No Hungarian sign allowed in village that’s 97% Hungarian

Mayor of Csíkszentdomokos/Sândominic, a Szekler village in Hargita/Harghita County with 97% Hungarian inhabitants, is obliged by a legally binding ruling to remove the Hungarian “village hall” inscription from the building of the local municipality. According to the mayor, they will comply, but would first like to see the justification of the verdict.

Romanian blogger Dan Tanasă, a well-known figure for his legal actions against the country’s ethnic Hungarian minority, and the association led by him (Civic Association for Dignity in Europe) sued the village first in 2016 for illegally displaying the Hungarian sign on the building. That time, the Hargita County Court rejected his lawsuit because of some missing documents, so the sign remained. But Tanasă didn’t give up, starting a second lawsuit in the summer of 2018, which he won in a trial by the end of the same year.

According to the lawsuit, the sign is not the proper Hungarian translation; it also criticized the sign for being written only in Hungarian, which is contrary to the Romanian constitution. The village appealed the ruling, and the case was then heard by the Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș Court of Appeals. This procedure went on longer than usual because a private individual and the Szekler Watch Foundation, led by civilian human rights defender Zsolt Árus, from Gyergyószentmiklós/Gheorgheni, handed in an application to intervene. These steps helped delay execution of the court’s decision, but in the end, the appeal failed to change the ruling.

The court found the appeal unfounded and rejected it. Thus, the legally binding decision was proclaimed last month (December of 2019) in favor of Tanasă’s association, again, and the Hungarian “village hall” sign must be removed.

Csíkszentdomokos Mayor Róbert Karda told szekelyhon.ro that they will execute the decision, albeit not wholeheartedly, because they do not have enough financial support to pay the potential penalties if they do not. But first, they would like to know the justification of the verdict, so they are now awaiting its publication.

If you would like to read more about the attacks of Dan Tanasă against the ethnic Hungarian minority in Transylvania, here are a few examples of his actions just from the last year: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.


Title image: The Hungarian “village hall” sign on the building of the local municipality in Csíkszentdomokos, where 97% of the inhabitants are Hungarian, has to be removed. (Photo: Nándor Veres/szekelyhon.ro)

Author: Attila Szoó