MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 26 (109)/2004

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Mon Jul 19 16:59:42 2004


Original sender: Edivers Buletin <edivers_buletin-admin@mediafax.ro>



Divers Bulletin no. 26 (109) / July 19, 2004
News

ETHNIC MINORITIES MPs ASK FOR A MINORITY LAW

CNCD APPROACHES THE PROBLEM OF ETHNIC ROMA DISCRIMINATION

JEWISH COMMUNITY IN EASTERN ROMANIA IS FACING EXTINCTION

PROSECUTOR REITERATES POSITION ON REHABILITATED WAR CRIMINALS

Focus

HUNGARY'S CONCERN OVER ROMANIAN DEMOCRACY


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News

ETHNIC MINORITIES MPs ASK FOR A MINORITY LAW

BUCHAREST  Representatives of national minorities in the Romanian
Chamber of Deputies last week proposed the enactment of a special law on
the national minorities, which clearly defines their statute, according
to Varujan Pambuccian, representative of the Armenian minority. "I did
not ground upon the idea a law must solve everything. Simple elements
are missing - the definition of ethnic minorities, the recognized
national minorities, the meaning of the Council of National Minorities.
On the basis of years ahead experience, we proposed the establishment of
a National Authority for Ethnic Minorities that confers us continuity
and stability. This law would give a clear statute to our organization",
stated Varujan Pambuccian. Altogether, parliamentarians drew an alarm
signal for the education in the mother tongue, stressing out upon the
necessity of ensuring teachers of for the schools with a reduced number
of children. In Romania, there are 19 ethnic minorities who are
officially recognized, and 18 of them with one representative in the
Parliament.
Author: DIVERS
summary


CNCD APPROACHES THE PROBLEM OF ETHNIC ROMA DISCRIMINATION

BUCHAREST  Romanian Council to Fight Discrimination (CNCD) has
enforced, starting the beginning of this year, 13 penalties - two fines
and 11 warnings, has stated the chairman of the Council Adrian
Camarasan. Since the beginning of the year, CNCD received 157 petitions
and notices from individual and corporate, governmental and
non-governmental institutions and solved 62. The main discrimination
criterion on the basis of which the complaints were lodged was the
ideological one - 21 cases. The most discriminated social category is
that of retired persons, who made the object of 17 cases. Finally, the
CNCD was addressed 16 petitions for ethnic discrimination. Last year,
the Council received 473 petitions, out of which 371 were solved, 66
complaints invoking ethnic criteria. Since its establishment in July
2002, the Council enforced 39 penalties, most of which being for ethic
Roma discrimination - 16. 
Author: DIVERS
summary


JEWISH COMMUNITY IN EASTERN ROMANIA IS FACING EXTINCTION

FOCSANI  Only 150 Jewish people still live in Vrancea county (Eastern
Romania), of whom 70 live in Focsani town, though before the World War
II their number was over 4,000, stated Mircea Rond, president of the
Jewish community in the county. "In the '30s, Focsani had eight
synagogues and eight temples, two elementary schools, one kindergarten
and a dispensary. About 4,000 Jewish people were living in the city in
that period. After the war, their number increased to 6,000, because of
the arrival of some refugees during WWII. Subsequently, especially after
1980, most of them emigrated to Israel", stated Mircea Rond, i.e. the
rabbi performing in the only synagogue in Vrancea. "We take care all the
members of the community have a decent living standard. The people who
ask for our help are always given support", also stated Rond. 
Author: DIVERS
summary


PROSECUTOR REITERATES POSITION ON REHABILITATED WAR CRIMINALS

BUCHAREST  Prosecutor-General Ilie Botos suggested to journalists on 15
July that it is "technically impossible" for his office to annul the
judicial rehabilitation of alleged war criminals Colonels Radu Dinulescu
and Gheorghe Petrescu, RFE/RL reported. Efraim Zuroff, director of the
Israeli office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, demanded in February that
the Romanian authorities annul both rehabilitations, which were granted
by the Supreme Court in 1997 and 1998 following an appeal by the
Prosecutor-General's Office under an "extraordinary appeal" procedure.
Botos said that due to the abolition of that procedure from Romanian
criminal and penal law, a decision by the Supreme Court can no longer be
challenged and may only be appealed before the European Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg. The men were sentenced following World War II for
participating in crimes against Jews and the extermination of Jews in
Bessarabia and Bukovina in 1941.
Author: DIVERS
summary


Focus

HUNGARY'S CONCERN OVER ROMANIAN DEMOCRACY

BUDAPEST  Opposition party FIDESZ leader Viktor Orban expressed
"concern" at the state of Romanian democracy in a report presented July
6 to the European People's Party (EPP), The Budapest Sun reported. The
report was written by a commission set up by the EPP to assess how much
progress Romania had made in relation to the Copenhagen Criteria on
democracy, which all candidate countries must meet before they may join
the European Union. According to the commission, which Orban chaired,
the government of Prime Minister Adrian Nastase introduced changes to
the law on local elections almost immediately before the local elections
took place. According to Fidesz, the changes introduced "give rise to
the suspicion that the [electoral] law is antidemocratic and
discriminatory." The next Parliamentary elections are due in November,
and last-minute changes to the law on national elections are also
planned. One surprise is that the EPP should have chosen Orban to chair
the commission investigating Hungary's neighbor. The EPP groups together
center-right and Christian Democrat MEPs in the European Parliament, and
Fidesz is a member. At the same time, relations between Hungary and
Romania were often tense during Orban's time as PM. The so-called Status
Law, which guarantees certain rights and privileges to ethnic Hungarians
living in neighboring countries including Romania, cast shadows over the
two countries' bilateral relations. Given this background, it seems
noteworthy that the EPP did not choose a more neutral figure to chair
the commission. According to one Hungarian expert who is close to the
scene, however, this is only to be expected. "It is in Hungary's
interest that one of its largest neighbors, one with over 1.5 million
ethnic Hungarians enters the EU as soon as possible, and so we're
obviously very concerned about these potential failings. "Nobody in
Western Europe was directly concerned in the same way, so it's only
natural that Orban should take the initiative." he said.
Author: DIVERS
summary


DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is
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Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center. Partial or full reproduction of
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