In few ex-communist countries from South-East Europe the ex-dictatorship period elite survived so well like in Romania. The best example: the two candidates that will compete against each other on December 6, in the second presidential round, both suspects of having collaborated with the Securitate before 1989, Deutsche Welle reads. The German journalists add that this would not be a singular example. They claim that in Romania ex-Securitate officers are not limiting themselves to currently work for the secret services, but they are everywhere: in politics, economy and press, while debates on the issue are few and way too shy.
Incumbent Romanian President Traian Basescu led before 1989, when the Revolution ended the communist dictatorship in Romania, the state naval company representative to Anvers, a role comparable with hat of an important ambassador. His opponent for the presidential second round, namely Mircea Geoana, is the son of one of Nicolae Ceausescu's high rank generals - Ioan Geoana led the Civil Defence High Commandment. Both Traian Basescu and Mireca Geoana are suspected for having collaborated with the Securitate, Nicolae Ceausescu's most fear repressive apparatus, before 1989, Deutsche Wellereads.
The German journalists underline that these examples are only the tip of the iceberg, drawing attention to the fact that, in Romania, many Securitate officers integrated perfectly in the post-communist system: they hold today significant political roles, having become rich businessmen or simply wealthy pensioners.
Ex-Securitate officer: My ex-colleagues are in the Government or run important companies
Deutsche Welle journalists talked to Dumitru Burlan, ex-Securitate officer for three decades, now aged 70. Before 1989, he was entrusted the task of supervising high communist party members who were suspected by Nicolae Ceausescu. Later, he became chief of the Romanian dictator's bodyguards. He is currently earning a generous pension and talks about his ex-colleagues: "Yes, in Romania there are important companies led by ex-Securitate members. But they are in the Government, as well. If it not the officer himself, than it is his son", Dumitru Burlan says laughing.
Another example featured by Deutsche Welle is Ilie Merce, also aged 70, ex-Securitate officer, who used to lead operations of monitoring and oppression against intellectuals and artists in the '80s. After the 1989 Revolution, he became member of the Romania Mare Party (PRM) and MP until 2008. "I definitely monitored intellectuals. But I did not do it in order to take repressive measures against them, but to protect them", Ilie Merce claims today.
Somehow different, but just as stunning is Gheorghe Ratiu's carrer, currently a colonel in reserve. Between 1985 and 1989 he led the feared Securitate Direction I - the department taking care f the opponents' suppression. After the Revolution, Gheorghe Ratiu became business consultant. "Who was stupid, retired. Who was intelligent made business and lives well", Gheorghe Ratiu explained.