Romanian President Traian Basescu condemned the Communist regime as “illegitimate and criminal” in a speech delivered at a special Romanian Parliament session on the 18th of December 2006.
“Illegitimate and Criminal”
According to an Epoch Times report on the 19th of December, President Traian Basescu stated in his speech, “For the Romanian citizens, Communism was a regime imposed by a political group self-entitled as a truth keeper, a totalitarian regime born of violence, and ended through violence. It was an oppressive regime that expropriated the Romanian people for five centuries of modern history. It violated the law and forced citizens to live in lies and fear.”
President Basescu presented the Parliament with an officially commissioned report on Romania’s Communist-era, which condemned the regime for killing hundreds of thousands of citizens and ruined the lives of millions during its rule.
“Extensive and thorough investigations and witness statements all point to the anti-patriotic nature of the Communist regime. In view of the above, one can conclude that the Communist regime which ruled Romanian from 1945 to 1989 was illegitimate and criminal.”
Listing twenty grounds to back his argument, he further stated, “As the Romanian head of state, I clearly and categorically condemn the Communist system in Romania, from its beginnings as a dictatorship during 1944-1947 and up to its fall, in 1989. Taking into account the facts presented in the Report, I declare with full responsibility: the Communist regime in Romania was illegitimate and criminal.”
“Time to Heal”
President Basescu called upon Members of Parliament to support his condemnation and offer sympathy to the victims of the Communist regime, in accordance with the European Commission’s decision No. 1481 passed on the 25th of January. The president expressed regret and compassion for the regime's victims on behalf of the Romanian state, apologising to those who suffered, to their families and to all those who, in one way or another, saw their lives ruined by the dictatorship.
Basescu recommended several specific measures, including setting up a Romanian Communist Dictatorship Museum in Bucharest and establishing a similar permanent exhibit within the Parliament Palace. The President also proposed offering twelve annual grants to young researchers interested in investigating aspects of the Communist dictatorship and for related subjects to be taught in schools.
President Basescu said, “Prosperity is not possible in a society where people have no freedom.” According to him, the worst evil done by Communism was to obliterate the meaning of freedom from the human race. Democratic systems, however, will not appear automatically. People need to awaken. People need to make it a reality.
Basescu said at the end of his speech that today’s denouncement was a natural reflection of Romania’s respect for democratic values as a democratic country, “What the Communism thrust upon us, what we experienced, was an un-healable wound in Romanian history. It is now time for it to heal.”
Support from Dignitaries
Former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel, Bulgaria's former President Jelio Jelev, Former Polish President and Nobel Peace laureate Lech Walesa, Former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu, and Romania's former King Mihai, Prince Radu, and Princess Margareta also attended the session on Monday to shore up support. Also present in the audience were politicial dissidents of the former Communist regime and several generations of anti-Communism fighters.
During the recess, President Basescu and several former Presidents of Eastern European countries received the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. They were delighted to see this book.
Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tacireanu sat next to the President during his speech to show support for the President’s condemnation of Communism.
The Prime Minister said, “It is utterly critical to keep away from Communism and denounce it.” He cited the government's efforts to declassify secret police archives, which were a great source of fear during the Communist era, and set up an institute to investigate the crimes committed during the Communist period.
The denouncement was also welcomed by the President of the Democratic Party, Emil Boc, who praised Basescu as the first President to make real progress on this issue.
Brief Background of President Basescu
Born on the 4th of November 1951, President Traian Basescu was the Mayor of Bucharest from June 2000 until December 2004. He was inaugurated President of Romania on the 20th of December 2004 after winning the 2004 presidential election. Upon becoming the President he resigned from the Mayor’s post.
Basescu graduated from the Department of Navigation of the Navy Institute of Constanta in 1976 and worked at the Romanian state-owned shipping company. He had been Captain for three commercial ships and oil tankers.
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