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Open letters to the Prime Minister of Romania

Open letter to Mr. Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania

Mr. Prime Minister!

You have recently published your plan on dividing Romania into regions. This plan suggests, that you wish to go beyond your political opponents, who “only” wanted to assimilate Szeklerland into one larger region. Like them, you also seem to forget that both proposals violate Romania’s international commitments, and that the country’s administrative map cannot be redrawn while ignoring the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

We would like to remind you that a reform that would create administrative regions greater than the actual counties, must take into account the will of the local communities, and regional boundaries cannot be assigned without consulting the affected communities through referendum. We Szeklers, the majority inhabitants of Szeklerland, will not vote for any draft law that would either divide Szeklerland, or assimilate it into a greater administrative unit.

You must also have in mind the fact that the creation of new regions also affects the designation of statistical regions, which were imposed by the EU in its member states, as tools of its cohesion policy, which may not be used as a weapon against peoples living on the member states’ territory, but with language and culture different from the majority inhabitants of those countries.

Furthermore, Regulation No 1059/2003 of the European Union, on the creation of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (referred to in Romania as development regions), declares that these regions “must reflect economic, social, historical, cultural, geographical or environmental circumstances”.

It is due to this specification that South Tyrol, Valle d'Aosta, Friuli-Venezia- Giulia, Corsica, Sardinia, Catalonia, Basque Country, Galicia, Friesland and Brittany have become individual NUTS 2 regions. Romania is the only country in Europe that ignored the historical, cultural, geographical criteria, and forced Szeklerland into a greater region, where the Szekler-Hungarian community, which forms a majority of 75% in Szeklerland, became a minority of less than 30% in the region. The proposal you presented is intended to make our situation even worse, by blowing apart the historically, culturally and linguistically uniform Szeklerland.

The quoted EU regulation also states that the NUTS classification should not be changed too often; it must remain stable. Your draft is very unlikely to provide long-term stability, as it is not based on social cohesion, the solidarity of the inhabitants of the region, and linguistic, cultural, social, and geographical unity, but rather, nationalism, raised to the rank of state politics.

Let us remind you that Nicolae Ceausescu wanted to destroy the villages in order to remove all the monuments, churches and cemeteries of several thousand Hungarian villages from Romania’s map, to destroy all evidence of Hungarian presence in Transylvania. He did not consider that he’s not only acting against the Hungarians, but against the whole of Romania, against his own people. Likewise, your plan contradicts economical rationality; it will not advance, but rather, make it impossible for the EU cohesion policy to be realized in Romania, and will push the country into a deeper crisis, for which you and your government will be responsible.

Finally, let me assure you that we Szeklers will not allow our homeland to fall victim to incompetence and hate. If needed, we will make use of means of civil disobedience, to preserve Szeklerland’s unity.

There is however another way for the administrative reform, that is more advantageous for Romania. If your government wishes to respect Romania’s constitution and all the international treaties Romania has adhered to, then you should consider the report of the expert committee led by professor Ioan Stanomir as the starting point of the administrative reform, and this can be a basis of dialog and cooperation. We are ready for dialog and cooperation, but only if your policy will be based on the free will of the local communities, the solidarity and constructive cooperation between citizens.

The responsibility of the choice is yours, Mr. Prime Minister: dialog and social peace, or the deepening of ethnic tensions. We stand by the side of peace, dialog and cooperation.

Finally, we would like to remind you that the Szekler people, and their homeland, Szeklerland, will be a living reality, even long after the proposals for our assimilation and dispersion will be forgotten.

Izsák Balázs
President of the Szekler National Council
Marosvásárhely - Targu Mures
The 13th of May 2012

Source: http://www.sznt.ro/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230%3Aopen-letter-to-mr-victor-ponta-prime-minister-of-romania&catid=12%3Afolyamodvanyok&Itemid=16&lang=en

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Victor Ponta, Prime Minister
Government of Romania
No. 1, Victoria Square, sector 1,
Bucharest, Romania.

2013-02-08

Mister Prime Minister:

Concerning the controversy surrounding the flag of the Székelys and your statement: "The Hungarian Prime Minister should not meddle in this and I'm not curious about his opinion on this subject."

Such cavalier statements border on contempt and remain incomprehensible to ordinary mortals in 2013 from a Prime Minister of a country in the European Union, a union created for the purpose of advancement of the diverse peoples of Europe, bruised by historical injustices everyone wants to reduce, if not eliminate.

This line of thinking, Romania's behavior towards Hungarians usurped by way of the Dictate of Trianon, is far from being in harmony with the objectives of the European Union. Romania's attitude is exemplified by the various contemptuous statements by Romanian politicians against Hungarians, especially against the Székelys who, by their right to self-determination guaranteed by the said treaty, demand territorial autonomy the Romanian government continues to deny them.

It is certainly understandable that Romanians have a pathological fear of the tensions created by one of the greatest injustices, namely, the truncation of thousand-year-old Hungary. They fear these tensions will haunt the "good" relations with Hungarians, relations eagerly hoped for by the peoples of Europe. Your government's denial of historical reality and enacting constitutional regulations contrary to international law aimed to suppress the rights of millions of Hungarians might abate this fear. But they are by all accounts counterproductive to European objectives, not to mention the damage they will cause to Romania at all economic and political levels.

By taking a hard line stance toward Hungarians in Romania, you supply reasons for Hungarians to turn to the Hungarian nation of the dismembered Hungary, from whom they believe they are entitled to seek protection from Romania's non-compliant behavior. Due to historical circumstances, this desire to seek such closer ties is normal, mind you, because you try to bully that which is most sensitive to any nation: you defy the national identity of a people with all sorts of prohibitions.

This unique people is one of the most important in the development of the world, it was there long before the Romanians, dating back to Neolithic times, and has developed its own language well before other peoples developed theirs. It is likely that this historical truth is the reason many states peddle monumental lies in respect to the Hungarians in their attempt to divert their guilt of having destroyed Hungary and of demonizing Hungarians, as Romanian historians do.

All this to say that, by restricting Hungarians in their national life - instead of recognizing their autonomy - Romania deprives itself of the fruits of potential wealth Hungarians represent. I do not want to believe your government would want to refuse the riches generated by its people living in harmony, or that you would eradicate the Hungarians of Transylvania in the pursuit of purely chauvinistic objectives in a modern European Union.

Romania's intransigence with its Hungarian population shows that it is time to revise the treaties that have allocated Hungarian territories to Romania without any historical rights and in contravention of international law, blithely flouted by the states that conspired at the Paris Peace Talks after the First World War.

The genocide of Székelys is certainly a solution to the Romanians' dream of a Greater Romania. But by pursuing that goal your government threatens peace in Europe by creating tensions between Hungarians and Romanians. This is why I urge you to look at the future, at the positive participation of peoples of Central Europe in the building of a Europe, free from ethnic tensions, by recognizing the Székelys' ancestral historical autonomy. All Europe will thank you.

Charles Sucsan
French by birth; Canadian of Hungarian origin,
Artist, visual arts
575 Barthélemy Longueuil, Québec J4J 1M5, Canada
Phone 450 670 7733, Email c.sucsan@videotron.ca www.sucsan.ca

Cc: President of France, media, heads of state and others ...

P. S. Examples of unacceptable dictatorial harassment:

1. Raiding private homes and arresting scholars for holding private recitals of literary works, specifically those of the Hungarian poet and novelist, Count Albert Wass, whom the Soviet-controlled Romanian People's Tribunals had convicted of alleged "War Crimes."

2. The plan to dismantle administrative regions where Székelys have been living for thousands of years and to rearrange the borders of their counties in an effort to infiltrate their land and dilute their democratic strength.

3. Prohibit the public and private display of national identity insignias.

4. Enact all sorts of laws and regulations that tramp on the most basic human rights considered fundamental in the West - the list is too long to itemize.

(Translated and edited from French and Hungarian - author's approval sought and pending)

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