Some minorities are "more equal" than others? Hungarian and Rusyn languages are not likely to be recognized as regional languages in Transcarpathia
Last week, one of the parliamentary speakers of the Party of Regions Mykhailo Chechetov finally dotted the "i" on the Law of Ukraine on the status of regional languages. Scandalous document nevertheless signed by the Speaker and the President of Ukraine, found some support among the minorities in Transcarpathia, including some Hungarians and Rusyns, who hoped that their languages would be recognized as regional in Transcarpathia. However, since Chechetov expressed the position of the ruling party, they better forget about it.
In the commentary to "Svoboda" radio Mykhailo Chechetov said literally the following: "46 million people understand two languages: Russian and Ukrainian. Not Bulgarian, not Hungarian, not Romanian, not the Jewish language, Ydysh or Hebrew, I do not know which is it. These languages are spoken by only handful of people. We are talking about the two languages, which entire nation understans."
His words were confirmed by the following events in the regions. Thus, City Councill of Izmail in Odessa region, having adopted Russian as the regional language, refused to grant such status to Bulgarian, ignoring the fact that, according to the census of 2001, 10% of ethnic Bulgarians live there. Bulgarians said they would complain to Yanukovych.
In the Crimea, where Crimean Tatar language is eligible to the status of a regional, parliament postponed this issue at all and has not voted even for Russian. According to a Tatars representative Refat Chubarov, they just expect such amendments to the law which would have averted the status of regional from any language other than Russian.
With a request to comment on the Chechetov's statement, the "Zamok" appealed to the head of the Transcarpathian Regional Administration and Party of Regions member Oleksandra Ledyda.
However, he only noted that in Transcarpathia Russian language will not be declared regional in any case for there are not enough representatives of that minority group here. As for other languages, he said: "According to the law passed and signed by the President, there is the procedure for application and determining of the regional language. If the signatures are collected, funds are allocated, then any territorial administrative unit will be able to apply this law. And we know that here it can be Hungarian, Romanian, and other languages."
In short, the situation is such that nothing is going to change in Transcarpathia in this respect. It would hardly appeal to those who still hoped to implement the provisions of the document in our region.
Among the supporters of the adoption of the language law in Transcarpathia was one of the leaders of the Rusyn movement, deputy of Transcarpathian Regional Council Yevhen Zhupan. In his comments, he expressed hope that the words of Chechetov are only his personal opinion, and that the government, that tried so hard to pass this law in parliament, would comply with it.
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