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March 3, 2021

Political establishment slams UDMR over autonomy project

The project drafted by theDemocratic Union of Hungarians ofRomania (UDMR) for the autonomyof the Szekler Land was officiallypresented on Thursday by UDMRPresident Kelemen Hunor at a pressconference organised in Cluj. Theproject states that the region wouldbe led by a Regional Council and byan Executive Council and will have apresident who will attend the meetingsof the national Government.Local reactions to this UDMRendeavour appearing just as theattention of the entire world wasfocussed on the referendum inScotland were prompt.PONTA REITERATESDISAGREEMENT: IT’S ANELECTORAL MOMENT HUNOR’SAttending the Adevarul Livedebates on Friday, PM Victor Pontasaid he disagreed to the autonomy ofthe Szekler Land, that UDMR knewthat very well and that it was just anelectoral moment in the presidentialelection campaign of Union leaderKelemen Hunor. ‘I disagree and Ibelieve the initiators know very wellthat PSD, the other parties andKlaus Iohannis who belongs to aminority had clearly said wereagainst it. I think it’s an electoralmoment, the launching of Mr.Kelemen Hunor’s campaign. I thinkthe Scotland lesson was well understoodby everybody. We sometimestake things too easily, but reality isnot exactly like that. I think theKosovo experience has not beendigested in Europe’, Ponta said,quoted by Mediafax.He pointed out that theRomanian state had the duty ofworking with the minorities, withUDMR, on devolution, but everybodyshould know there is a line thatcannot be crossed.PDL: ANTI-CONSTITUTIONALAND ANTI-EUROPEANPROJECTS THAT CULTIVATESHATRED PDL First Vice-PresidentAndreea Paul in turn said, also onFriday, that the UDMR SzeklerCounty autonomy project was ‘ananti-constitutional and anti-European one, through whichhatred and the extremist philosophyof irresponsible leaders ate cultivated’.Andreea Paul says the ‘attempt ofUDMR leaders to create a parallelsociety in Romania will fail’,Mediafax reports. ‘We care about therights of minorities and we haveimplemented high standards in thearea of minorities through cultural,educational and economic integration.The Szeckler Land autonomyproject is an anti-constitutional andanti-European one, through whichhatred and the extremist philosophyof irresponsible leaders ate cultivated.The ‘attempt of UDMR leaders tocreate a parallel society in Romaniawill fail. We, at ACL, do not supportsuch an undertaking and, in thepresidential campaign, will focus ona project for Romania, centred onthe security of all citizens, fightagainst corruption and extremistmoves’, Andreea Paul said.ELENA UDREA: DANGEROUSACTION THAT COULD AGITATETHE POPULATIONPMP leader Elena Udrea said inIasi, on Friday, that the UDMRproject on the autonomy of theSzekler Land was a dangerous action‘that could agitate the population’,adding that the Hungarian leaderscould have waited for a nationaldebate on regionalisation, Mediafaxreports. Udrea said the timing ofUDMR for the promotion of theSzekler County autonomy projectwas quite delicate given the difficultinternational context caused by thereferendum in Scotland as well as theseparatism trends shown by variousregions in Europe.‘We are in election campaignand have become used to politicalleaders waving this flag of ethnicconflicts. I am very familiar with thesituation in Harghita, Covasna orMures Counties and there is no conflictin the population. There is justthe need of political leaders, to comeup with electoral pretexts. This especiallyapplies to Hungarian leaders,but, very often, Romanian politiciansanswer in the same way’, ElenaUdrea said.The PMP leader also said that,agitating such a sensitive theme wasunfair on Romania and askedUDMR leaders to be responsible.‘Hungarian ethnics need the supportof the state, the Government interventionin order to have developmentopportunities. They needinvestment in infrastructure, as wellas investors. The centre of the countryis poor also because it has notbeen supported by Bucharestenough’, said the PMP leader.ROMANIANS’ CIVICFORUM REJECTS AUTONOMYDIALOGUEOn Friday, at Sfantu-Gheorghe,leaders of the Romanians’ CivicForum in Covasna, Harghita andMures (FCRCHM) reiterated theiropposition to territorial autonomy,repeatedly voiced in the last fewyears.‘Over the years we haveexpressed our opposition to anyproject on territorial autonomy. TheForum shall not accept a dialogueon that topic. The territorial autonomyproject means an unwinding ofthe wheel of Romanian history tothe situation before 1918.Romanians do not want to be discriminatedagainst in their owncountry anymore. (…) The futureshould not mean an enclave’, saidone of the FCRHCM leaders, IoanLacatusu.Lacatusu added that any projectthat would legalise collective rightsor an enclavisation of the regioncould not be accepted by theRomanians’ Civic Forum.He stressed that almost 400,000Romanians live in the Covasna,Harghita and Mures Counties, andthey have never been asked if theywant autonomy and noted that,even without an autonomousregion, the Romanian communitythere had not benefited from thesupport of UDMR local authoritiesfor their identity-related projectsand issues.According to the UDMRautonomy project, the region madeup of the Harghita, Covasna andMurea Counties should be ‘anautonomous region with legal personalityinside the unitary and indivisibleRomanian state, based on theprinciples of local autonomy safeguardedby the Constitution andcurrent statute’.‘In the region, the equalitybefore the law of all citizens, regardlessof their linguistic or ethnic situation,as well as the respect for ethnicand cultural particularities isguaranteed. (…) Without harmingthe stipulations on the flag and coatof arms of Romania, the region, aswell as the composing counties, havetheir own flags and coats of armsapproved by the regional counciland county councils, respectively’ ,reads the document quoted byMediafax.According to the document, theRegional Council will be based inOdorheiul Secuiesc, will have a presidentad three vice-presidents andwill be made up of 77 memberselected by universal and direct suffragein the territory of the SzeklerLand.

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