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Fight For Szekler Autonomy Branded "Ethnic Extremism" By Romanian Secret Service

Ferenc Sullivan 2015.10.09.

The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has branded ethnic Hungarians’ fight for an autonomous Hungarian-majority Szekler Land a form of “ethnical extremism” threatening constitutionality in its annual report for 2014.

The 39-page document, published on the website of the country’s National Assembly, devotes a single paragraph to “ethnical extremism”. In this, the Romanian intelligence service states that the pro-autonomy discourse was characterised by “open advocation of autonomy”.

“The objective abroad was to internationalise Bucharest’s »anti-Hungarian policies«, while domestically, the emphasis was on agressively highlighting »Szekler« ethnocultural particularities”, the report, put forward by the SRI to the Romanian Parliament, reads.

Szekler Land is a historical and ethnographic region in southeasterm Transylvania, located roughly in the centre of today’s Romania. 70-80% per cent of its population (up to 97% in some towns) belong to the Szekler subgroup of ethnic Hungarians, who are estimated to number between 750 000 and 800 000. Since 2003, the Szekler National Council has aimed to obtain the autonomy of Szekler Land, uniting Szekler-inhabited areas of three different counties. In this, the primary official language would be Hungarian and the secondary Romanian.

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