The big story in the Romanian media at the moment is about the murder of one of the country's top handball players in a disco in Vezprem, Hungary. He (Marian Cozma) played for the Romanian national team, and played for the local team in Vezprem along with a few other foreign stars. They were out celebrating a teammates new baby at the weekend, and then fight broke out and Cozma got stabbed in the chest and died (and two others - a Serb and Croatian, were badly hurt).
I have to confess that one of my first reactions on hearing this tragic story (when all I knew was that a famous Romanian handball star had been killed in Hungary), was to fear that he had been murdered by some crazy Hungarian nationalist intent on somehow getting his own back for Trianon or some such. Not that the manner or motive for the killing would matter to Cozma or his family or friends, but that if it were a hate crime, then it could turn into something more widespread and have long term political ramifications. As far as we know this wasn't the case and the team just got attacked for being in the wrong place at the wrong time while what amounted to a local gang/mafia type grudge was being played out.
However, the case is not without its ramifications and ethnic overtones. The men accused of killing Cozma are, you see, Rroma. So large swathes of the Hungarian press and its right-wing politicians have seized on this as clear evidence that this is an ethnic problem, and that "Gypsies" in general are to blame. A newspaper writer, for example, described gypsies as "not human beings, but animals". (In another recent case, a police chief was sacked for making racist remarks about Rroma, and then reinstated after public protest)
You can read a fairly comprehensive and thorough account of the whole tragic event here .
Some other articles in English: Bloomberg ; Politics.hu
As the economic crisis really begins to bite here, it seems that the Rroma will again start being blamed for all of societies ills. It's already pretty much government policy in Italy, and the opposition in Hungary are fairly clearly playing the anti-Rroma race card too.
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