DIPLOMACY EVENTS

Romanians in Timoc call again for removal of Romanian consul in Zaicear, Romanian ambassador in Belgrade

Representatives of the Romanian community from Valea Timocului (Serbia) have requested on Monday, during the works of the Izvoru Muresului Summer University, for the third year in a row, that the Romanian consul in Zaicear, Iulian Nitu, and Romanian ambassador to Belgrade, Daniel Banu, be removed, under the charge that they are conducting an ‘anti-Romanian policy”.

“I, hereby, want to tell you: take back Mr. Banu, the Romanian ambassador in Belgrade, Mr. Nitu, send him away from Zaicear! You either send us over individuals whom will indeed support us, help us, if not, you’d better not send us anybody, because these people have caused us much trouble and it will cost us time to rebuild what they ruined. What I perceive is nothing less than a total lack of interest from the Romanian political class towards us, given that we, in all events we participated in, have spoken about this and haven’t seen any result”, the chairman of the Romanian Nation Party in Timoc Valley (PNR), Predrag Balasevici (L) stated.

Balasevici stated that the two diplomats are polarizing the Romanian community from Timoc Valley and are leading “an anti-Romanian policy” towards the Romanians in Timoc as well as the Romanian state.

“We have sent letters, we have held talks also with the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, wherever we have the opportunity to do so, we make it known that these gentlemen from Serbia are leading an anti- Romanian policy, I believe it is an anti-Romanian policy both towards Romanians in Timoc, and towards the Romanian state. They are dividing us into Romanians and “Vlahi”, they create new leaders, new political NGOs, and ‘true Romanians’ – I don’t know, if we are not Romanians, then what are we?”, Predrag Balasevici said.

The chairman of the Romanian Nation Party in Timoc Valley (PNR) also stated that the Romanian officials who visit Serbia hold meetings with representatives of such organizations leading an anti-Romanian policy, but “don’t meet those individuals who truly fight for the Romanian cause in Timoc”.

Balasevici mentioned the example of State Secretary Sebastian Hotca from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department for Policies on Relations with Romanians Everywhere, who is currently attending the Izvoru Muresului Summer University.

“Mr. Secretary of State, you have been to Serbia. […] for us Negotin is Timoc’s Romanian spiritual center, because priest Boian Alexandrovici is there, the first Romanian churches are there, the Archpriestship, I believe you are aware of the existence of the city of Bor. The city of Bor is the center where most political activities of NGOs of the Romanian community in Timoc take place. You did not visit us! Perhaps the visit and the schedule were designed by Mr. Ambassador, Mr. Consul and that is why, perhaps, you went elsewhere, maybe we will have the opportunity to talk about our problems”, Balasevici noted.

The PNR’s chairman also stated that as far as collaboration between the Department for Policies on Relations with Romanians Everywhere and the Romanian communities abroad is concerned, a change was necessary here too.

“Try something to make a change there, you have a power that allows you to decide, you can change something because your predecessors have not done much, if at all, for us. Some of them have hindered us, other have failed to help us, time is running out, like Father Boian said, we will enter the 21st century and we will lose our identity, which we have miraculously preserved until now”, Balasevici said.

According to Balasevici, Romanians in Timoc do not have access to Romanian language schools, religious services or mass-media, and that politicians in Bucharest could condition their support for Serbia’s EU accession bid on the granting of such fundamental rights in order to preserve the Romanian national identity.

“It is known that the problem of Romanians in Timoc is a great one and we cannot solve it, because we lack clear signals and Bucharest’s clear support that would make Belgrade understand that it needs to make a greater effort in Timoc and to obey the law which grants us, the Romanians, the right to schools, churches and mass-media. It is only then, when Romanian politicians in Bucharest will tell their colleagues in Belgrade that Serbia’s journey towards the EU must pass via Timoc towards Romania, just like the Croats act on behalf of their minority in Serbia, like the Bulgarians and others are doing, that Belgrade will understand that they must respect our rights.” Unfortunately, we do not hear this from Romanian politicians. I attended the meeting between the Romanian and the Serbian PM, in Bor, Serbia, where I heard from Mr. Ponta that Romania offers unconditional support for Serbia’s EU accession bid. When you tell the Serbs this, it means that they can have their way. This is tragic for us”, Balasevici concluded.

In 2014, Titus Corlatean, Romania’s former Foreign Minister, attended the Izvoru Muresului Summer University where he stated regarding the requests coming from Romanians in Timoc that he will discuss them directly with representatives with Romanian communities there in order to clarify the situation, but that he is convinced that no Romanian diplomat can be accused of nurturing an anti-Romanian attitude, as was the case with Romanian consul Iulian Nitu.

The 13th edition of the Summer University of Romanians everywhere started on Monday at the National Sports Complex in Izvoru Nuresului, and will tackle topics of interest for Romanians abroad as well as for Romania.

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