In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Romania
Update No: 125 - (25/10/07)
Referendum on electoral reform suggested
Romania's President Traian Basescu called on October 23 for a national
referendum on electoral reform to be held, together with elections for the
European Parliament, scheduled for Nov 25.
The reform is aimed at making politicians more accountable to voters and
changing the current system based on party lists, which pro-democracy groups say
fuels corruption. This is Romania's number one problem; it is to be hoped that
reform will triumph.
Basescu apologises for war-time deportation of Gypsies
President Basescu formally apologized for the country deporting thousands of
Gypsies to Nazi death camps during World War II.
Basescu, in the first such apology to the Romany community, as Gypsies are
officially addressed, said he was sorry for their persecution during the
Romania's leaders have already apologized for the role of the Bucharest regime
against Jews during World War II.
At a ceremony on October 21 in Bucharest, Basescu conferred orders on three
Romanies who survived the Holocaust. Basescu recalled that the Romanian regime
some 65 years ago deported Gypsies from their homes to die in Nazi camps. As
many as 500,000 Romanian Gypsies were killed during World War II.
Official statistics say about 500,000 Gypsies live in Romania but minority
experts believe their number is close to one million.
A tragic history
It is worth putting this in an historical context. Romania had a fascist
dictator in the Second World War, Ion Antonescu, who allied his country with
Hitler. He aligned its domestic policies with the Nazi regime too.
Romania was a vital country for the Germans, their main dependable source of
oil. Goering wanted three million tons annually to lubricate the German military
machine and armed forces.
The Nazi-Soviet Pact in August 1939 involved the surrender of Northern Bukovina
and Bessarabia to the USSR. Antonescu was almost certainly put in the know that
their loss would be only temporary, until the invasion of the Soviet Union.
A short time later German and Italian pressure obliged Romania to surrender
Northern Transylvania to Hungary and Southern Dobruja to Bulgaria. These
transfers saw the displacement of 260,000 German ethnic refugees, most of whom
went to Germany, but 77,000 of whom were settled in Southern Bukovina and
Some 50-60,000 German troops were stationed there for 'training purposes.' Their
upkeep was paid for by seizing Jewish assets and by a flow of gold from Berlin
in return for the oil.
In October 1940 all rural Jewish property was confiscated, as well as all Jewish
bonds. In March 1941, with invasion of the USSR only months away, all Jewish
urban property was expropriated. As the war developed adversely for Germany and
its allies the anti-semitic programme was radicalised, indeed coupled with an
anti-Gypsy one. Romania participated thoroughly in the Holocaust.
A thorough apology for these dire events is indeed in order.