Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Romania - In a train going west

In Romania, local elections have attracted much attention, since they show the relative strength between the liberal president Basescu and his political opponents. In the most important local election of all- the capital Bucarest, ex-socialist Sorin Oprescu recently beat Basescus ally. Basescu himself has had a very high profile, claiming to break down the ruling class that remained the elite when the turbulence 1989 was over.

Ana Blandiana, a proponent of this movement describes Romanias', as well as its neighbour countries post communistic history like a westbound train. The world passes by outside the window as it approaches Bruxelles, or wherever... but inside the train coupe nothing has changed. The same people that were Securitate Agents are now in different political parties, paying lip service to democracy without caring about human rights.

Basescu has done more than any other Romanian politician to change this situation, for example he tried to change the electoral system into a majority system in stead of a proportional one, in order to deal a fatal blow to the established structures of power. Given the strenght of his opponents his rule is rather contested, and during long periods he has been in a deep cconflict with the Romanian parliament, as well as with the courts.

Basescus fight to clean up inside the westbound train is in deed a noble one, but he has also made himself famous for doing it in a rather autocratical manner, and critics have pointed out his own flaws, e.g. corruprtion. This might be an easy accusation to shake off when it comes from his post-communist enemies, and one might agree that it takes a good deal of decisive use of power to straighten out a crooked society. On the other hand - the logic that an omelette demands the cracking of a few eggs has often taking humanity into inhumanity...

I far from have the knowledge to explain this... instead I advice readers to these wikipedia sites:

Traian Basescu, Romanias liberal president
Sorin Oprescu, the current mqayor of Bucuresti, to whom basescu is a dedicated enemy
Ion Iliescu, socialist ex-president, arch-enemy of Basescu and regarded as a symobl of the ruling elite

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