The Week in Bucharest Life

The 85-year old former Romanian president Ion Iliescu appeared before prosecutors on Wednesday after being charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the violent Mineriada of June 1990, when miners from the Jiu Valley put down peaceful anti-Iliescu protests in Piata Universitatii, killing six people and injuring hundreds in the process. Iliescu denies the charges but made no statement during the hearing. Petre Roman – prime minister at the time of the events – and the former head of the Romanian secret police Virgil Magureanu have also being charged with crimes against humanity, a charge which has no statute of limitations. Earlier this year a 92-year old communist-era prison guard, Alexandru Visinescu, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for similar offences, committed in the 1950s. Seeing Iliescu behind bars has long been a dream of many Romanians, and it would appear that their wishes have taken a significant step towards becoming reality.

Iliescu’s indictment puts events at the ruling PSD’s conference last weekend into a very different light. Iliescu – the PSD’s founder and honorary life-president – was allowed to make a speech at the congress and awarded a standing ovation, only for new president Liviu Dragnea (whose appointment the congress validated) to very publicly draw a line under any PSD connections to the communist past, particularly the Mineriada, immediately afterwards. As if to show that the PSD has yet to fully dispense with its communist past however, a speech by a young PSD member condemning the way in which Dragnea was elected (he was the only candidate) was cut short by party bosses. Furthermore, in elections for the PSD’s ruling council (or politburo, if you like), men and women were forced to candidate on separate lists, and while ten spaces were reserved for men, just four were reserved for women. So much for the PSD becoming a progressive party. Romania’s equality watchdog, Ongen, has already lodged a formal complaint.

A police outrider escorting interior minister and vice-prime minister Gabriel Oprea died on Monday night after his motorbike hit a hole – which been dug to allow for gas works – in wet conditions on Strada Stirbei Voda. A criminal investigation has been launched into the incident, not least because Oprea is not entitled to a police escort unless on urgent state business. He was, according to witness reports, returning from a restaurant. Furthermore, motorcycle outriders are not permitted at all during wet weather. Another witness has declared that Oprea’s car didn’t even stop to check on the condition of the injured policeman, Bogdan Cosmin Gigina. Oprea did, however, posthumously promote Gigina. Which of course makes everything all right. Oprea has so far stubbornly refused to resign over the incident.

Dan Mihalache, chief of staff to Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, was photographed while apparently fast asleep during a meeting with Serbian officials in Belgrade. Mihalache called the photo ‘cheap manipulation.’

The Economist published this rather nice piece bemoaning the way that corrupt politicians in Romania can earn time off their prison sentences by ‘churning out books’

Finally, this is the top story of the week: A Romanian education ministry official has resigned after saying that schools should teach young women how to walk provocatively.

  • Root-of-Vexation

    Shocking measures in discussion from Dynamo Kiev – the club for racists!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/european/11957561/Dynamo-Kiev-consider-segregating-black-fans-to-prevent-racism.html

    Yet more evidence that Eastern Europe has a severe racism problem and no doubt born out of anger issues too!

    • CommonSense-Less

      You should move there then Roger, you’ll feel right at home.

      • Root-of-Vexation

        Calm down and stop cyber stalking, life is too short to spend it on an obscure website being so angry with strangers 🙂

    • Actually Western Europe has a mental problem which forbids them to see how muslims, african negroes and other barbaric minorities take over their societies by force. It’s probably born out of too much brainwashing by mainstream media.

    • Mr Rearguard

      Roger me old China plate, that story is total utter fake bollox my saan! For the love of Jesus, stop following mainstream media, all of it!

  • After 15 years here in Romania, what is clear is that it is an inordinately backward place. I often feel as if Romanians are playing a game I just don’t know the rules to. Many of their actions are illogical to someone raised in the West. Nicu bastardized Bucuresti in a way that’s hard to fathom. Everything was turned on its head. Bucharest ain’t Paris. Let’s leave it at that. It’s a kind of rural backwater, the back of the beyond.

  • Alexandru Visinescu shops at the same Mega Image (formerly Angst) that I have used since 2009 here on Cismigiu. The guy is an evil son of a bitch. Try taking an iPhone shot of him and the nutcase will try to take a swat at you. An absolute asshole of a man.

    • CommonSense-Less

      It’s almost as if people don’t like having their photo taken without permission. If you took a ‘street photography’ photo of me without permission and I saw you do it, you would need to see a proctologist to have it removed.

    • I met with him last summer, at the McDonalds next to Cismigiu.

      I congratulated him for doing his duty towards the country back when he was in active service and also put 200 RON in his pocket, to help with a few days expenses.

      If the regime changes and I catch any of today’s politicians under my power, I will beat them worse than Visinescu used to beat politicians in the 50s.

  • For the past six years I have watched Bucharest’s Police Motorcycle Unit Officers speed ahead at crazy speeds to clear intersections for motorcades and often thought they were a bit reckless. We’re talking 120 kph or more on traffic choked city streets in the middle of the day. I always wondered how they didn’t cause more accidents escorting Romania’s corrupt politicians? Now it seems one of the officers crashed leading a minister at night who was in no need of a police escort. I lived for many years on Stirbei Voda and traffic is light at night. I’ve often believed that officials abuse their escort privileges in Bucharest. It’s the safest EU capital and there is no need to have to rush through traffic to avoid sniper shots and the like.

    On the flip side, I was happy to see the Bucharest Police finally switch back to Volkswagens this past week after a 10 year hiatus using the marginal Dacia Logan. In the 1990s and early 2000s, VW Jettas and vans were the Romanian police vehicles of choice. I wonder if they didn’t get a sudden deal amidst the VW crisis that led the city to purchase 400 VW Polos?!

  • Mr Rearguard
    • Euroskeptics win parliamentary elections in Poland. Left-wing doesn’t even make it to the parliament anymore.

      People seem to be waking up everywhere. F*ck the European Union, multiculturalism and globalization. Nationalism is BACK!!

      • Root-of-Vexation

        There’s and element of truth in that parmo, but of course the liberals and angry will just tell you that you’re racist and uneducated to believe in nation states and democracy.

        #voteleave (although sadly in our case we won’t) but at least we may see some EUssr reform and wake a few up to the new form of communism that’s controlling and intent on taking over the European continent.

        I wonder how long before Europe is a Muslim state in the majority? Happy days!

        • I don’t think Europe will become muslim in the end. It will more likely turn into civil war and not muslims will be the first to get trashed, but politicians and authorities.

          There’s not enough police on this continent to keep things under control when people will decide something has to change. We’re not rioting right now because we still have our vote, which might change something. But if something doesn’t change, we will be rioting.

          Politicians are afraid of us. Actually I’d love to hang one…

  • Next year I will be voting for Traian Basescu because he opposes refugees and he will find a way to kick all of them out of the country or not receive any at all.

    • CommonSense-Less

      In the grand scheme of things a few thousand refugees isn’t going to be noticeable when it comes to the countries bank balance. There’s more important, and crucial things to worry about.

      • Mr Rearguard

        “There’s more important, and crucial things to worry about.”……………..Like what?

      • Actually I don’t really care about the bank balance, money is written by banks out of thin air anyway. There will come the time when money won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on and bankers will get theirs. The Ponzi scheme will go down at one point, I’m pretty much sure about it.

        Until then it’s about the social disaster which a culture totally different than ours will bring. Rapes, terror attacks, beatings, stabbings, swarms of muslims demanding Sharia law… I see all of these in western cities.

        The safety of our streets is about the only thing we have in this society and we’re about to lose it.

        • Root-of-Vexation

          Parmoham

          Bucharest and Romania as a whole is a very, very safe and pleasant place. Not like London, where ‘some’ areas are very intimidating. My mother has been spat at and called white trash in Brixton. I’ve never suffered any abuse or problems in Romania.

          I’m not sure a large influx of the young rioting thugs who we’ve seen rampaging through Europe is what Bucharest needs. Oh but the liberals and argumentative types tell us they are all genuine asylum seekers lol.

    • Mr Rearguard

      How come the boatman doesn’t take back all of the life jackets for the next batch of passengers?
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/refugee-crisis-yvette-cooper-visits-greek-island-of-lesbos-and-slams-eus-failure-to-act-a6706557.html

    • Root-of-Vexation

      Parmoham

      The vast majority of economic migrants won’t want to settle in Romania, not when the benefits and riches are far greater further west within the EUssr.

      Although at least Romania has the courage of their convictions to stand up to this mass flow of economic migrants, as simply allowing and actively encouraging millions of people to come to the EUssr country of their choice – is not the answer. I’m quite sure the Eastern European countries of the EUssr, won’t be as liberal towards economic migrants from differing cultures as some of the Western countries in the EUssr.

      Having said all of that, if as some tell us they are just desperate asylum seekers fleeing imminent death, then why haven’t they all settled at their FIRST safe haven?

      I think we all know why, but some will never be humble enough to admit it.

    • Root-of-Vexation

      A leading political figure of Romania, on the economic migrants stampede into selective parts of the EUssr.

      Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has said his nation is only willing to take in a total of 1,785 refugees and plans to reject Juncker’s proposed allotment of 4,646.
      Because Romania is not part of the Schengen Area, it doesn’t expect to face the same heavy waves of refugees and migrants. “This can’t happen. … We’re not part of Schengen, and migrants must fulfill some rules if they want to enter Romania,” Iohannis said on Monday.

      Racist or simply sticking up for his nations interests?

      Could be an angry worded letter or rant coming his way lol.

      • Johannis is as weak as ice-cream. He will succomb to the first wave of pressure from Bruxelles. Actually he took his words back since then, and said 7000 refugees is not much for Romania.

        Brainless jellyfish, like the entire PNL.

  • CommonSense-Less

    I have no idea how the PSD have *any* support in Romania given how rotten to the core they are…

    • The PNL are a bunch of brainless jellyfish who can’t run a lemonade stall, let alone this great nation.

      Besides that, they’re also a bunch of traitors who joined the EPP and thieves just like the PSD (though they managed to steal less than the PSD because they have no brains).

      So one either votes for the real deal – PSD – or votes for Basescu. Voting for PNL is just like voting for a herd of cattle.

      • CommonSense-Less

        They are all a bunch of thieving cunts unfortunately