Szeklers

Prefect again obstructs initiative for newborns in Székelyudvarhely

The prefect’s office of Hargita County has taken legal action for the second time against the family support initiative planned by the local city council of Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc, Odorhellen), reported the Székelyhon news portal. According to an earlier decision of the local administration, parents residing in Székelyudvarhelywould would receive a one-time payment for each child born in the city.

Hargita, located in eastern Transylvania, is one of Szeklerland’s counties and has a Hungarian population of around 85 percent. Székelyudvarhely is the second largest town in the county, and, per the 2011 census, it had a population of 34,257, 94 percent of which were Hungarian. The prefect’s office, however, represents the Romanian government and has already initiated several types of legal actions that are basically adverse to minority rights and aim to prohibit the usage of Hungarian language and symbols.

The family allowance project in question, known as the Székelyudvarhely baby-dowry program, was initiated by Edit Lőrincz, a member of the city council, which adopted a decision endorsing the project for the third time last June. However, it could not be applied, as the prefect’s office took legal action against it – for the second time – claiming that the council referred in its decision to a national law that had in the meantime been invalidated. The prefect’s first action was unsuccessful, as in this first instance the Hargita County court ruled in favor of the council’s decision. The court’s next decision is expected to be taken this month.

Under the baby-dowry program, the city of Székelyudvarhely would give families RON 500 for their first child, RON 650 for their second and RON 800 for their third newborn. As Székelyhon informs, City Councilor Lőrincz has found out that similar programs do function in other counties of Romania, yet the prefect’s office of Hargita has questioned the very legality of the baby-dowry intended for the families of Székelyudvarhely.

Title image: The baby-dowry program in Székelyudvarhely faces another barrier, though similar projects function in other counties

Author: Éva Zay