A Romanian senator in the country’s upper parliamentary chamber launched a fresh attack on Romania’s ethnic Hungarian minority on Tuesday, claiming the historic region in the heart of Transylvania doesn’t even exist.
Firebrand nationalist Diana Șoșoacă, known for her extremist rhetoric, claimed that “Szeklerland does not exist” and “Romania is indivisible.”
Szeklerland is a recognized region of Transylvania in Romania and is home to a majority ethnic Hungarian population.
“Szeklerland was, is, and will be Szekler, and the Szekler flag will continue to be used,” said Barna Tánczos, senator of the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party in response. “The RMDSZ will protect the interests of the Hungarian people and the symbols of the community,” he added.
“Whenever our national and community symbols are attacked, or the existence of Szeklerland is questioned, a part of the Hungarian community is attacked. When extremist organizations do this in parliament, the aim is to stir up ethnic conflict and discredit the Hungarian community,” a statement from the RMDSZ party read.
Tánczos, the senator for Harghita County, said that the national symbols and community symbols of Hungarians are not a matter of debate and reaffirmed the Hungarian community’s constitutional right to express and live its identity.
“We will continue to use the flag of Szeklerland, no matter who it bothers, because it is part of our identity. We will defend the interests of the Hungarian people and our symbols in the parliament and in every forum, even when extremist agitators attack us with behavior unworthy of the Senate,” he added.