Romanian Life 02 A Walk in the park

My daily way to work leads me through a park situated next to Romania’s Palace of Parliament (People’s House), a gigantic building and a tourist magnet that I became somewhat acquainted to as a child. Situated on a hill and surrounded by ample green spaces (which you are not allowed to walk on) and a wall that says all there is to be said about the people presently working in the building.

Next to this wall there are some garbage bins where I usually throw away what remains of my cigarette after smoking it on that improvised shortcut through the grass. Two Fridays in a row I saw a black bag next to a particular garbage bin and a man parked a few meters next to it, after throwing away my cigarette I happened to look at the man while he, with a smile, shook his head in approval. I like to think that I gave that guy a new hope for staying in this country but there may be other motives for this bizarre non-verbal communication (*).

The political crisis in Romania was ignited by an unexpected decision taken, apparently solely, by the leader of my country’s largest party, the Social Democrat Party. Unlike most other democracies, our political environment is momentarily shaped by an open conflict between various “intelligence” (secret services) groups.

The public discourse regarding interference from occult or obscure groups of interest permeated many aspects of daily life:

mass-media: some journalists openly exposed this dangerous situation but nobody knows without doubt who is undercover, there is someone though, Robert Turcescu. After he acknowledged he worked undercover for many years (and brought proof) he went silent for a time only to enter politics together with former president Traian Băsescu later. Some other journalists tried to minimize this case (Cristian Tudor Popescu) and I believe they did that for a reason.

health-care: Hexi Pharma, a company linked to SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service), who’s owner died in a strange car accident <<it is believed>> after his company was accused of deliberately diluting hospital disinfectants and thus resulting in high numbers of hospital-acquired infection. These hospital-acquired infections had been greatly discussed in the media prior to the event.

education: a system of doctoral degrees was created through plagiarism. Example 1: your work was handed to someone else but afterwards you had the choice of accepting the work done by another but by doing so you became a pawn. Example 2: groups of people got academic degrees through theft, not through ”exchanges”, these cases have been easier to prove.

politics: this is probably the main area of operation for obscure groups and members of the ”intelligence”, no other way to advance without ”being advanced”.

various other economic spheres: after de coup in 1989 former ”securitatea” members entered capitalism and exchanged their ideology for money, some tried to help but most succeeded in profiting from other people’s naivety, search Sorin Ovidiu Vântu.

The present political crisis has its roots in this entangled mess of intrigue, interests and corruption that plagues Romania since 1989 if not before that, going deep into our communist past.

* inserted for narrative purposes

Inorogul și copila, 2012, oil on canvas, 2012, 110 x120 cm by Ștefan Câlția