At the last day of Oslo Freedom Forum our Chief Editor of The Oslo Times had an exclusive meeting with former President of Romania Dr. Emil Constantinescu who was here as one of visiting delegate and an invited speaker to this forum.
In his meeting with The Oslo Times Chief Editor Hatef Mokhtar, he unveils his vision and would throw some light in brief by explaining about him being supporter and promoter of democratic reforms in Romania.
Here is the brief about him and his stand against Communism:
Today, after two decades Romania has changed a lot in political and economic terms. The state which was purely communist is now growing and one of the shining role models in post communist era which has brought prosperity, equality at par and humanitarian crisis in the country at its minimum. The greatest role to bring transform Romania from a communist state to a free and democratic state was played by Mr. Constantinescu, a liberal academic with impeccable anti-communist credentials was an important reformer between the years 1996 and 2000 when he served as President to his country Romania.
With the violent collapse of the Nicolae Ceausescu regime at the end of 1989, Constantinescu became an important figure in the creation of a democratic Romania.
Along with many other Romanian academics and intellectuals, he became involved in the movement for democracy; in particular through his support for human rights, the defense of individual freedoms and the creation of a Romanian civil society.
After entering the leadership of the RDC, Emil Constantinescu was put forward again for the presidential election in 1996, and this time was successfully voted into power. He became the third President of Romania and the first non-communist President after Ceausescu and seven years of elected communist rule. Once in power, Constantinescu went about quickly reforming the Romanian system and moving it towards a market-based economy. He slashed government spending, privatized government-run businesses, liberalized prices and attempted to tackle the problem of corruption.
Furthermore, Constantinescu attempted to improve Romania’s global image and its relations with other countries. This involved bilateral agreements and the improvement of relations with many countries. Constantinescu also understood the importance of joining the EU and NATO, and worked hard to improve relations between Romania and these institutions, pushing hard for membership in both of them. In 1999, Romania became a key ally for NATO in the Kosovo conflict, allowing NATO to use its airspace and paving the way for stronger ties and future membership. Constantinescu also opened up talks with the EU over accession.
In 2000, as his Presidency was coming to an end, Constantinescu opted not to run for a second term, fearing that Romanians believed that he was only attempting to join NATO and the EU for political gain and not due to national interest.
When asked of what his opinion was on the war torn country Afghanistan, Mr. Constantinescu was quick to respond [that] “the Soviet invasion and forced implementation of communism destroyed much”.
As a well known anti-communist, Mr. Constantinescu did not hold back on the negative aspects of communism and its devastating legacy on not only Afghanistan but on many other countries. It brought death, weakness, loss of values and starvation of the resources of the service sectors.
This view might come from the legacy the former dictator Nikolai Ceausescu left when he served from 1965 to 1989 ruling the country with an iron fist with the Marxist-Leninist regime.
Even in 1992, Mr. Constantinescu, 53 years old had a clear vision of a democratic Romania.
During his campaign he said that he wanted to speed market changes and rid the Government of Communists.
His strong opinion and dislike for communism can be noted in his statement in April when Gabriela Tepelea, an anticommunist dissident who spent six years in gulags and later played a key role in Romanian political life when communism collapsed, Mr. Emil Constantinescu sent his condolences saying:
“Romania has lost another moral and intellectual compass that marked the rebirth of the traditional political elite after the collapse of communism.’’
At last he mentioned [that] "he is confident about Romania’s future and its economic prospects".
According to him ‘Communism has remained destructive to the society by and large’.
©The Oslo Times