Transylvanian village fined for Hungarian-only newsletter

The Transylvanian village of Gyergyóremete (Romanian: Remetea) with an almost entirely ethnic Hungarian population has been fined for only publishing its newsletter in Hungarian.

The village of Gyergyóremete, located in the Eastern part of Transylvania has a population of just over 6,000, 99.2 percent of which are Hungarian. Romanian blogger Dan Tanasă, a well-known figure in the country for his legal actions against the ethnic Hungarian minority has submitted a complaint to the Romanian National Anti-Discrimination Council (CNCD) on grounds that the village newspaper is only published in Hungarian, thus both failing to use the state’s language and depriving the Romanian minority of local news.

The CNCD – with a single vote against, that of its Hungarian member, who is also the president of the council – approved a RON 2,000 fine (EUR 420) payable in 15 days.

Gyergyóremete mayor Elemér Laczkó-Albert told Hungarian news agency MTI that the village has 46 inhabitants of Romanian nationality, all of whom speak excellent Hungarian and the issue of them not understanding the monthly newsletter has never even been raised.

He added that publishing the newsletter in Romanian as well would require “an unrealistic effort”. This is the third time the village has been fined for the use of the language or symbols of the ethnic Hungarian minority.

“We are being forced into symbolic political fights instead of dealing with meaningful issues”, Laczkó-Albert said.

Title image: The village of Gyergyóremete (Ercsaba74, Wikimedia commons)

Author: Dénes Albert