MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities no. 34 (230) / September 25, 2006

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Divers Bulletin no. 34 (230) / September 25, 2006


News

WHOS RIGHT IN APALINA CASE? 
PILOT PROGRAMME FOR DESEGREGATION IN SCHOOLS IN WESTERN ROMANIA 
COMMEMORATION OF FORMER HEAD-RABBI IN ROMANIA, ALEXANDRU SAFRAN 
UDMR SUPPORTS IMPROVEMENT OF ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN BASIC TREATY 
MANUALS FOR ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PRINTED WITH THE SUPPORT OF ROMANIAN STATE 
ETHNIC ROMA ARE HUMANS TOO, ARENT THEY? 

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News

WHOS RIGHT IN APALINA CASE?
TIRGU-MURES - The Romanian authorities were rather reticent to the visit
in Romania of two euro-parliamentariansbriefing on the conflict in
Apalina district, in Reghin. The opinions on the causes and the
development of this conflict are still questioned. We remind you that on
September 7, fifteen ethnic Roma citizens and two policemen were
hospitalized following violent conflicts with the intervention forces
that were supposed to give subpoenas to persons investigated for having
committed crimes. 
The conflict began after a police officer was assaulted by two Roma men
with a previous criminal record on a terrace in Reghin. The police
officer said the two men threatened him and his family because he had
previously investigated them. Thus, a team of police agents immediately
went to Reghin to identify the assailants. In Apalina, the agents were
attacked by several Romas with rocks, metal bars and pitchforks, police
said.
The agents fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the attackers injuring
dozens of people. An investigation in the case established that the
agents acted correctly, the chief of the Mures County Police
Inspectorate said.
The euro-parliamentarian Mohacsi Viktoria, ethnic Roma with Hungarian
citizenship, said during a press conference held in Tirgu Mures that the
briefing he will submit the European Parliament next week will include a
presentation of the case in Apalina and other three cases of abuses
against the ethnic Roma that took place in the past six months in
Romania, namely cases Pata Rat, Oradea and Chitila. 
The euro-parliamentarian also said the briefing submitted to the
European Parliament and to the European commissioner for enlargement
Ollie Rehn, will include the Polices stance provided the police settles
and sends the conclusions of the internal investigation by September 26,
the issue date of Romanias country report on the accession to the
European Union. Mohacsi said the local and central authorities in
Romania asked him to wait for the settlement of the investigations in
Romania. 
"If the country report on settling Romania accession date to the
European Union will solve all these cases and the Government of Romania
will give clear guarantees in fighting and preventing such incidents, I
will vote for the accession, as a member of the European Parliament. I
do not want Romania to become a member of the European Union, but I aim
at human rights compliance", Mohacsi said. 
Magda Matache, executive director with Romani Criss, said the Apalina
case is racism, the hypothesis being categorically rejected by IGPR
representative. Minister of Administration and of the Interior Vasile
Blaga addressed the two European parliamentarians a letter on the
incident in district Apalina, pointing out the Police did its duty and
observed the legal framework, and the event cannot be blamed on the
order forces, which protected themselves from a violent crowd of over
150 persons". 
Moreover, the minister said the use of force and equipment was triggered
by citizensbrutal reaction for self-defense purposes. Vasile Blaga
stressed out the intervention in Reghin has no ethnical background.
Crime has no color, race, nationality or religion", Vasile Blaga said. 
The Romanian authorities said September 7 conflict was caused by a
policemans aggression on a city terrace. Representatives with Mures
County Police Inspectorate say that two officers, on medical leave, were
threatened by two individuals.
Author: DIVERS


PILOT PROGRAMME FOR DESEGREGATION IN SCHOOLS IN WESTERN ROMANIA
ZALAU - Two schools in Salaj, one of which is given as example of ethnic
segregation in the human rights report of USs State Department in 2005,
includes a pilot country programme on the desegregation of the ethnic
Roma classes. 
The project called "Impreuna pentru desegregare" (Together for
desegregation), is coordinated by association "Sanse Egale" (Equal
chances) in Zalau, together with Salaj Prefecture, the School
Inspectorate, the cityhall in Simleu Silvaniei and Jibou and two schools
in the two cities, accommodating over 2,400 ethnic Roma. 
The president of Association "Sanse Egale" (Equal chances) Robert Vaszi,
sated on September 20 the project worth some EUR79,000 is financed by
the Education Fund for Ethnic Roma. The project targets the
desegregation of the ethnic Roma classes in the two schools in Salaj,
the improvement of academic attendance of ethnic Roma and increase of
academic quality. The project aims that two classes of ethnic Roma in
the two schools are desegregated and 70 ethnic Roma pupils learn in
joint classes starting with this new academic year. 
Ethnic Roma parents as well as parents of other ethnics within the
project will take part in intercultural courses, multi-cultural
libraries and two day centers will be set up, courses and
extra-curriculum activities will be organized for pupils, teachers and
parents. 
Alin Lacatus, advisor within the County Department for Ethnic Roma in
Salaj Prefecture, said that 70 ethnic Roma and non-ethnic Roma children
in Simleu Silvaniei and Jibou took part in a summer camp called "To be
different is a good thing", which aimed at widening the communication
between the ethnic Roma pupils and the pupils of other ethnics. 
According to the results, the pilot project developed in the two schools
in Salaj should be implemented in other cities countywide and
countrywide. 
Author: DIVERS


COMMEMORATION OF FORMER HEAD-RABBI IN ROMANIA, ALEXANDRU SAFRAN 
BUCHAREST - The life and personality of former head-Rabbi in Romania
Alexandru Safran, who passed away almost two months ago, was evoked
Monday, September 18, at the Coral Temple in Bucharest, within a
commemorative meeting gathering standing members of the Jewish community
as well as political personalities, representatives of other religious
dwellings and members of the diplomatic body accredited in Bucharest. 
The president with the Federation of the Jewish Community in Romania, or
FCER, deputy Aurel Vainer, stressed out the role of rabbi Safran in
saving from death over half of the 800,000 Romanian Jewish population
during Antonescu regime. The president of the Chamber of Deputies Bogdan
Olteanu, state advisor Bogdan Tataru Cazaban, on behalf of the
Presidency, and Mr. Alexandru Elias, on behalf of senate chairman,
Nicolae Vacaroiu, spoke about the standing personality of the young
chief-rabbi worldwide, Alexandru Safran, messenger of Jewish and
Romanian culture and values. The religious service was performed by
Great Rabbi Menahem Hacohen. 
Author: DIVERS


UDMR SUPPORTS IMPROVEMENT OF ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN BASIC TREATY 
SFINTU GHEORGHE - UDMR representatives hope the Romanian-Hungarian basic
Treaty signed ten years ago will be improved. They also showed
discontent towards the way the treaty solved the problems of the ethnic
Hungarian community in Romania. UDMR head Marko Bela said Saturday,
September 16, UDMR did not vote ten years ago either pro or con this
treaty, but it abstained. We agreed the moment is important, and this
was the best choice at that time as regards the content, and the treaty
was a prerequisite", Marko said. 
"I could say the signing of the Romanian-Hungarian treaty was an
important event as it enabled the setting up of another kind of
relationship between the two countries than the one before and because
it solved many problems," UDMR president said. 
Marko stressed upon the fact this treaty has unfortunately" not given
the necessary solutions for the inter-ethnic living between Romanians
and ethnic Hungarians, for the different forms of autonomy as well as
for other issues of the ethnic Hungarian university. 
Marko says UDMR critics are justified after ten years, giving as example
the talks on minoritieslaw. "The basic treaty has unfortunately did not
contribute to solving essential problems", Marko said. The basic treaty
"should not be changed", but only completed with various measures such
as the joint sessions of the two Governments. "We must set up
agreements, take better and concrete decisions and fill in the treaty as
best as possible", UDMR head also said.
Author: DIVERS


MANUALS FOR ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PRINTED WITH THE SUPPORT OF ROMANIAN STATE
BUCHAREST - The manuals of ethnic Hungarian language and literature for
the XI and XII grades were printed in 5500 copies, under the care of the
Department for education of UDMRs Executive Presidium, with the material
support of the Department for Inter-ethnic Relations and of Communitas
Foundation. The textbook, and the annex to manuals, were published in
2300 copies. The manuals as well as the textbook were distributed free
of charge by UDMR in schools, setting the best conditions for the solid
learning of the mother tongue and of the ethnic Hungarian literature. 
Author: DIVERS


ETHNIC ROMA ARE HUMANS TOO, ARENT THEY? 
BUCHAREST A survey asked by National Democratic Institute, or NDI, and
performed by Center for Urban and Regional Sociology CURS SA, within the
NDI prgramme to increase ethnic Roma political participation, accounts
for great diversity at the level of the ethnic Roma communities.
Thus, 40% declare to be ethnic Roma or Gypsy, 35% claim to be Romanian
ethnic Roma, while the rest undertake an identity based on traditions.
Sharing the same opinion as the Romanians, the ethnic Roma are rather
nostalgic and have a better picture upon the recent past than upon the
present. Thus, the bulk or 51% of the ethnic Roma believe they were
having a better living standard during the communist period,
economically speaking. Over 40% of the ethnic Roma had a better living
standard during president Ion Iliescus regime, while only 2% during Emil
Constantinescus regime. Some 14% of the ethnic Roma have a better living
standard during Traian Basescus presidency. 
As for political freedom, 47% of the ethnic Roma appreciate the current
period, 27% the communist period, and 11% says that nothing was changed.
The survey also said the ethnic Roma are influenced by the image of the
party and of the candidate, or by the partys programme. It is much more
likely the ethnic Roma voters are more influenced by the recommendations
or opinions of the leaders working with the candidate they trust in.
The Social Democratic Party of Ethnic Roma in Romania ranks the first
among ethnic Roma choices accounting for 30%, followed by Alliance D.A.
with 24%, PSD with 16%, PNG with 10%, Alliance for Ethnic Roma Unity and
UDMR, with 8% each. These choices are different from the way the votes
were distributed at the last parliamentary elections in November 2004,
when 39% of the ethnic Roma said they voted with Alliance D.A., 36% with
Union PSD+PUR, 11% with Ethnic Roma Party, some 9% with UDMR and only 2
with PNG.
The ethnic Roma have few leaders to choose from. Thus, Madalin Voicu and
Nicolae Paun are ethnic Romas most appreciated leaders, with 34% and
32%, respectively. According to the survey, the ethnic Roma pointed out
Ion Cioaba with 9%, which is more surprising as the former leader is
dead for some years now, Marian Mare with 6%, Gigi Becali with 4% though
he is not ethnic Roma, Florin Cioaba with 3%, Iulian Radulescu with 1%.
Almost a third or 32% of the ethnic Roma believe they live the same as
non-ethnic Roma, while 22% said they live worse, and 15% much worse.
Only 19% said they live better or much better. One of two ethnic Roma is
unemployed or jobless, while 12% are retired. Only one ethnic Roma of
one hundred is pupil or student. Some 2% of the ethnic Roma are living
with money from agriculture. By comparison, 12% of the non-ethnic Roma
respondents are unemployed, 35% are retired, while 20% are qualified
workers. 
Some 40% of the respondents graduated between five and eight grades, 21%
have four grades utmost, while 19% have no study. Some 14% have
10-grades or vocational training. Only 6% of the respondents are
high-school graduates, while no ethnic Roma attended a vocational
school. One of one hundred ethnic Roma has academic education. 
Author: DIVERS


---------------------------------
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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