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May 16, 2005

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Marian

Iliescu is not the senate president. This position belongs to Vacaroiu. It was a lot of fuss about this, the election of Vacariou with the help of Vadim Tudor and Voiculescu as the leader of the senate, (how did you missed such a detail, you don't read too much romanian press). Iliescu is a mere president of the PSD senate group, its only official position in the PSD.

I don't hear too often that he was a Ceausescu family friend. And I doubt this, see the dialogue book with Vladimir Tismaneanu for instance, they were coming from quite different generations and backgrounds. Nevertheless he was a Moscow educated, high ranking communist, chief of youth organization and then chief of propaganda and held other high positions in the party and government.

If I would be Iliescu now I would watch with high interest how the Pinochet case evolves.

David Weman

1990, not 92.

Marian

Actually he was president 4 (four) times: 22 Dec 1989 - 20 May 1990, 20 May 1990 - 1992, then the consitutional mandates 1992-1996 and 2000-2004.

Eduard

Thanks for the original post. I find it interesting to hear Douglas' views on Romania even if some dates, official titles,etc. are not 100% accurate, as the other comments point out.

How many English-language blogs can you find dealing with Romania today? Not so many, I have found 2 so far. If we all judge the value of blogs just by how accurate they are, then we might as well be reading the official Romanian press. There you can find accurate data about politicians. Here you can find perceptions, opinions and ideas.

No wonder the whole world ignores Romania for the most part, if we're going to constrict every form of expression to rigorous standards of accuracy instead of seeking more human-centered ways of communicating.

claudia

Thank you, Eduard.

Marian

There are some more blogs, for instance Albino Neutrino (this is really funny) or Ro-mania.

Concerning the rigorous standards of accuracy, a decent level of accuracy can be achieved with little effort. The devil often is hidden in details. News full of stereotypes and very reductionist views about Romania (including its political life) are aplenty. And not just in tabloids, you come across them even in "The Economist" (the pre-election coverage is an example).

claudia

Marian - here's a question for you: if you can't bear to read us, why do you read us? Just being curious here.

And yes, there are more expat Romania blogs, and quite a few Romanian Romania ones. Some can be found it our blog roll.

gelu

Claudia, don't bother with Marian! He is the...FLY of your blog! He's just buzzing around...Let him to be happy!...

claudia

Naw... I'm really just curious.

We don't mind being corrected. We make mistakes, yes. However, if someone doesn't do anything but... one wonders.

Marian

Actually it is the opposite, I like reading your blog. I find it interesting and I follow with curiosity the notes posted here about this part of the world.

It is like a double experiment, some researchers in a field trip are observing their subjects, but the subjects are observing their observers too. This is possible due to the benevolence of the observers that are making public their notes. We do not know what are the observers' test hypotheses, but from the subjects point of view the whole thing is: Do they see it? Do they get it? There are true those things that we believe (we were told so) characterize us? Or the test is inconclusive, just normal people, more or less undistinguishable from the witness sample. The experiment has its difficulties, but these are only making it even more interesting. The observers often come with too little background search done, other times they are trapped in a unrepresentative bubble in the north sector of the capital city or they encounter too many outliers (subjects unrepresentative for the studied population), also the subject population is not in its best shape still recovering after a long affliction. The experiment has also one fundamental rule, the observer and the subject should not actively interfere with each other, for example it is forbidden one part to teach lessons the other part. Unfortunately this rule has already been breached.

claudia

We're lab rats?

Doug and I laughed about that all through our breakfast pancakes.

Wow. Good one.

klaus

"Former friend of the Ceausescu family"

I really really doubt that...

That's why: About 2 or 3 months ago, Jurnalul National, published several interviews with the soldiers who guarded the Ceausescus in the last day when they were arrested. It lasted very short, the trial was quick and followed by the execution... you all remember.

So, one soldier remebered the big surprise Ceausescu had and his comment after he heard that Iliescu was at the television and was seen like the new leader. He said like this: "who's leading now? ILIESCU? But I knew I told them to finish him!" ... Of course, it is interpreted like a isolation from the politics of Iliescu by the party, securitate and the communist state apparatus... but, knowing the bestiality of "Securitate" many sit and wonder... wasn't he speaking of a darker decision?
Remember, at that time freedom of speech in Romania was something strictly forbidden, the constant fear not to be heard by securitate was indeed huge! Ceausescu wanted no political enemies. Indeed, he was a complete maniac.

So, a friend of him who took the power back then? No, no, wrong theory.
Ceausescu had very very little friends... how can someone offer his friendship to a man that he feared most?
Just think a little, take it logically, then remember what that soldier heared from Ceausescu's mouth...

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