An unpleasant incident occurred at the Valea Uzului Cemetery has strained on Thursday the Romanian-Hungarian relations, on the Heroes Day, reaching the level of Foreign Ministries.
More than 1,000 Hungarians formed a human chain on Thursday around the Heroes Cemetery in Valea Uzului, saying they are thus peacefully protesting against the illegalities committed by the Mayor of Dărmăneşti. Representatives of some Romanian organizations came at the Heroes Cemetery to celebrate the Heroes Day but they were kept away by the human chain formed by Hungarian ethnics and by an impressive number of law enforcement officials. Several Romanian citizens pushed the gendarmes, broke their alignment, broke the gate and broke into the cemetery, digi24.ro reports.
The Romanian Gendarmerie informs, in connection with the incidents at the Valea Uzului Cemetery, that it recommends all participants to have a civilized, calm and appropriate behavior.
UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor called on the Prime Minister, after the incidents, to dismiss the Interior Minister and the Prefect of Harghita County.
“The Romanian authorities have not been able to ensure order and because of that violent actions and physical assault have taken place inside and near the Heroes’ Cemetery in Valea Uzului. We ask the prime minister to dismiss Interior minister Carmen Dan and Harghita prefect,” says Kelemen Hunor in a press release.
However, the Romanian Gendarmerie retorted that there has been no violence among participants and the riot police, yet mentioning that the gendarmes will check if any crosses have been destroyed.
The Hungarian Government has sent a protest note to the Romanian Government, a release from Foreign Ministry in Budapest reads. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó contacted his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu by phone and asked the Romanian side not to react to “provocations” and to take every precaution to avoid violence.
At the same time, the Foreign Ministry in Budapest has summoned Romania’s ambassador to Hungary on Friday to explain the incidents in the cemetery of Valea Uzului.
Marius Lazurca, the Romanian Ambassador to Hungary, did not turn out on Friday at the Hungarian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
In retort, secretary of state in the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Levente Magyar said that the Romanian ambassador had denied the dialogue, which is “unprecedented” in diplomacy. Magyar said that the Romanian ambassador had invoked an indication from Bucharest, a move “beyond any politeness and friendship”.
Hungarian deputy PM Zsolt Semjen had posted on Facebook on Thursday evening the message: “If the Romanian politics did not want to prevent this barbarism, then it is a moral scandal, and if it couldn’t , then it is an administrative failure.”
In turn, the Romanian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday, in a press release, that the two heads of diplomacy had a telephone conversation and informed that FM Teodor Melescanu asked his counterpart in Budapest to send “a very clear message to the Hungarian community to avoid confrontations and the escalation of tensions.” Teodor Melescanu assured that necessary measures have been made to avoid the unwanted escalation of the situation, and “there is no need for non-constructive external interventions” in this respect.
The cemetery in Valea Uzului is in dispute between the counties of Bacau and Harghita.
The Local Council of Sânmartin commune, Harghita County, decided on May 29 to ban access to the Cemetery, in order to prevent the occurrence of incidents.
In early May, UDMR leader Kelemen Hunor asked Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă to stop denigrating the memory of Hungarian soldiers and to intervene to stop the decision of the Dărmăneşti Town Hall (Bacau County) to place graves of the Romanian soldiers in a cemetery in Harghita, where Hungarian soldiers are buried. According to UDMR, the military cemetery belongs to Sânmartin commune and was renovated with the Town Hall’s own resources, with the Hungarian Ministry of Defence donations and with the contributions of some individuals, to place about six hundred wooden crosses for the Hungarian soldiers killed in the battles of Valea Uzului.
Subsequently, all the 52 crosses of the Romanian heroes, as well as the monument in Valea Uzului Cemetery, were covered with black plastic bags and the Bacau policemen launched an investigation. Two days before the elections for European Parliament on May 26, UDMR announced the suspension of the collaboration protocol with the PSD-ALDE coalition until the situation at Valea Uzului Cemetery is solved.
Korodi said the “cleavage between UDMR and PSD is very serious and the reason is related to the fact that the Government did not make the steps needed regarding Valea Uzului. The Prefectures did not take action or act against the law. On the other hand, we see clear signs in the ruling coalition, by mid-summer it can lose the governance due to the decision-making incapacity.”