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UDMR wants Hungarian to become official language at regional level

The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), in government, wants Hungarian to become official language at regional level in 20 years and is asking for the amendment of the Constitution in this respect, local media informs.

UDMR Secretary General Kovacs Peter told a press conference today (Weds) that Hungarian should become official language in the areas where Magyars form the majority of the population (60 – 80 percent), namely in Bihor, Satu Mare and Salaj Counties (West).

Kovacs says UDMR will succeed in turning Hungarian into the second official language in Romania in baby steps. "The recognition of the Magyar language as state language will be made by altering the Constitution and we are counting on the support of 44 percent of Romanian politicians and on the support of the Romanian local communities", the Hungarian politician said.

Liberal leader and co-president of the Opposition Social Liberal Union Crin Antonescu said the only official language is Romanian and should stay like that. ‘We support the cultural rights of all ethnic communities in Romania but from our point of view, Romanian should stay the only official language. This is our stand, and UDMR has the right to have a different opinion ", he said.

Hungarians in Romania are the largest ethnic community, representing 6.5 percent of the population, according to the latest census conducted in 2011. The great majority of Magyars live in Transylvania (West) and they are seeking autonomy for two counties, Harghita and Covasna there. Whilst UDMR asks  for cultural autonomy other smaller Hungarian parties outside Parliament are seeking full autonomy from Romania.

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