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BBC-Hotnews.ro debate: Is the Kosovo case rushing or blocking Romania decentralization?

Deputy Arpad Antal: The Hungarian Counties were militarized

de Radu Big     HotNews.ro
Luni, 25 februarie 2008, 2:37 English | Top News

Romanian deputy Arpad Antal, representing the Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR), declared in an interview for Hotnews.Ro and BBC that the Hungarian counties (Covasna, Mures and Harghita) have been militarized. Antal says that "it is not normal to have in Sfantu Gheorghe, a city of 70,000 people, thousands of employees in the Gendarmerie, with less than 5% Hungarian ethnics". Social democrat leader of the Cluj county Vasile Dancu claims, in the same debate, that the pro-Kosovo position expressed by UDMR leaders will force him to quit the regionalist speech and take over a nationalist tone, in order to avoid being accused of pro-Hungarian politics.

In brief:
●    “I can not put pressure for decentralization in Transylvania, at least for a while. People will say that I am Hungarian or separatist or other things", said the PSD leader.
●    Liberal vice president Bogdan Olteanu admits that "there are institutions, especially the military ones, in which there is a low penetration of the Hungarian minority”.
●    UDMR deputy Arpad Antal is convinced that “Kosovo is a precedent after all, at least because the European community intervenes in solving the problems of a minority group, a solving that means including a regional government".
●    Liberal vice president Bogdan Olteanu says that the different positions assumed by the Government (not recognizing Kosovo) and the governing partners (UDMR, who recognized the new state) should not lead to expelling UDMR from the government, because it would mean that Romania returned to 1990 with its politics. "It was normal to have a Hungarian demanding the UDMR expelling. Take it as a joke", said Olteanu.
●    Vasile Dancu claims that UDMR must join the Opposition, not only because it expressed a position contrary to the one assumed by the Government in the Kosovo matter, but also because it has to fight for decentralization from the Opposition rows.
●    Olteanu says that Harghita and Covasna are the poorest counties but receive more from the budget than other counties, following the solidarity principle.

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