POLITICS

Autonomy on two fronts

On Saturday in Odorheiu Secuiesc, the Szeklars’ representatives voted the anthem, the coats of arms and the regional symbol of the future Szeklars’ Land.

Two “large assemblies of local officials of Szeklars” took place successively at only one day distance. On Friday and on Saturday, at Miercurea Ciuc, and Odorheiu Secuiesc respectively, mayors, vice mayors and local councils from Covasna, Harghita and Mures gathered. With a double participation, nearly 800 representatives, as against the second day, the meeting in Miercurea Ciuc was the “official” one chaired by UDMR and CNMT, in the presence of the joint candidate to the presidential elections, Kelemen Hunor.


He was ironic as to the old statements of President Traian Basescu in relation to the local autonomy. “I am like a sailor who looks at the Szeklars and sees the light not as a sailor who looks at Odorheiu Secuiesc and sees Caracal”.


The assembly proposed two documents, a “memorandum” and a “Proclamation for the Szeklars Land”, reiterating, among others, the old wish of renouncing the constitutional syntagm “national state”.


UDMR leader, Marko Bela, pleaded on the local pride, comparing the state with a SRL with many shareholders, the Szeklars being thus owners of 80 per cent of their own region. He also tried to restate the special statute of the targeted territorial autonomy, separating it from the usual local autonomy, not to remain captive to its limitations. A participant in both events, Laszlo Tokes pleaded for the pursuit as to the restoration of “Hungarian solidarity” in spite of having separating himself in the first day from the next day organizers, mainly those from CNS.


The assembly from Saturday focused on concrete projects, addressing local referendums, the symbols of the Szeklars Land (coats of arms, anthem, flag and distinctive sign) and on the association, within the old Szeklar Chairs (medieval regional organization forms). They also discussed about the territorial division into economic development regions, asking for this to be reanalyzed urgently: “We, the local officials from Szeklars Land, founders and participants in the Assembly of the Local Officials from Szeklars Land, firmly state: the Szeklars Land is indivisible and it cannot be included into another territorial – administrative unit.” The future of this region cannot be imagined other than as being ad administrative- territorial unit by itself, with increased prerogatives, located within its natural boundaries, which resulted during history.


“In case of a new administrative – territorial division of Romania, one has to consider the European principle based on which a region is not marked but it is acknowledged”.


There were also critics against the lack of effectiveness of the official strategy of UDMR. CNS leader, Izsak Balazs, said, in relation to the assembly on Friday: “What happened was a good intention, but the result reached was of little importance. When we initiated the assembly of the local officials, we started from the idea that the administrative authorities are given law making power, I believe that representatives of local powers should not ask as they say in the acts voted today, “we ask” – but they have to find those modalities by which they can use the power offered by law in order to get certain possible things within the respective legal framework”.


Reactions: between concern and lack of interest


PNL leader, Crin Antonescu criticized the action of the National Szeklars Council and he asked the state institutions and mainly General Prosecutor’s Office to take the legal sanctioning measures against participants.


PNL leader said that the events from Odorheiu Secuiesc could be the start of a new crisis, an ethnic crisis, which adds to the economic and political ones.


He said, on Sunday, in a press conference, that in spite of having made “seven or eight famous visits” to the regions inhabited by Szeklars, the head of state has been unable to have a dialogue with them so that to prevent actions proclaiming the so called Szeklars Land.


“Nevertheless, the president should have a role. Nevertheless, it should be discussed whether after seven or eight famous visits to this land, the president have been unsuccessful, it seems, to have a dialogue with the groups that today attempt openly to the integrity of the Romanian State and have the intention to proclaim a state into a state, they adopt anthems, coats of arms, flags. As to the entire operation of the institutions, as to the normalization of them, the president has full responsibility. Unfortunately, current Romania’s President does not play such a role, but on the contrary, directly or indirectly, he feeds this mess, confusion and inability of institutions”, Antonescu said. “On the other side, Antonescu praised the fact that UDMR did not effectively participate in this action and he had recommendations for the local representatives to be as reticent as possible.


PRM leader, Corneliu Vadim Tudor said that the Szeklars autonomy plan “found us at a moment of weak state”. To fight against the plan, CV Tudor proposes an extraordinary session of the Parliament, but also “taking out of the law those who maintain such a political infection center which could compromise the EU project”.


“We shall not give in to force, we shall answer by force”, PRM leader said.


Vice Chair of Deputies Chamber, Democrat – Liberal Ioan Oltean said this Saturday, during PDL Summer School, that the manifestations organized by the National Szeklars Council (CNS), in Odorheiu Secuiesc, are serious but they should not alarm.


He specified that PDL separates itself from these events and he asked the Hungarian ethnics to observe the law.


The Democrat – Liberal leader regards these acts as being serious but he indicated that the entities in charge are those who should consider the legal aspects and take measures adequately in keeping with the law. “The facts are serious. I cannot refer to them from a legal viewpoint, because I do not want to do mistakes, but also because we have entities with such responsibilities – they should do this”, the Democrat – Liberal said.


PDL vice leader said that his party would not lodge any criminal complaints against the organizers of the events from Odorheiu Secuiesc, accusing parties which spoke of such measures that they wanted to gain image capital.


“I do not think that there are rationales for such a singular step. If the facts represent offences, there are state authorities and institutions who have to do this, and not the political parties, who have emotional reactions counting on gaining some more image capital”, according to the Deputy.

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