Marosvásárhely: 400 Hungarian Students in Limbo

The latest news coming from Transylvania is disturbing. Our colleague on the ground speaks of a déjà vu feeling, reminiscent of the events which led to the worst anti-Hungarian atrocities of modern-day Romania in Maros-vásárhely, commonly known as the Black March of 1990. The initial scenario is startlingly similar: the ethnically div-ided town’s Hungarian population has been pushing for years to re-establish a Hungarian-language high school  under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church in a building returned to the Church but occupied by the Romanian-language Unirea National College.

For many years the Catholic school’s classes were hosted by the Farkas Bolyai Lyceum, the town’s only Hungarian-language high school, until 2014, when a Hungarian-Romanian political agreement reached in the local council made it possible to establish the II. Rákóczi Ferenc Roman Catholic High School. The two schools agreed to share the building owned by the Catholic Church, and the 2015-16 school year proved to be one of successful co-operation.

On November 4, 2016, Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors falsely accused Mureș County School Superintendent Ștefan Someșan and II. Rákóczi Ferenc Roman Catholic High School headmaster Zsolt Tamási of establishing the Hunga-rian school without written consent from the Romanian Ministry of Education. Although there is no proof of wrong-doing, the prosecutors continue their investigation: the two men have been suspended, 400 students are in limbo, and thousands throughout Transylvania protest.

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