The Szekler National Council builds relations in Basque Country
Answering the invitation of the Basque National Party (Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea), the four member delegation of the Szekler National Council led by president Izsák Balázs arrived in Bilbao. On Tuesday, september the 10th, the guests were welcommed in the party’s headquarters by president Iñigo Urkullu, board members Iñaki Goikoetxeta and Aitor Olaizola as well as external relations coordinator José Mari Etxebarria. The delegation included Árus Zsolt, president of the Szekler Council of Gyergyószék, Bakk Miklós political scientist and university professor, adviser of the president of the Szekler National Council, and Dabis Attila the Szekler National Council representative for foreign affairs.
Izsák Balázs presented to the hosts the Szekler people’s aspiration for self-determination, and handed them the draft of Szeklerland’s Autonomy statute, along with Szeklerland’s flag and map. The leaders of the Basque National Party handed to the guests the party’s program booklet and spoke them about Basque country’s current political situation and the upcoming elections.
During the meeting they discussed about the possibility of cooperation between the Basque National Party and the Szekler National Council and of course, the Szekler National Council’s European Citizens' Initiative for the protection of National Regions has also been brought up. The hosts promised to analyze the initiative, and to begin intensive cooperation after the elections are over.
Subsequently, the Szekler National Council’s delegation visited the City Hall of Bilbao, where they were greeted by Deputy Mayor Ibone Bengoetxea Otaolea, President of the Association of Local Government of the Basque Country and city manager Andoni Aldekoa.
At the headquarter of Bizkaia Regional Government, Vice President Juan Mari Aburto presented to the guests the fiscal agreement between the central government and Basque Country, which is considered an important element of Basque autonomy.
In the afternoon, José Mari Etxebarria guided the Szekler delegation to Vitoria-Gasteiz, where they visited the Basque parliament.
The Szekler National Council Press Office
Sepsiszentgyörgy, September the 11th 2012.
|Aitor Olaizola, Ińaki Goikoetxeta, Ińigo Urkullu, José Mari Etxebarria, Bakk Miklós, Izsák Balázs, Dabis Attila, Árus Zsolt|
Solidarity between Catalans and Szeklers
After their visit to the Basque Country, the four member delegation of the Szekler National Council, led by president Izsák Balázs and consisting of Árus Zsolt, president of the Szekler Council of Gyergyószék, Bakk Miklos, political scientist and university professor, adviser of the President of the Szekler National Council, and Dabis Attila, the Szekler National Council’s Representative for Foreign Affairs came to Catalonia. The delegation was welcomed in the headquarters of the largest Catalan party, the CDC (Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya) on September the 12th by Víctor Terradellas i Maré, the party’s secretary for international relations. Following mutual information, the prospects for cooperation were discussed, and the guests presented in detail, their ideas for the European Citizens' Initiative. Víctor Terradellas i Maré promised to study the received documents, and decide on the forms of cooperation.
In the afternoon, in the Government headquarter, Francesc de Paula Gambús i Millet, Director General of the Presidential Department, Secretariat For Foreign Affairs of the Catalan Government welcomed the Szekler National Council’s delegation. He expressed sympathy towards the Szeklers, stressing that compassion is natural for a people who has similarly experienced persecution, discrimination in various forms to grant support to another, thus future cooperation can naturally be built on Szekler and Catalan solidarity. As a response to a question, Izsák Balázs said that the Hungarian government supports the autonomy aspirations, and even the various political groups of the Hungarian Parliament are united in their support of the territorial autonomy that is the goal of the Szekler National Council.
The delegation of the Szekler National Council will have further meetings in Catalonia on the 13th of September.
The press office of the Szekler National Council
Sepsiszentgyörgy, the 13th of September 2012
|Árus Zsolt, Dabis Attila, Izsák Balázs, Víctor Terradellas i Maré, Marc Gafarot i Monjó és Bakk Miklós|
The delegation of the Szekler National Council in the Catalan Parliament
On the second day of their visit to Barcelona, the Szekler National Council delegation was received by Josep Rull i Andreu, Deputy General Secretary of the CDC and Secretary of the Catalonian parliament. He informed the members of the delegation about Catalonia’s situation and perspectives. Izsák Balázs, the president of the Szekler National Council stressed again that the Szekler people supports the Catalan efforts, the creation of a free and independent Catalan state, as in a democracy, the will of the people must be respected and Spain also must accept this. Subsequently MP Mireia Canais i Botines presented to the guests the building of the parliament as well as the history and functioning of the institution.
During the day, meetings were held with civil society organizations, on topic of the citizens’ initiative for the protection of national regions, and possible cooperation. In the Ministry of Culture, the Szekler National Council’s delegation had talks with experts on linguistic rights, presented the problems regarding the use of the Hungarian language in Romania, and learned about the status of the three official languages in Catalonian.
The press office of the Szekler National Council