea yesterday answered President Traian Basescu that ‘regionalisation cannot add to bureaucracy’ as the head of state had claimed earlier this week. ‘Regionalisation cannot add to bureaucracy because distances, for example, will be shortened. People who now need to travel all the way to Bucharest for approvals, permits and so on will not have to do that anymore, because most such paperwork will be issued at a county level’, Dragnea explained. The deputy prime minister said he would go to see Traian Basescu to present to him the regionalisation project in detail, because the president might not be ‘completely informed’. ‘Maybe it is my fault for not completely informing the president. I asked him a while ago to see me when he had the time, so that I could present it as a whole. When the president finds the time, I will explain it to him in detail’, Dragnea pointed out.