MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities no. 45 (241) / December 11, 2006

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Divers Bulletin no. 45 (241) / December 11, 2006

News

INTOLERANT ROMANIA JOINS THE EU! 
BUCHAREST AUTHORITIES EVICT GROUP OF NOMADIC ETHNIC ROMAS LIVING ON
CAPITAL OUTSKIRTS 
ETHNIC ROMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA TO MOVE IN TEN HOUSES BUILT WITH EU'S FUNDS 
JEWS' SYNAGOGUE EASTERN ROMANIA TURNS INTO LAW OFFICE 
HUNGARIAN PARTY ASKS RULING ALLIANCE TO PASS LAW ON ETHNIC MINORITIES
STATUTE 
HUNGARIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE OPENS IN TRANSYLVANIA 
ONE IN TWO MOLDOVA CITIZENS WANTS ROMANIAN CITIZENSHIP 
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News

INTOLERANT ROMANIA JOINS THE EU! 
BUCHAREST - Ethnocentrism. Most of the Romanians feature this trait.
Some 18% of the Romanians feature an exclusivist ethnocentrism, namely
besides the enthusiastic focus on their own interethnic group, they
adopt extreme solutions to promote its purity, study shows. 
The Department for Interethnic Relations presented the above information
on December 4, while the College of Sociology "Max Weber" gathered it in
the survey called "Climatul interetnic in Romania in pragul integrarii
europene" (Interethnic environment in Romania prior to EU accession).
Thus, two third, or 68.5% of the Romanians believe the state should help
the development of the ethnic Roma identity, compared with 43.7% three
years ago. In addition, 49.5% of the Romanians believe the state should
support the ethnic Roma organization countrywide, while 56.9% believe
Romania should support the cultural organizations of the ethnic Romas in
Romania. Some 70.7% of the Romanians believe the ethnic Romas should be
forced to live separately from the rest of the society as they could not
integrate, while 57% of them disagreed with that statement in 2003. Some
53% of the respondents disagree with the fact the state should offer
more subsidies to the ethnic Roma and should counsel them. 
Prejudice against the Hungarians is at the political level rather than
at the social-economic one. 
The Romanian-Hungarian relationship is rather tense compared with four
years ago. Some 15% of the respondents believe the Romanian-Hungarian
relationship deteriorated in the past year. Some 10% of the respondents
forecast the relationship will subsequently deteriorate, compared with
20% who believe the relationship will improve. 
The same survey said that Romanians have a positive opinion about the
Hungarians in the social-economic field, namely they are hardworking and
civilized. Generally speaking, the respondents see Hungarians as
egoistic, hostile, proud/arrogant, with a rather unitary behavior. 
Certain forms of ethnocentric hostility against the Hungarian minority
are intensifying. Some 43% of the Romanians are disturbed by the public
use of the Hungarian language, compared with 30% of the respondents back
in 2002. The survey also stresses upon the fact the majority population
in Romania supports the initiative of the Hungarian state towards the
Hungarian minority. 
A third of the Romanians agree with the statement "the pain of the
Jewish people is a punishment from God," and 27% of them believe "Jews
could not be forgiven for crucifying Jesus Christ." 
Some 31.5% of the Romanians believe Jews control politics and
international finances, compared with 23% of the respondents in 2003.
Some 31.6% of the respondents believe the interests of the Jews in
Romania are different from the interests of the other Romanian citizens,
compared with 24% in 2003. Also, some 31.5% of the respondents say Jews
overstate the persecution they were subjected to in order to get certain
advantages, compared with 27% in 2003. 
The Holocaust, the participation and responsibility of the Romanian
authorities in Jews extermination was a highly media-covered topic in
the last period, reason for which the large number of respondents giving
their opinion on this issue should not come as a surprise. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


BUCHAREST AUTHORITIES EVICT GROUP OF NOMADIC ETHNIC ROMAS LIVING ON
CAPITAL OUTSKIRTS 
BUCHAREST - Authorities in sector 1 of Romania's capital city Bucharest
evicted Tuesday, December 5, a group of nomadic ethnic Romas living on
the city's outskirts and demolished their houses illegally built. The
authorities explained that the land abusively taken over by the ethnic
Romas is a public area.
"The cityhall's action is the result of several discussions with the
members of the ethnic Roma community during the past months. I warned
them repeatedly they should leave the area, I offered them the chance to
demolish the houses by themselves, but all these were worthless.
I started the eviction from this area today (e.n. Tuesday)," the head of
the Inspectorate of Sector 1 City Hall Razvan Iordan said. We demolished
the houses illegally built on this land, after one hour of discussions
with the ethnic Romas. 
The members of the ethnic Roma community, coming from various areas in
Teleorman county, southern Romania, were living out of stealing scrap
iron and merchandise transported by train. Nine ethnic Roma men of this
group were detained by Railway Transportation Police for investigations.
They are suspected of thefts from wagons committed in the past months,
which caused the state a prejudice totaling some ROL150 billion. 
Tuesday's action ended without incidents and will continue over the next
days with demolishing other constructions illegally built. The local
authorities gave a two-day notice to to leave the city, to the people
illegally occupying the public area. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


ETHNIC ROMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA TO MOVE IN TEN HOUSES BUILT WITH EU'S FUNDS 
ARAD - Some 50 ethnic Romas in Transylvania moved Tuesday, December 5,
in ten houses built within a EUR250,000 program financed by the European
Union.
Each of the ten new houses is made up of two rooms, kitchen, bathroom
and other annexes, having its own gas micro-plant. Arad cityhall
promised to provide the furniture and to completely equip the houses.
"The cityhall will be the owner of the houses, the ethnic Roma families
being tenants for about one year, during which they should prove they
completely integrate in the society. The ethnic Romas will be counseled
to find a job, so they will have to pay a monthly rent and the other
expenditures, which are symbolical but aim to render them responsible,"
Arad mayor Gheorghe Falca said.
Arad cityhall will try to access new European funds meant for ethnic
Romas' reintegration, to build more houses for this community. The city
of Arad currently has over 200 ethnic Romas who need a place to live.
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


JEWS' SYNAGOGUE EASTERN ROMANIA TURNS INTO LAW OFFICE
DROBETA TURNU-SEVERIN - The Jews' synagogue in Drobeta-Turnu Severin
(eastern Romania), built in the second half of the 19th century, will
turn into law and notary office, the local dailies report. 
Three Jews are currently living in Severin. The Jews' leader, Iosif
Lazar, 84, witness of the events in the German camps during the Second
World War, said that the Federation of the Jews' Community sold the only
place for recollection of the Jews in Turnu Severin. It will be
subsequently turned it into notary office. 
"I immediately set against this sacrilege, which originated in an open
conflict with the Jews Federation in Bucharest," Lazar said. He will
subsequently complain about this situation at Israel and US's embassies
in Bucharest. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


HUNGARIAN PARTY ASKS RULING ALLIANCE TO PASS LAW ON ETHNIC MINORITIES
STATUTE 
SFINTU GHEORGHE - The executive vice-president with the Democratic Union
of Hungarians in Romania, or UDMR, Laszlo Borbely, said Tuesday,
December 5, it will ask the other parties with the ruling alliance to
support the approval of the Law on the national minorities statute by
the Parliament. Borbely said "he is not very optimistic" about the
approval of UDMR's draft law. If the Parliament does not pass the law,
UDMR will set up "councils of cultural autonomy" in 2007. 
"If necessary, the Hungarian community will set up councils of cultural
autonomy to decide upon the cultural rights of the Hungarian minority.
We will make this decision by March," Borbely also said. 
The national minorities statute promoted by UDMR has triggered various
controversies in the past years, politically as well as among the civil
society countrywide, mainly because of the chapter on the cultural
autonomy. UDMR leaders aim the national minorities have departments that
represent the minorities and their rights towards the Romanian
authorities, that draw up programs, as well as cultural and educational
strategies, without inferring with state's affairs. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


HUNGARIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE OPENS IN TRANSYLVANIA
BUCHAREST - A new Hungarian cultural institute has been opened by the
undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Sfantu
Gheorghe, central Romania. 
The director of the institution, Katalin Bogyai, opened the Cultural
Co-ordination Centre on December 5, two years after the institute was
completed. The centre's operation was delayed due to the ratification of
a necessary bilateral agreement by Romanian parliament, which happened
in May this year.
The cultural centre in Sfantu Gheorghe will be a branch of a similar
organisation in Bucharest, but its activities will differ considerably,
due to the fact that the majority of Sfantu Gheorghe residents are
ethnic Hungarians. The centre's main task will be cultural co-ordination
between the Hungarians living in the Carpathian basin. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


ONE IN TWO MOLDOVA CITIZENS WANTS ROMANIAN CITIZENSHIP 
KISHNEV - Almost half, or 48% of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova
aim to get Romanian citizenship, BBC reports, quoting a survey made
early November by the Institute of Marketing and Surveys, or IMAS.
Some 46% of the Moldova citizens do not want the Romanian citizenship,
while 5% were undecided and 1% already has a Romanian passport.
The bulk or some 85% of the people who want a Romanian passport
explained they aim to travel freely throughout the countries of the
European Union. The rest of 19% explained they want to work and/or live
in Romania, while 14% want to be Romanians because they feel Romanians.
Some 8% believe that Romanian citizenship will be hard to get after the
country's accession to the European Union on January 1. 
According to the latest population census in the Republic of Moldova, in
2004, only 2% of the aggregate population self identified as Romanians.
Some 46% of the Moldova citizens have a positive opinion about Romania's
accession to the EU, while 10% have a negative opinion and 19% are
neutral.
Some 54% of the Moldova citizens believe Romania could help the Republic
of Moldova in its EU's accession process. 
Author: DIVERS - http://www.divers.ro/


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DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is
edited every week by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, with the
financial support of King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium and Ethnocultural
Diversity Resource Center. Partial or full reproduction of the
information contained in DIVERS is allowed only if the source is
mentioned. You can send messages and suggestions regarding the content
of DIVERS bulletin at Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, at the
e-mail address:
marian@birn.eu.com

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