Romania’s Hungarian minority hold worldwide day of protest calling for autonomy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAProtests in Romania and in cities around the world were recently organized for regional autonomy for the Secuiesc region, or Székely Land. Much of the population in the area of Transylvania are of Hungarian ethnicity and there has been increased tension recently over the official use of the Székely Land flag.

Several thousand people reportedly protested in Targu Mures yesterday (March 10 ), while in Hungary and cities in Europe and North America, there were other rallies calling for autonomy.

Local media reports protests in London, Vienna, Helsinki, The Hague, Munich, Stockholm and Zurich in Europe. Meanwhile, there demonstrations near the White House in Washington DC, New York, Cleveland and Los Angeles in the US, as well as Toronto and Ottawa in Canada.

Crowds gathered in several Hungarian cities on Sunday afternoon for the coordinated day of protest. More than1,000 demonstrators congregated outside the Romanian Embassy in Budapest, waving Székely Land flags with some reportedly wearing paramilitary uniforms from the region dating from the first half of the 20th Century, according to Romanian news service Mediafax.

The Pro-Székely Land Association organized the protests and the Association’s secretary Lajos Laszlo said “We want autonomy, because autonomy is the only acceptable solution.”

Numbers of protestors claimed by the Association differ from some news reports, with a figure of 30,000 given for the main protest in Targu Mures. The movement is calling for the official recognition of Hungarian minority’s flags, symbols and language, as well as greater right to self determination.

More about the heated Székely Land flag issue in our previous articles here and here.

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