For a long time now, the reform of the country’s administration, and more specifically the merging of smaller municipalities, has been a topic of discussion within the Romanian political parties. This has been confirmed by Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu himself, reports Krónika Online. The mayors of the municipalities concerned are not keen on the idea, as is the case in Dorobanti (Kisiratos) in Arad County, where they have long fought for independence from the Romanian-majority Curtici (Kürtös).
There is a consensus in the governing coalition of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the National Liberal Party (PNL) in Bucharest on the need for administrative reform to make it more cost-effective. There is no chance of this being implemented before next year’s parliamentary and local elections, but there is no doubt that a new PSD-PNL coalition government will put it on the agenda. In Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu’s view,
municipalities with fewer than 500 inhabitants need to be reorganized.
“I am not saying that we should do away with them, because that would be nonsense. Rather, we should reorganize them so that these villages have one deputy mayor in a municipality that is merged,” he explained. As Agerpres news agency reports, Marcel Ciolacu admitted that this idea could not be introduced immediately, but said that the “communist organizational structure” would have to be changed.
There is no doubt that the big losers of the ruling party’s “cost-saving” administrative reform would be Hungarians living in the Transylvanian region.
In mixed-population villages, where the nationality ratios have so far allowed for the election of a Hungarian mayor, the administrative reorganization planned by the governing parties would remove this possibility, so that Hungarian villages would become part of the majority Romanian municipalities.
The predominantly Hungarian village of Dorobanti, with a population of 1,630, experienced this kind of “forced marriage” decades earlier when it was arbitrarily annexed to the majority Romanian village of Curtici, now with a population of 7,300. There are 130 Hungarians living in Curtici, meaning that the local Hungarian community in the old administrative unit, including the Hungarians of Dorobanti, would not even reach 20 percent. The Hungarian residents of Dorobanti have long been thinking about separation, and in 2004, the decisive moment came when Vince Almási and Dr. Béla Almási came up with the idea of organizing a referendum. A large majority of the residents voted in favor of secession, thus creating the independent municipality of Dorobanti.
As Erika Korondi Józsa, the mayor of Doboranti says, there is no comparison between how the municipality of Dorobanti, which consists of a single village, is doing now and how it did before. Over the past 19 years, they have submitted and won every tender available, helping to renew the village’s public buildings, improve the water and sewage systems, pave several streets, build a sports hall and artificial turf pitch, and are constantly coming up with new projects.
Five Hungarian mayors in Arad County are lobbying the county council together. They share the distributed money, helping each other in every way. The mayor of Dorobanti believes that
community investments and cultural developments to preserve identity work much better and more efficiently in Hungarian villages than in settlements where the leaders of the local Hungarian community do not have the power to decide.
As Erika Korondi Józsa says, Romanian politicians who think in terms of cost-cutting and arbitrary municipality mergers do not consult local residents.
Via Krónika Online, Featured image: Pixabay