NOVI SAD – Former Romanian President Traian Basescu, who is the President of the People’s Movement Party (PMP), is threatening Serbia that Bucharest could put a veto on the accession of Serbia to the European Union if Serbia does not fully respect the bilateral agreement on protection of the rights of the Romanian minority in Serbia, the Vojvodina Today portal reports.

Basescu was the one who refused to sign the agreement on Serbian candidacy for membership in the EU in February 2012, when he was demanding guarantees that the rights of the Romanian minority will be better protected in Serbia.

Only a part of around 40,000 members of the ethnic Vlach community declare themselves as Romanians, while the others declare themselves as Serbs. In a 2002 census in Timocka Krajina, eastern Serbia, more than 40,000 people declared themselves as Vlachs, while 4,500 of them declared themselves as Romanians.

Four years later, former President Basescu claims that Romania has “an ace up its sleeve” because it may decide not to ratify the accession of Serbia to the EU, even after the completion of the pre-accession negotiations, the Agerpres and MTI agencies report.

Agerpres, namely, reports that representatives of Romanians from Timocka Krajina at the free university in Izvoru Muresului (Marosfo) – where Romanians who are living abroad and Romanians who are a minority in Szeklerland traditionally meet – demanded that Romania should resolutely demand implementation of the 2012 agreement.

“We want Serbia to become an EU member state, but we, too, want to join with our basic rights: to have Romanian schools, liturgies in Romanian and Romanian press”, said Predrag Balasevici, vice president of Ariadnae Filum, a cultural association of Romanians and Vlachs from Serbia.

The popularity of the right-wing PMP, whose president is Basescu, is increasing and currently has the support of six to eight percent of the voters.

By the end of the year, parliamentary elections will be held in Romania.