RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 43, 4 March 1998
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS VOTE ON FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF LAND. By a vote
of 223 against 62 with 13 abstentions, the parliament has rejected an
opposition initiative to stage a referendum on foreign ownership of
farmland, Hungarian media reported on 2 March. Last September, opposition
parties gathered more than 200,000 signatures supporting such a plebiscite.
The parliament's Constitutional Committee ruled, however, that if the
referendum were passed, Hungary would be under a legal obligation contrary
to several international agreements it has signed. Ibolya David of the
Hungarian Democratic Forum said her party will appeal to the Constitutional
Court to annul the parliament's decision. MSZ
CONSTANTINESCU MEETS ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADERS. Emil Constantinescu on 3
March told Bela Marko, the leader of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania (UDMR), that the UDMR is behaving "responsibly" and that its
contribution to the government coalition goes "far beyond that of an ethnic
party." Marko said that for the time being, the UDMR will not insist that
its demands be implemented immediately because "the most important thing on
the agenda" now is to ensure the passage of the budget in the parliament.
The previous day, the Chamber of Deputies decided to postpone debates on
the education law. Meanwhile, Gheorghe Funar, the nationalist mayor of
Cluj, has announced he is banning all commemorations on 15 March, when
Romania's Hungarian community marks the 1848 revolution in Transylvania. MS
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