Romania's ex president: We could veto Serbia's EU membership

Former Romanian President Traian Basescu has said that his country could veto Serbia's accession to the European Union.

Source: Beta

The Beta agency reported this on Thursday, quoting the Hungatian language website "Vojvodina Today." According to this, Basescu said the veto would happen if Serbia failed to "fully respect the bilateral agreement on the protection of the rights of the Romanian minority."

Basescu, who is the leader of of the right-wing People's Movement, also stated that that Romania "has a serious card in its hand" because it could choose not to ratify Serbia's accession to the EU after the negotiations have been completed.

Romania considers the Vlachs who live in the Timok River valley in eastern Serbia to be ethnic Romanians, while Serbia considers that community a separate, Vlach minority, the Hungarian state news agency MTI has reported. The agency added that the number of Vlachs in Serbia is "estimated" at a quarter of a million, but that only 35,330 people declared themselves as Vlachs in the last census, while 29,332 said they were ethnic Romanians.

Romania's Agerpres agency is reporting that during a meeting at the Free University in Izvorul Muresului - which is traditionally attended by representatives of Romanians from abroad - representatives of Romanians from the Timok region "demanded that Romania requires more decisively the implementation of the 2102 agreement."

"We want Serbia to become an EU member, but we also want to join with our fundamental rights: to have Romanian schools, liturgy in Romanian, and Romanian press," said Predrag Balasevic, vice president of "Ariadne Filum" - a cultural association of Romanians and Vlachs in Serbia.


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