Court terminates initiative for newborns in Székelyudvarhely

The Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc local authority must reverse an earlier decision by the local administration under which city residents were to be entitled to a one-time payment for each newborn child, as the Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureş Court of Appeal has agreed with the Hargita/Harghita County prefect and deemed it illegal, despite Marosvásárhely and other cities running similar programs.

“I’m very disappointed, but I’m mostly sorry for the young families of Székelyudvarhely who won’t become the beneficiaries of this program,” Edit Lőrincz, member of the city council and program initiator, told Hungarian news portal Székelyhon.

“After the original favorable decision, we had high hopes. It is unbelievable that the judges of Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureş have ruled against us even though a similar program has been running in the city since April to which nobody objected,” she added.

As we previously reported, under the Székelyudvarhely baby-dowry program, young parents would have been entitled to receive a one-time payment of RON 500 for their first child, RON 650 for their second, and RON 800 for their third.

The decision was adopted by the city council, but the Harghita County prefect’s office took legal action against it, claiming that in its decision, the council had referred to a national law that had in the meantime been invalidated. The prefect’s original action was unsuccessful, as in the first instance, the Hargita County Court ruled in favor of the council’s decision.

However, the Harghita County prefect appealed against the decision, and now the final ruling has been handed down by the Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureş Court of Appeal, forcing the Székelyudvarhely City Council to reverse the decision. Apparently, what can be done in other cities such as Marosvásárhely or Bucharest is prohibited in Székelyudvarhely, the second-largest town in Harghita County with, according to the 2011 census, a population of 34,257 — 94 percent of whom are Hungarian.

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Author: István Fekete