Issue of the month: Following the Hungarian-speaking Szekler community’s demonstration on 15 March in Odorheiu Secuiesc, is the Szekler minority is entitled to ask for an autonomous state?
Csaba Ferenc, vice-president of the
Szekler National Council (CNS)
Of course we are entitled to ask for our autonomy, it is the fundamental right of a community to express its aspirations and our future depends on that. If not, in a few dozen years there won’t be any Szeklers left. At the last referendum 266 people declared that they were Szeklers.
Gheorghe Funar, Greater Romania
Party (PRM) senator and former
mayor of Cluj-Napoca
They are not entitled to found any republic and reason that the Szeklers did not proclaim their independence at Odorheiu Secuiesc on 15 March is to the merit of the Greater Romania Party (PRM), because we threatened a counter-demonstration of 100,000 patriots. And to clarify the issue, we are not talking about Szeklers, we’re talking about Hungarians. It is absurd to ask for autonomy. They are 300 Szeklers and they want a president, government, parliament, embassies for 300 people? Give this problem to 300 lunatics from a mental asylum to solve and they wouldn’t find a solution. Anyway, this demand for an autonomous Szeklerland is a screen for Hungarian irredentism. They act now, because they know that once in the EU they won’t have space for manoeuvres of this sort anymore.
Smaranda Enache, president
of Liga Pro Europa
The European models of federalism were born out of the aspirations of certain minorities and in a democracy, the right to express one’s aspirations is fundamental. All these examples of federalism have a common philosophy, that is the will protect diversity, be it ethnic, linguistic, religious or environmental. It is up to us now to create our own model, because models of federalism cannot be imported.
Jeno Szasz, mayor of Odorheiu
Secuiesc and president
of the Civic Union
of the Hungarians (UCM)
We have the right to shape our own future, but terms such as ‘territorial autonomy’ can cause upset in Romania. What we need in the first place is a process of authentic decentralisation, because problems should be solved in the community where they appear. The Romanian administrative system is still the over-centralised one we inherited from Ceausescu, because nowadays representatives of parties want decentralisation only up until the moment they get to power. But on the other hand, the Hungarian government should support us in our initiative.
Zamfira Pora, deputy prefect
of the Mures County
The demand of the Szeklers is a matter of extremism, of the radicalism of some of the exponents of the Hungarian minority. It is not a new story. Local autonomy has always been an objective of the Hungarian minority of Transylvania. In my opinion, the Szeklers are not entitled to ask for autonomy, because the present legal and constitutional framework already gives them enough rights. Their rights are guaranteed just like the rights of any other citizens.