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Romania damns communism officially today

Luni, 18 decembrie 2006, 0:00

Vladimir Tismaneanu (photo:

Romanian President Traian Basescu will officially condemn the communist dictatorship before the joint chambers of the Parliament on Monday.

The event will be attended by key characters in the fight against communism in Central and Eastern Europe, including Czech ex-President Vaclav Havel, Bulgarian ex-President Jelio Jelev and Lech Walesa, Polish ex-President, leader of the Solidarity movement and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The event will also be attended by King Michael of Romania, who as a child led the country before the Communists were installed in Bucharest in the late 1940s.

17 years since the December 1989 revolution, President Basescu will read a statement asking for the condemnation of communism and will present the conclusions of a report analyzing the effects of the communist dictatorship.

The commission, established in April 2006 at Basescu’s initiative, is run by historian and politologist Vladimir Tismaneanu.

It is the first time when a head of state of a former Soviet bloc country condemns the communist regime as an “illegitimate and criminal regime”. And it names and blames people still holding political power today, including ex-President Ion Iliescu, far-right leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor, parliamentarian Adrian Paunescu and even Vladimir Tismaneanu’s father.

Ex-President Iliescu, a former Communist Party apparatchik who came to power in the 1989 Revolution and ran the country in 1990-1996 and 2000-2004, said he would not attend the event because he did not agree with this “politicized” report.

He considered the document “a political thing which is unilateral, biased and primitive in its lack of nuance, where an epoch and its people are judged en-masse. It has nothing of an objective, scientific and historical analysis. In fact, I see the report as a great danger for our political life.”

For his part, far-right leader C.V. Tudor, who also held a huge profile in the public eye during communist times, said that MPs of his Greater Romania Party prepared to boycott the reading of the declaration and to boo the president during the event.

The Social Democrats (PSD), the main opposition party in Romania, have also criticized the report but said they would not follow C.V. Tudor’s attitude.

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