Two volunteers of a civic movement for linguistic rights (CEMO) were fined each for 5000 RON by the local police at Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș) for placing bilingual street signs on some buildings in the city. The owners of the buildings have previously given their accord for the street signs to be placed on their buildings.
According to Romanian law, in localities where there is at least 20% of minority population, bilingual inscriptions are required. At Târgu Mureș, 43% of the local population is Hungarian. However, the local authorities in the city refuse to allow Hungarian street signs throughout Târgu Mureș. The volunteers of the CEMO civic group were placing the bilingual street signs as a form of protest against the local authorities not respecting linguistic rights and also to raise awareness of the fact that in a city with 43% Hungarian inhabitants the existence of bilingual street signs should be normal.
However, the local police caught them when placing the signs and fined them each for 5000 RON, saying that they were „placing advertisement signs” and for that they should have had the permission of the municipality.
Moreover, the head of the Târgu Mureș police, Valentin Bretfelean declared that in case the owners of the buildings do not remove the bilingual street signs they will be fined also, the fines ranging from 30 to 50 thousand RON.