Friday, November 18, 2005

Autonomy for Vojvodina

NOVI SAD -- Friday – President of the Democratic Party of Vojvodina Hungarians, Andras Agoston, has proposed autonomy for the Hungarian community of the region.

Agoston has proposed to all of the Hungarian parties in Vojvodina to, as soon as the discussions for the status of Kosovo begin, start their own realization of a united concept for Hungarian autonomy in Vojvodina.

“In the case of Kosovo Serbs receiving autonomy, which is quite possible, then on the basis of reciprocity, we Hungarians have the right to autonomy as well.” Agoston said.

Agoston’s initiative states that the question of the Hungarian status in Vojvodina is still open. His party supports what he calls “personal autonomy” for Hungarians in Vojvodina, which includes autonomy in education and information and would allow the use of the Hungarian language and the protection of Hungarian national identity in Vojvodina.

Media outlets in Podgorica report that in the written initiative which Agoston sent to the Vojvodina Hungarian parties, he calls for help in the realization of the plan from United Nations special envoy Marti Ahtisaari and European Union official Stefan Lene, who will both be key players in the Kosovo status discussions.

Democratic Party of Vojvodina Vice President Oliver Dulic said that this proposal should not be taken very seriously, because Agoston is not a serious political factor in Vojvodina.

“I think that all types of autonomy under the principles of ethnicity can only lead to new problems. You cannot compare the situation in Kosovo and the circumstances of the Kosovo Serbs in looking for a solution, to what is happening in Vojvodina. I think that the proposal is not serious and that no one who is serious would support this, in our nation or in any neighbouring nation.” Dulic said, adding that he believes that most of the Hungarian parties will not support the proposal because it would lead to new conflicts and an internationalization of the Vojvodina problems beyond all reasonable measures. B92

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