Romania’s prime minister threatens Transylvanian Hungarian politicians with hanging

The Szekler flag (Székely zászló) has become a fairly prevalent symbol in areas of Tranylvania with Hungarian-speaking majorities, particularly in the counties of Hargita, Kovászna and Maros. But Romania’s central government has long held that this flag, seen as a symbol of Hungarian separatism, must not be flown on buildings that house public institutions or local government offices, thus including town halls, regional administration, courthouses, schools or other institutes. And this week, Romanian prime minister Mihai Tudose issued a surprising and not very prime ministerial threat. Speaking on Realitatea TV he said:

“If they hang the Szekler flag on institutions in Szeklerland, the people who fly these flags will hang as well. Autonomy for Szeklers is out of the question.”

(The Szekler flag on the left as seen on the town hall of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc). The population here is 81% Hungarian.

Bálint Porcsalmi, acting president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), called the statement from the prime minister “primitive and reminiscent of the Middle Ages.” He added: “the prime minister cannot send people to the gallows with whom he does not agree.”

The ominous statement comes on the heals of RMDSZ calling on the government to launch a process of honest dialogue within society on autonomy. Recently, RMDSZ and two smaller Hungarian parties agreed to work together on consolidating their visions of autonomy in Translyvania. Regions where there are majority Hungarian populations would get territorial autonomy within Romania (similar to other examples of autonomy in EU member states, such as in Spain or South Tyrol, Austria). Hungarians living as a minority in other regions of Transylvania would receive what is called “cultural autonomy.” There is also a proposal to empower municipal governments in towns where Hungarians form the majority.

In Hungarian-majority Szeklerland (Székelyföld), the Hungarian parties are demanding full equality of the Hungarian language with Romanian. In a piece of land along the Hungarian/Romanian border called Partium (an area not traditionally considered Tranyslvania, but rather part of the Great Hungarian Plain, and home to the town of Nagyvárad) the parties are calling for the creation of a fully bilingual (Romanian/Hungarian) civil service.

Implementing these proposals for autonomy will be a major uphill battle, as the Hungarian minority not only lacks support from any Romanian political party, but the country’s constitution may not even allow for this. While the constitution does not outright prohibit regional autonomy, it does not permit for this to be constituted along ethnic lines.


  1. Let’s be honest about this, it is about to start the break up of Romania, or any country. Since Romania is NOT a federalist union of other minorities. See what happened in Spain?! Or how about Hungary? There are small ethnic minorities too. Grant them all authonomies by cities? or even smaller districts ? As long as the individual freedom of every single individual is possible and guaranteed, it makes no difference, all can do whatever they wish to do, or claim whatever they desire to.

    • You are very wrong. In Hungary, there are ethnic romanian villages, they are allowed to display the romanian flag on their town hall, or anywhere else they wish to.

  2. Ionut F. Palici says:

    Romania is unable to protect its minorities. It never was. Jewish and German minorities no longer exists in Romania, mostly due to its policy of ethnic discrimination. Roma and Hungarians ethnics are being discriminated silently but savagely ! International institutions should take action until it’s not too late !

  3. Now there is someone that Gyurcsanyi would most likely get along with very well! They could get together, have a beer, talk about hanging ethnic Hungarians in Romania……..

    Then Gyurcsanyi would remind Romania’s prime minister that there is no need to hang anyone, because he believes they are all in fact ethnic Romanians.

    • Hungarian Free Press says:

      It’s Gyurcsány, NOT Gyurcsányi. The rest of this comment lacks any credibility as well.

      • How so? Gyurcsany is well known for hostile attitude towards ethnic Hungarian minority in neighboring countries. He even suggested that ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania are not really Hungarians, throwing them in with the rest of Romania’s population over a decade ago.

        “Pártbeli harcostársa még azt is megkockáztatta, hogy 23 millió román szakad majd a nyakunkba egy államközi foglalkoztatási szerződés alapján! (Romániának akkor sem volt 23 millió lakosa…)”

        Here is a flashback to the time he was in power & the reaction of a Transylvanian-Hungarian leader:

        „Rajta kívül nincs Európának olyan miniszterelnöke, aki saját nemzete ellen kampányolt volna.

        Not to mention the recent campaign to try to take away voting rights from those who became Hungarian citizens.

        Like it or not, he has a track record here and it is a long one! You may not like me saying it or anyone else, but this is the truth!

      • Peter
        Quoting the Fidesz media makes all the difference.
        C’on, why bother?

        • Dear Observer, I was visiting Transylvania in 2005, and everyone I spoke with was extremely ticked off over Gyurcsany suggesting that they were Romanians. They cannot all be wrong can they?

    • I guess some silly Rumanian politicians believed Orbán and want ethnically homogeneous Romania.
      You want the genie out, but it works both ways, my fascist friend.

      • Orban was referring to not accepting colonists from ME-Africa, never to historical minorities in Hungary. Huge difference my fascist friend! What you just did here is basically a whitewash of what happened in Romania, which is despicable, by equating it to something entirely different.

    • And Peter,
      Why Gyurcsàny, where is Soros in this story? As far as I’m told here no evil deed takes place without Soros. Though I’m not sure about volcanic eruptions.

  4. The PM said “wave” not “hang”.

    Prime-minister said something about flags (wasn’t something unusual), but didn’t use the word “hanging” (a zpânzura), he used “wave” (a flutura) like clothes, or something. Doesn’t imply killing people. Hard to explain what it means, but it’s some form of humiliations, of some kind. Parents use this kind of words when kids do something wrong.

    • Józsa János says:

      Ne hazudj szégyentelen! Futura=lebegtette a székbe, vagyis elfújta a szél a lábad alatt, mivel fel vagy akasztva, érted? Stím?
      Ne hazudj! Nu mintii! Do not lie!

  5. Dear Mr.Hungarian Free Press;

    It’s not a report, not even an opinion, just a personal remark by the poster.

  6. Well they hung every other “ethnic” people that had the unfortunate fate of being born there!
    Liars like they are – they promised to do the right thing before being admitted to the European Union ( Example: give back the stollen properties to the Jews!) they should hang each other now! Vlad Tepes their idol after all!!!?

  7. This is just political fluff of the old crooks of PSD , in fact PSD and Hungarian party are good buddies in Parliament; normal people in Romania don’t think this way and they see Hungarian fellow citizens as allies in stopping the monstrous Govern coalition who seeks to stop anti-corruption votes with the support of Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Hungarian ethnic party. What Tudose is doing is diverting attention from main problems of society which are common for Romanians and Hungarians alike and this is maintaining the pace of anti-corruption campaign. Worth saying that these days they are trying to attack Laura Codruța Kövesi, he head of Anti-Corruption agency (note the Hungarian resonance of her name 😉 ). So don’t go after the feint.

  8. Sandor Albert says:

    The word for the back of the foot (hungarian “sarok”) in english is spelled heels, not heals.

  9. If Hungary would grant their minorities half of the rights Romania grants to its minorities that would be an outstanding positive change, however very unlikely to happen anytime soon. Does Hungary allow each and every minority to have a rep in the Parliament as Romania does? The reserved seat provisions for minorities are the most extensive in Europe! Learn from Romania and stop whining!

    • If you would be honest, it would be a miracle! :Let us keep to this flag issue. In Mehkerek, Hungary the Romanian flag flies in front of the town hall.

      • Be honest! Is the Romanian minority represented in the Hungarian Parliament? Is Romanian an official language in Mehkerek?

        • No, they have representatives in Hungary. But Romanians in Hungary do have cultural autonomy, which is a collective right, while collective rights do not exist in Romania. Also, Romanian is an official language in Mehkerek. There are no regions with a sizable ethnic Romanian minority, but they do have that at municipal level. Not to mention that there is no evidence of double standards in Hungary when it comes to authorities and their treatment of such communities, while if we are to stay with the flag question, in Brasov the local flag flies in front of the prefecture, while we now know that your prime minister just threatened ethnic Hungarians with hanging beside their local flag if they dare to use it. Equality in front of the law. I’d say that is an important basic right, don’t you think?

    • Józsa János says:

      Do not lie dear, you could learn from Romania tó hang peoples, that that speaking ín other language, that you speaking,
      Now learn more, don’t be stoped!

  10. Re: “The Szekler flag on the left as seen on the town hall of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc). The population here is 81% Hungarian.”
    Hungarian or Skekler? If they are the same today , how come they were two separate nations 500 years ago?
    Unio Trium Nationum (Latin for “Union of the Three Nations”) was a pact of mutual aid codified in 1438 by three Estates of Transylvania: the (largely Hungarian) nobility, the Saxon (German) burghers, and the free military Székelys.[1] The union was directed against the peasantry, many of whom were Romanian Orthodox Christians, as a reaction to a widespread peasant rebellion.

    • Because 500 years ago, nation did not mean ethnicity necessarily. That is basic European history! The age of national self-awareness started arguably in the 19’th century.

      • Maybe not for Hungarians and Szeklers, but certainly the Romanians always had a strong ethnic self-awareness, which explains their survival in Transylvania against all odds.
        Cserey, the 17th century Szeckler chronicler said “Transylvania’s misfortune has always come from Hungary and the Hungarians. Because of them, we have lost both our country and our liberty.”

        • Evidently you had some “special” education in the art of history. I hear they now claim that Jesus was Romanian ( no joke).

  11. “…on the heels” is the correct spelling (in paragraph 4).

  12. The EU is remaining silent as Ukraine makes provocative statements against Hungarian minorities in the Ukrainian province In Transcarpathia. I suspect this is the EU’s way of “punishing” Hungary for not going along with the EU policies, such as immigration, austerity, etc. With incident in Romania, where the Roumanian PM made threatening statements against Hungarian minorities, I see a continuation of this same pattern against an uncooperative Hungary. This is dangerous, as the effects of the pressure method could backlash. Brian Ghilliotti

    • The Prime Minister of an EU country threatens to hang members of an ethnic minority, who are also EU citizens. If they remain silent on this one, while they continue to harass Hungary over NGO transparency, as if transparency was a bad thing ( a democratic right actually) as well as other nonsense, I fail to see what justifiable credibility can still be attached to that institution.

  13. Shame on you all, whatever you think you are !
    Would NOT even try to get along with each other in their own country.
    Only brutal dictatorship was able to keep them at peace.
    And why even the two country can not get along on good terms?
    Set a good example for the Romanian, and other neighboring countries and governments instead, by protecting the rights of human beings whatever their ancestry may be.
    But this bull shit is interfering in the internal affairs of another country. Romania ,in this case.

  14. Right “BOSS”, like to hang your ass out !

  15. StrandedinSopron says:

    “I see a continuation of this same pattern against an uncooperative Hungary. ”

    Well, simple solution, Brian.
    If you and the regime you support detest the EU that much…. then leave it.

    But take the begging bowl with you because, let’s be honest, that is the only reason Orban wants his fiefdom to remain within the EU- the never-ending and never-questioning flow of funds from Brussels.

    Hungary (along with Poland) no longer qualifies as a European democratic state and as such,no longer has no place in the European Union. Leave, and, for the sake of democratic Europe, as quick as possible.

  16. Józsa János says:

    EU? Is a wrong name, this is a Junker’s dictatura.

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  19. StrandedinSopron says:

    Well, then, dear Janos, easy solution… I said, leave.

    Why don’t you but, as I said, leave the begging bowl behind

  20. All this “collective” BS , just proves how deeply this shovinistic “herd-mentality” has become enmbeded in the minds and lives of the masses.

    Just nobody would even consider the basic rights of every, and any human being ?
    Can not think that far?
    Speack any language, fly any flag , do anything in one’s own life, as long as it does NOT ,in any way harm or endanger the life, liberty ,opportunity and property of any other human being upon this Earth.
    Now, just what the hell could be so objectionable about that ?
    Only the guaranteed basic individual human rights can assure peace ,harmony and understanding between human beings !
    Would any one consider to think of that ?

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  22. Just a small comment to the opinion above by MR Tony Sien: your observation is right. Hungarian-Secler, different or same is a big question but if you follow up with the ethnic groups of Romania, they are Hungarians. Please correct me if I am wrong. And please you all do not fight whether Secler flag should or not be placed in front of institutions, this man wants to hang people! This is just pure provocation.
    Autonomy? Yes they do seem like they are TRYING to fight for it and no wonder when Harghita is one of the poorest counties in Romania, receiving the lowest taxes given for improvement. And again, correct me if I’m wrong.

  23. Just wonder, why do the article sates that Romanian PM threatens Hungarian politicians of hanging?
    Who is that threatened Hungarian politician?
    Reading carefully the text, it was about the local demonstrators in Romania. Who, actually could have been citizen, or member of any possible ethnicity in the world.

  24. You can stop the birching now.
    He is NO prime-minister any longer.
    The Romanian Parlament hung his ass out to dry today.
    Just as I stated three days ago.

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