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Thousands of Romanians protesters marched through the streets and University Square in the capital, Bucharest. The protest against the government has now spread to over 40 cities in the country, demanding the resignation of the president for imposing harsh austerity measures in order to receive international loans for the nation’s slow economy.
Romania is seeing one of the largest protests in recent time. Last big revolution was in 1989 which brought down the communist regime in the country. The same University Square was the place where anti communist revolution took place, hence it keeps a great historical significant for the citizens of Romania.
Protesters hanged the dummies of President Basescu and other ministers (such as the Tourism and Regional Development Minister Elena Udrea) to demonstrate their anger towards his corrupt government and laws. So far most of the protesters and protest demonstrations have been really peaceful, except few incidences.
The editor of Cadran Politic Review and a close friend of ours, Gabriela Ionita went through the depth of the event and analyzed the situation with her experience in journalism.
In her recent article Romania – a revolution for evolution? on her blog, she explains that the protests in the country are for various reason. The anger against the government was stacking up for years and was only sparked by the resignation of Deputy Health Minister, Raed Arafat. It all started with President Basescu calling him enemy of health reform on national TV.
Arafat, a Syrian who became Romanian citizen, is the founder of advanced state of the art emergency rescue system (SMURD). The system is so sound that even some West European countries like France want to implement it.
The protests don’t focus only on the health reforms but has now has widened against the corruption and the bad governance of Basescu’s government.
The Government, in a failed attempt, tried to appease the protesters and the situation in the country with some excuses that didn’t convince the people of Romania. The heads of the government, Prime Minister and President, are maintaining a low profile and in between have mimic the protests by calling it a political game by opposition, similar to what we have been observing in India, which is in the state of peaceful protest and demonstration of public demands since early 2011 (as the country saw protest against Black Money and Corruption).
A large number of Romanian protesters are demanding for early election and change in the government, a possibility which has been rooted out by the government saying it would create dangerous precedent and economic instability. The people of Romania seem unconvinced with this, as in 2011 the amount of foreign investments in Romania fell down by 36%, 18% of Romanians have fallen below the poverty line, a poor Romanian employee now earns 159 euros achieving the lowest minimum wage in EU countries, as compared to UK ~ 967 Euros, Bulgaria ~ 233 Euros, Poland ~ 326 Euros, says Gabriela.
As Romania became ally of western bloc joining NATO and EU, the country was supposed to be benefited but didn’t experience much change. Many Romanian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq unnecessarily in the name of NATO army, though the actual war was in America’s interest.
Romanian Protesters claim that the President and his close allies have sold their country resources for the benefit of himself and richer west European countries.
A similar blame was slapped on former government of Ukraine which was considered a puppet to US and West Europe, but Ukrainians were quick to realize the destiny of their country in the hands of Pro western government. The government changed in the next election, the process to join NATO was stopped and ties with Russia were fixed. (Read More: Europe or Russia? Whom will Ukraine Choose?).
Looking at the scenario in Romania, the theory of East Europe loosing confidence in Democracy, capitalism and western powers looks even stronger. In an article posted few weeks ago (Democracy, Capitalism Loosening in Former Soviet Union, Union is Being Missed) we took example of three East European countries, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia to show that the public confidence in their economy, democracy in their country and western powers is declining. Now Romania is joining the same league, showing that governance and economy culture enforced by western countries is not working out in this region as the current ruling politicians are not much enlightened on how to lead a democratic society.
US, which claims to support the voice of the people in the name of democracy, is currently quiet and is just following the protest incidents happening in the country. As the deal of Anti Ballistic missile with Romania is on the way, US wouldn’t like the government to fall down.
It is very much similar to what happened in Egypt. Mubarak was a dictator, but at the same time an ally of US. When people marched and organized rally in protest against their Egyptian leader, US was mere a spectator. But when people came out to protest against Libyan leader Gaddaffi, NATO and European force came up with full military, monetary and medical support.
Just like conventional media, this protest event in Romania has taken over the social media as well. While Romanians are posting the updates of the events, people living in different countries are getting the real picture which is sometimes purposely not covered by mainstream media.
Facebook is full of pictures and videos from the University Square.
A commentator on our Facebook page (Join Now) says, “The generation of protest is the favorite and catchy scenario all over the world .No body is satisfied with anybody. Once the protestors are satisfied with their victory, next they start fighting amongst themselves to establish his/her (group) hegemony. This continues till a powerful group with support of Arms and Ammunition s from neighboring / interested greedy country, takes over through a massacre of human lives. This is NOT THE END. Vultures are available to exploit with slight provocation. The century of protest is on.”
Davis Wendy on RT says, “It’s a coincidence I guess that the entire globe’s developed nations are simply coming unglued. It’s funny how the collapse of economies simultaneously occurred just as a handful of “savvy businessmen” got richer than stink. Credits ruined, homes lost, jobs outsourced, medical care unattainable, currency crashes, the banks becoming consolidated into a mega corporation. All just a fluke, right? Do you think we are stupid? The party is OVER. It was devised, designed to end with them with everything and us with NOTHING. Pawn shops have never done so well. How dare men without regard for human suffering are now equipped with their very well-trained personal armies!”
Another commentator on Facebook says, “Americanism…Romanians you caught that one …part of the American bankster extortion or harvesting program…you too can now have mind numbing psychotropic drugs with little effort. Don’t stress about it and no need to protest about it….there is always Prozac. hahaha. (made in Taiwan)”
Aleahim said, “None of you know the truth about how hard is to live nowadays for the people in Romania. We have no industry, no doctors, the education system was crushed… everything is being sold to other countries for 50 cents… people can’t stand this anymore! First get informed and then comment! The protests will go on until some changes will be made, for better living conditions hopefully!”
An intellectual gentleman Dan Veliscu told RT, “In Romania – a country were almost nothing works as it should or as it’s claimed, we have one working emergency service – the SMURD. And now a good-for-nothing president tries to close it. People have sided with the SMURD, against the president who, on his second term, can’t show anything that he’s done for the country – not like he did anything tangible before being elected president when he held positions such as transports minister or mayor of Bucharest.
Now the intended closure of the SMURD is just the tip of the iceberg – the spark that ignited the masses – as there are countless reasons to protest and overthrow the regime.
WE ROMANIANS DON’T NEED THE IMF! We don’t want any money from the IMF, we don’t need to borrow and we don’t want any debts for us or for our children to pay. Previous money the IMF gave to Romania were ALL stolen, most of it by banks which sent billions outside the country just as soon as they got their bailouts, and the rest was stolen by politicians. We don’t need foreign money and foreign debt, we can make it on our own. Politicians which demand IMF money are all thieves and traitors, since they want that money for their own pockets, not for the country. Let them pay the debts, not us!”
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