Romania’s Hungarian minority leader: No similarities between Catalonia and Székely Land

There are no similarities between Catalonia and Romania’s Székely Land, an area with a strong Hungarian minority population, Kelemen Hunor, the leader of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), said, quoted by News.ro. UDMR is the main party representing the Hungarian minority in Romania.

“Those is Catalonia never said and never accepted that they would be a minority. They do not have a country of origin, they consider themselves a nation. The Hungarians in Romania, regardless of what they have proposed, cultural autonomy or regional autonomy, any request over the past 27 years they phrased within the Romanian state. We never mentioned segregation or separation,” Hunor said.

He also said UDMR has always resorted to “parliamentary means, legislative means and dialogue” in an attempt to obtain “those rights and wishes Hungarians need to stay in their native land and keep their identity.”

The Hungarian minority in Romania is the largest ethnic one in the country, of about 6%, according to the 2011 census. Many of them live in the Harghita, Covasna and Mures counties.

The October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, suspended by the country’s Constitutional Court and illegal under the Spanish Constitution, sparked secessionist worries across Europe. The European Commission maintained that the vote in the referendum was not legal and that it was a domestic matter of Spain.

In mid-September, prior to the referendum, the Scottish government argued that the people of Catalonia should determine its future. Scotland held a referendum on becoming independent from the UK in 2014, when 55.3% voted against independence.

The Catalan government said 2.26 million people came to vote, or just over 42% of the electorate, and 90% of them voted for the region to become independent.

On October 5, Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended a Catalan parliament session planned for October 9, where the results of the referendum were to be discussed, in a move to stop the region’s government from making a unilateral independence declaration. Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont argued that the results of the vote should be discussed in the parliament, and asked for mediation and dialogue with the Spanish government.

Puigdemont had asked for mediation from the European Commission after the Police crackdown on the referendum, arguing “it cannot look the other way any longer,” The Guardian reported.

Almost 900 people and 33 police officers were reported hurt on Sunday, October 1, after the Spanish Police and Civil Guard entered polling stations to confiscate voting bulletins and prevent the voting from taking place. They dragged out voters and fired rubber bullets into the crowds.

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