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The scandal around the display of the Szekely flag on public institutions is far from over. On the contrary, it seems to be gaining size, as another large Szekely flag was hoisted in the city centre of Miercurea Ciuc on Monday by the representatives of the Hungarian People’s Party in Transylvania (PPMT), as a symbol of their goal of territorial autonomy for the Szekely County, Mediafax reports. The three metre wide and 4.8 metre long flag was hoisted on a seven metre mast, near the plateau in front of the Miercurea Ciuc Administrative Palace. ‘This flag represents the Szekely community in Transylvania and I don’t believe Romanians should think this flag is against anyone in particular, it is for the Szekely people,’ said the President of PPMT Miercurea Ciuc, Toke Ervin. PPMT Harghita President Gyorgy Laszlo, in turn said the timing for showing the Szekely flag downtown the county capital was ‘appropriate’ for ‘moving the Szekely community’ that should participate in large numbers at the autonomy rally scheduled for March 10 in Targu Mures. He denounced the position of ex-UDMR President Marko Bela, who had disapproved of the autonomist demonstrations on March 10, Gyorgy adding he was not a supporter of UDMR’s ‘small-step’ policy.Visiting Covasna especially for the hoisting of the Szekely flag downtown the Harghita capital, the representative of the National Szekely Council (CNS), Gazda Zoltan, President of Sfantu Gheorghe Seat, said the Szekely flag was the one helping the Szekely fulfil their objective of territorial autonomy. ‘The Szekely flag caresses my soul, it stands for our ideals and helps us reach our goals, mainly the territorial autonomy of the Szekely County,’ Gazda said.
Miercurea Ciuc mayor: Knowing Hungarian in compulsory in the city
Attending the event, Miercurea Ciuc Mayor Raduly Robert Kalman (UDMR), fined by the National Council against Discrimination (CNCD) for imposing the knowledge of Hungarian as a condition for applying to be chief-architect of the city, said that ‘knowing the Hungarian language is compulsory, not discriminatory’ in this city. ‘We live in a world where the Hungarian language has become discriminatory in Miercurea Ciuc. Today is the day when we must clearly say: knowing Hungarian is compulsory (…) in Miercurea Ciuc, starting with the prefect, Romanian radio and TV correspondents, everyone who lives off Szekely’s taxes must speak their language, our maternal language’, Raduly Robert said in his speech on the occasion of the display of the Szekely flag. Furthermore, he said that, starting with October 28, 2008, the Szekely flag had been waving on the building of the Miercurea Ciuc Municipality and that it had not bothered anyone all that time, considering that no law, norm of decisions had changed since then. ‘Only the prefect, the interior and defence ministers have changed and this flag seems to have started to annoy the new ones as soon as they had come to office,’ the local mayor noted. In response, Defence Minister Mircea Dusa (PSD) said he would go to Miercurea Ciuc to see if he still had the right to speak in Romanian or if he perhaps needed a passport, adding that Mayor Raduly’s statement that the Hungarian language was compulsory in the city reminded him of Hitler. ‘That’s an unimaginable effrontery on the part of the mayor of Miercurea Ciuc. You just cannot bring such rhetoric into the public debate. That’s the kind of rhetoric I think could only be heard during Hitler’s time’, Dusa, who is also an MP of Harghita, said. In his opinion, CNCD should take action and take not only administrative measures which will anyway be disputed in Court and are not usually paid, but also adopt a tough action against Mayor Raduly Robert. He added he was going to Miercurea Ciuc to see for himself if he still had the ‘right’ to speak Romanian: ‘I’m travelling to Miercurea Ciuc the next days so see if I still have the right to speak in the Romanian language or, perhaps, if I need a passport to get there. I’m lucky to have a diplomatic passport’ (…). With all the necessary calm and responsibility, I am calling upon the mayor of Miercurea Ciuc to attend to the administrative matters of his city and stop making such gestures.’ Harghita County Prefect Jean-Adrian Andrei yesterday opened a meeting in the Hungarian language, noting that it was his way of telling Miercurea Ciuc Mayor he had to comply with the laws of the country, especially the Fundamental Law. ‘I opened the meeting of the Prefectural College today (Tuesday – a/n) in Hungarian on purpose, to send Mayor Raduly a message in his maternal language that he had to observe the laws of Romania and most of all the Constitution on which he swore on when was appointed to office,’ said Jean-Adrian Andrei.