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What the newspapers say: June 22, 2011

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Miercuri, 22 iunie 2011, 11:52 English | Press Review

Three drunk Romanian citizens in Alba Iulia, central Romania stirred up a scandal between the Romanian government and the Hungarian one. The Hungarian minority in Romania amounts to 1.5 million compared to 7 million Romanians living in Transylvania. A compromise solution to the territorial reorganization project, to merge communes dissatisfies the Hungarian minority just as much. Nevertheless, county council presidents are often involved in corruption scandals: one newspaper reads that Mures county council president’s company signed 56 contracts with public authorities worth 5.5 million euro. 

Gandul wonders on Wednesday whether the scandal stirred up by three drunk Romanians in Alba Iulia, central Romania by breaking windows and vandalizing buildings pertaining to both Romanian and Hungarians can be considered an interethnic conflict.  

This weekend, three drunk Romanian citizens vandalized the houses of both Romanians and Hungarian houses. According to local police officers, two Hungarian ethnic citizens came out their houses to see what is going on and they were hit by the three Romanians.  

The agressors were held by the local police but prosecutors decided to investigate them in freedom. However, to make sure that they cover all dimensions of the scandal that echoed to Budapest prosecutors also investigate the three for discrimination.  

On Monday night, Hungary’s foreign affairs ministry declared he was shocked by a series of incidents against Hungarians in Alba Iulia, Romania. The Hungarian officials said the scandal contrast bluntly with the openness and close cooperation that characterized the Hungarian Romanian relationships in the last period.  

Today, the Romanian Foreign Affairs ministry reacted to the gesture and demanded more clarifications. The Romanian officials said that their Hungarian counterparts should have contacted the Romanian party through usual diplomatic channels to inform itself on the issue.  

Prosecutors claim that the incident had no ethnic implications, it broke out spontaneous since the three were drunk and in a mood for any sort of scandal. Evenimentul Zilei reads about the compromise solution between the Hungarian Democrats and the Democratic Liberals on the territorial reorganization issue: to merge communes. However, the idea threatens the right of the minorities to use their language in the local administration.  

Besides the fact that several mayors and local counselor positions will disappear, the merging of communes threatens minorities: minorities can use their own language in the administration where the minorities represent at least 20% of the population. The Hungarian Democrats did not want to tackle the issue at the negotiations at Cotroceni before debating the issue with their own members. 

However, the President said that by Monday there will be a consensus and that territorial reorganization will be done. Fumoasa commune mayor Ferencz Tibor said in an interview for Evenimentul Zilei that there are only 1.5 million Hungarians in a 7 million people Transylvania so that worries with the minority breaking apart with Romania are not realistic.  

He said that the Hungarian minority wants autonomy for economic and cultural reasons. He assured that if there will be a referendum among the Hungarians in Romania they will not say yes to being part of Hungary as many claim.  

Territorial reorganization or not, one thing is clear: local county council leaders are often times involved in corruption scandals and today Romania libera reveals the case of Mures county council Iosif Balogh who is accused by the National Integrity Agency of conflict of interests: the company he used to be the main shareholder and now manager signed 56 contracts with public authorities from 2006 to 2010 worth 5.5 million euro.  

National integrity agents claim that the former company of Balogh managed to signed the 56 contracts because Balogh held information from within the county council. Contacted by the newspaper, Balogh said that he has already been investigated by the local police on this matter and has not been indicted. He said that he has to work somewhere because he needs supplementary revenues.























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