Romania: to and fro over Székely Land autonomy
Romania's Chamber of Deputies last Tuesday tacitly approved the granting of autonomy status to the Hungarian-speaking majority in the Székely Land region because a debate on a corresponding bill had not been scheduled for 60 days. The following day the Senate, which makes the final decision, rejected the bill in an emergency session. This has provoked a heated debate.
Transylvania belongs to all the ethnic groups
Those who think that an autonomous Székely Land is a sustainable plan are wrong on several counts, writes high school graduate Gergely Konrad in the blog republica.ro:
“Often in Transylvania's Hungarian-speaking society the autonomy of the Székely Land is presented as the key to solving economic problems and cultural alienation. It is presented as a life-saving, easily digestible solution - especially when consumed against a backdrop of daily despair with a dose of nationalistic melancholy. ... But fortunately Transylvania cannot be given to the Hungarians, because (shock and horror!) it already belongs to them - just as it belongs to the Romanians, the Transylvanian Saxons, the Armenians, Roma and other language groups living there. Transylvania belongs to all those who call it their 'home', regardless of when they 'moved' here.”
Iohannis and minorities: buried hopes
In a televised speech President Klaus Iohannis harshly criticised the opposition for wanting to sell Transylvania to the Hungarians. But in doing so he's badly alienated Romania's Székely population, writes Zoltán Pengő in Maszol:
“Ever since Klaus Iohannis entered the Romanian political scene he has enjoyed general popularity among the Transylvanian Hungarians. ... They expected not only a more European policy from him, but also a positive change in minority policy. This hope was based primarily on the fact that as a Transylvanian Saxon Iohannis also belongs to one of the national minorities. ... I hope that the National Council for Combating Discrimination condemns the president. It's possible to speak out against autonomy or demonstrate your Romanian affiliation in an elegant way.”