Coalition scandal over Szekler anthem at hockey match

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The scandal of the Szekler anthem, sung by the Romanian national hockey team in a match with Hungary, has reached the governing coalition, after the Minister of Transport and Deputy Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu called for “urgent measures” so that such situations do not happen again.

On Monday, PSD President Marcel Ciolacu also said that “coming with such challenges seems intolerable to me”.

In retort, UDMR’s governing partners say it is “worrying that some political leaders are focusing on this false issue.” “Even the Minister of Transport cannot be held accountable if someone sings on the train,” UDMR said in a press release.

“It is inconceivable to me that today, when there is a war in the neighborhood and Romania is in the midst of an economic crisis, the country’s leaders are worried if a hockey match was sung by a national minority song at a World Hockey Championship match. Ljubljana (Slovenia). I find it worrying that some political leaders are focusing on this false theme, while demanding reactions and sanctions from the Ministry of Sports, respectively the Romanian Hockey Federation, because the players spontaneously sang the anthem of the Szekler Land. Players cannot be held accountable by either the federation or the ministry because they sang a song that is not against Romania, or the majority community, but is a local value of theirs. Likewise, the Minister of Transport cannot be held accountable if someone sings on a train”, said the leader of the UDMR Group from the Chamber of Deputies, Csoma Botond.

He argued that the Szekler Anthem is a value of the Hungarian minority in Romania, which is not directed against either the Romanian community or Romania. The UDMR leader also stated that the new public appearances of some political leaders do nothing but encourage extremism.

The Minister of Transport, the Social Democrat Sorin Grindeanu, asked the Minister of Sports, Eduard Novak (UDMR) to take “urgent” measures after the Romanian national hockey team sang the Szekler anthem at the match with Hungary.

 “As a Timisoara resident, I fully understand what it means to live in a multicultural and multiethnic community, where everyone is respected. However, I cannot understand and tolerate the infamous gesture of the Romanian hockey players who sang the so-called anthem of the Szekler Land “, Grindeanu posted on Facebook.

“It is an insult and a shameless lack of respect for Romania, for the Romanians and for the tricolor. And I hope things don’t go wrong. I ask the Romanian Hockey Federation, the Ministry of Sports and all other responsible factors to take urgent measures to apply the harshest sanctions after this incalculable gesture “, he added.

“It seems intolerable for me to come up with such challenges,” said in his turn PSD chairman Marcel Ciolacu, when asked on Tuesday how he was commenting on the incident in which Romania’s hockey players sang the Szekler anthem at the end of a match with Hungary. He said the issue would be discussed at a governing coalition meeting.

He announced that this issue will be discussed in the governing coalition as well. “I am firmly convinced that there will be a discussion within the coalition. There must be respect between us. I think that my colleagues and I have shown this respect and UDMR and other minorities. I do not think that such manifestations lead in the right direction,” Ciolacu said.

According to public information, the Romanian and Hungarian hockey players sang together the anthem of Szeklerland, at the end of a match that took place on Sunday, in Ljubljana, during the World Championship, which ended with the score of 4-2 for Hungary.

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