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Romanian President spoke against regional autonomy for ethnic Hungarians only. The Hungarian crowd protested

Luni, 20 iulie 2009, 9:59 English | Politics

Romania's incumbent President Traian Basescu met in Hargita (North Romania) with Viktor Orban, Laszlo Tokes and the Hungarian minority. The event had an inter-stately and electoral score: Romania will hold presidential elections this year and Hungary - parliamentary elections. Basescu said he understood the need for autonomy, but ethnic Hungarians from Odorheiu Secuiesc were not going to get any more autonomy than people in other parts of the country.

Basescu cited Romania's Constitution twice during the meeting on Saturday, while the Hungarian minority crowd was booing him. He read the Constitution's first article, saying that the country had a national, unitarian, sovereign and independent character. After the mass whistled and booed, Basescu repeated the article more firmly, demanding the restless to show decency. There was no reaction from the organisers, panellists or hosts.
Basescu was invited to hold a speech at the summer camp in Tusnad, Harghita, by Viktor Orban, leader of the Hungarian party FIDESZ. Orban told the Hungarians in Harghita that there was a dialogue between him and the Romanian President, a dialogue that he hoped to continue if FIDESZ was elected in Hungary and Basescu in Romania.

Basescu's advisor on the Hungarian minority, Eckstein Peter Kovacs, told HotNews.ro that he advised Basescu to take the challenge, in the event FIDESZ wins the elections. He also said that, despite all the whistling, the locals appreciated that, during his presidency, the infrastructure started to improve.

Basescu invited a woman from the crowd, holding a banner inscribed with AUTONOMY, to take his seat and explain what autonomy meant for her. She said she wanted the clerks to speak to her in Hungarian, because she didn't see it fit to not understand documents because she did not speak Romanian. "We don't want city clerks to be Romanian any more and to not understand what we're saying. That's why we whistle, but this president says that he doesn't want autonomy, ever!", she went on.

Another Hungarian woman said autonomy should help solve the language problem. Hungarian children should only have to study Romanian as a foreign language, because it is a difficult language to learn. A Romanian man appreciated that seeing Tokes, Basescu and Orban together was important and could be beneficial for the Romanians in the region as well if Orban and Basescu would be elected presidents.


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