The Romanian president has to pay around 1,000 EUR since the National Anti-Discrimination Council (CNCD) fined him. The decision is not legally binding, and the president already announced that he does not accept it and would turn to the competent court. Still, CNCD’s ruling is symbolic, even though it is led by Csaba Asztalos, a local Hungarian politician.
As we reported before, the Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, aggressively attacked Hungarians living in Transylvania at the end of April. He said that the Romanian social democrats “are fighting to hand over Transylvania to the Hungarians.” Iohannis then raised the question of what Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban “could have offered in exchange for an agreement.” He added that during the fight against the coronavirus epidemic,
PSD would like to give Transylvania to the Hungarians.
Iohannis’s party does not have a parliament majority in the Romanian parliament, which is why the president uses every issue to attack their political opponents. In this case, he even used the “good old” Hungarian card, which, sadly, is very common in Romanian domestic politics. And what is the so-called Hungarian card? Since more than 1.2 million Hungarians live in Romania, local political parties prefer to provoke ethnic Romanians with issues related to the Hungarian minority to distract their attention from economic, social, or other problems – in this case, tackling the coronavirus epidemic.
According to hvg,
the Imre Mikó Minority Rights Legal Aid Service turned to the National Anti-Discrimination Council (CNCD)
because of Iohannis’s speech, and later even social democratic parliament president Marcel Ciolacu followed them.
The CNCD decided about the issue on Wednesday and fined the Romanian president for around 1,000 EUR (5,000 RON). The decision that Iohannis is guilty of hate speech was made with a 6:1 majority while members voted about the fine 5:1.
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Csaba Asztalos, the president of the CNCD, said that the sum is not important in this case because the decision is symbolic. Since the council can impose a fine ranging between 2,000 and 100 thousand RON, their decision can be considered a moderate one, Mr Asztalos added.
In his explanation about the decision, he declared that “Hungarians want to steal Transylvania” was one of the slogans repeated many times by the leaders of the state during Communism and even after 1990. That was
the slogan on which Romania’s anti-minority and assimilation policy was based,
and “the head of state was also aware of all this.”
The Romanian Prime Minister, Ludovic Orban, from the president’s party, said about the decision that it was unfair and called Iohannis’s conviction a shocking political decision.
Hunor Kelemen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), the biggest Hungarian party in Romania, said that Iohannis has double standards since he accepted the decision of the CNCD when they protected the rights of the German minority living in Transylvania against a nationalist attack, but now he refuses to do so.