Romania accused of discriminating against Hungarian festival

A senior ethnic Hungarian politician says the Romanian culture ministry discriminated against the Hungarian community in failing to win international recognition for a religious festival.

Csilla Hegedus, deputy head of the Union of Democratic Hungarians in Romania, said 100 Hungarian experts had worked six years to secure UNESCO protection for a Catholic pilgrimage in northwest Romania where 1.4 million Hungarians live.

Hegedus claimed Tuesday a Romanian culture ministry official failed to provide UNESCO with documentation it requested about the festival. The ministry declined to immediately comment.

The statement comes amid rising tensions between the two countries. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Hungarian diplomats not to attend Romania's national day celebration.

Transylvania became part of Romania in 1918. Before that it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.