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Books on Romania
Update No: 128 - (28/01/08)
All roads lead to Rome – and some to Romania
The Romanians aspire to be Western. Their very name is Western, their tongue and
their conjugations of it. The country was called Dacia in Roman times and was
occupied by Roman legionaries, speaking of course Latin.
But between the third century and the thirteenth AD there is a virtually a
complete blank in the records. All we know is that, despite appalling goings-on,
mayhem galore during the Dark Ages, a measure of continuity prevailed. At the
height of the Middle Ages, circa 1300, the Romanians with their Latin language
and Orthodox Christian religion, inherited from Byzantium, were still there.
President Traian Basescu has a name that tells one volumes. Trajan was the Roman
emperor who annexed Dacia in the early second century. He is a Francophile like
virtually all his countrymen, many of whom speak good French, and Italian as
likely as not as well. All this has stood the Romanians in good stead. They were
admitted to the EU with full French and Italian backing in 2006. Who better to
be a signatory of the Treaty of Rome? It was the good fortune of the Bulgarians
to get in if behind, in their wake.
Romania leads the way for the whole Balkans
Romania is to be the host to the next NATO summit in early April. This is a
turning point, not just for the Romanians, but the entire Balkan region.
Romania, a NATO member since 2004, has 500 soldiers in NATO missions in
Afghanistan and 80 soldiers in Kosovo. There are also about 400 Romanian
soldiers in Iraq.
Basescu said that Romania supports having Albania, Macedonia and Croatia join
NATO. Basescu made the comment after meeting NATO'S secretary general, months
before a summit in Bucharest, Romania's capital. "Romania unreservedly
supports (NATO) enlargement with Croatia, Macedonia and Albania," Basescu
said. "Beyond enlargement, the summit wants to bring Serbia, Bosnia and
Montenegro closer to the alliance."
Basescu was echoing comments made by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop
Scheffer, who said the 27 allies would decide in the next few weeks whether to
invite Croatia, Albania and Macedonia to join NATO at the summit in Bucharest.
De Hoop Scheffer also said that the alliance is considering closer ties with
Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia and Bosnia. With the first two of those, both former
‘all- union republics’ of the Soviet Union, these deliberations will be
closely watched from the nearby Russian federation and reactions are likely to
arise during the May presidential elections there. Serbia’s prospects of an
invitation will surely depend on the outcome of the Feb 3d run-off to the
presidential election there. Kosovo and its independence being the burning issue
The NATO secretary general was in Bucharest for one day to oversee preparations
for the April 2-4 summit. US President George W. Bush and the government leaders
of other NATO members will attend the summit, which will be the largest in the