Former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is considered the best political leader Romania ever had, according to the 2007 Public Opinion Barometer published by the Soros Foundation on Thursday. Current President Traian Basescu is considered the second best political leader with a historical role after Nicolae Ceausescu and before Ion Iliescu, the first post-Communist head of state.

The Public Opinion Barometer shows that even though the leader’s importance changed over years, Ceausescu stands as the figure that mostly affected Romanian’s collective mentality. 18 years after the fall of Communism, Ceausescu is considered both the best political leader in the last 100 years and the worse one for the same period.

According to the study, those missing the Ceausescu regime lived better in the Communist period and continue to have influent relations with high society members but did not get wealthier after the revolution.

Another constant presence in the top is the first post-Communist president, Ion Iliescu, while the current President Traian Basescu is a new entry in the 2007 survey.

In 1999, 22 % of Romanians favored Nicolae Ceausescu, 9 % Ion Iliescu while 8% opted for others and 33% did not answer the question.

In 2007, some 23% of Romanians opted for Nicolae Ceausescu, 15% for Traian Basescu and only 7% for Ion Iliescu while 3% favor others and 28% refuse to give an answer.