Tongue-tie in Cluj

March 5, 1999

Romania's opposition National Unity Party is still campaigning against the establishment of a Hungarian university in Transylvania, an area with a big ethnic-Hungarian population assigned to Romania after the first world war.

Prime minister Radu Vasile has suggested opposition to the university could be overcome with Romanian and even German-taught courses.

It seems unlikely that Transylvanian Hungarians would accept the Romanian element as their campaign has always been for a Hungarian-taught university to replace Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, which under communism was merged with a Romanian institution into the Romanian Babes-Bolyai University.

Hungarian campaigners are more likely to accept a Hungarian-German university, which would replicate the historic ethnic mix of Transylvania.

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