A new episode: Romanians against the political system

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Mass non-participation of Romania’s voters in referendum to define the family in the Constitution as the union of a man and a woman

Vladimir Mitev

This article was first published on 8 October 2018 on the Romanian section of “The Barricade” website.

The Romanian referendum through which traditionalists had hoped to define the family in the Constitution as the union of a man and a woman, and not of spouses, has failed, after the turnout did not reach the 30% threshold of the overall number of people with voting rights. By the time the polling stations in Romania closed, only 20.41% of the electorate had managed to vote. Such a development was not expected even by those with liberal and social convictions, who had boycotted the referendum, attempting to invalidate it as a consequence of low turnout.

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Evgeni Ignatov: The International Run ”Giurgiu-Rousse” brings new friends to both our cities

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Evgeni Ignatov (photo: Vladimir Mitev)

An interview with the organizer of the 15-km long run between the centers of Giurgiu and Rousse – about the Bulgarian-Romanian collaboration in sport, about the culture of running, which is on the rise in Romania and Bulgaria, and about the European spirit of the sport event

Vladimir Mitev

Evgeni Ignatov is a Bulgarian athlete and a president of the athlete club ”Dounav” Rousse. He is a golden medal winner at the Alternative Olympic Games in Moscow in 1984 and has success in a lot of running competitions in Western Europe in the 80s (including a silver medal from the European Championship in 3 km distance running in hall in Grenoble in 1981). From 2016 Ignatov is the main force behind the International Free Spirit Run ”Giurgiu-Rousse” – a sport event, which permits each autumn its participants to pass the distance between the centers of Giurgiu and Rousse (15 km). It is organised by the municipalities of both cities and by the two light athletics clubs – ”Dounav” Rousse and „Dunarea” Giurgiu. Every even year the main organizer of the competition is the Bulgarian party, it starts in Giurgiu and ends in Rousse, while every odd year its main organizer is the Romanian party, it starts in Rousse and finishes in Giurgiu. The run passes „The Bridge of Friendship“ between Rousse and Giurgiu.

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The misery of investigative journalism

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Installation at the Tate Modern Museum in London (photo: Pixabay, CC0)

Journalists` revelations affirm for many people the notion that „all the politicians are the same misery“ and that is why it makes no sense to try to change the things

Dimitar Sabev

This article was published on 25 September 2018 on the site Bodil. 

Who says that there is no investigative journalism in Bulgaria? It exists and is even more than the capacity of the public to digest. „Bivol“ has unveiled a lot of criminal schemes – from the offshore accounts of the labour union leader Trenchev till the case of Gheorghiu – a Cypriot poor guy, who owns firms for millions. The journalists at NOVA Tv or bTV sometimes produce investigations of high quality. There are sneaking revelations even in the public media BNT and BNR, which are under control,

In spite of these and other examples I dare to claim that Bulgarian investigative journalism is in a deep crisis. Investigations are made for their own sake: not only from the standing point of journalists, but also from the standing point of the public. Investigative journalism is an attractive genre in Bulgaria, it brings fame and influence, but rarely assumes important tasks, such as change of thinking or behavior of society.

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Ovidiu Ţichindeleanu: Does Eastern Europe have the power to de-link itself from the mechanisms of dependence?

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Ovidiu Ţichindeleanu (foto: Baricada)

The Barricade talked to Ovidiu Ţichindeleanu, the Romanian philosopher, about the importance of the late Samir Amin’s ideas, the need for Eastern Europe to follow its own path of development, the message of the Telciu Summer School, and the need for a ‘left-wing spirituality’

Vladimir Mitev

Ovidiu Ţichindeleanu is a philosopher and a theorist of culture, a co-founder of the Romanian left-wing site CriticAtac, the Romanian platform Indymedia, and the Eastern European left-wing political platform, LeftEast. He was a member of the Governing Board of the El Taller International NGO. He currently lives in Chişinău, Republic of Moldova. Ţichindeleanu is one of the driving forces behind the Idea Publishing House in Cluj Napoca and the Centre for the Study of Modernity and the Rural World in Telciu, the latter being the organiser of the Telciu Summer Conferences and the Telciu Summer School. His most recent book is Contracultură. Rudimente de filosofie critică (’Counterculture. Thoughts on Critical Philosophy’). He is the Romanian translator of books by Silvia Federici, Sylvia Marcos, Walter Mignolo, Arturo Escobar, Lewis Gordon, Immanuel Wallerstein, Ivan Illich, Gilles Deleuze, and Peter Sloterdijk.

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Ilie Şerbănescu: Koveşi`s removal from DNA is not the end of the political war in Romania

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Ilie Şerbănescu (photo: Baricada)

The veteran analyst explains what Iohannis`s mistake was, who benefits from the changes in justice an why Romania is not on the road to becoming a new Poland or Hungary

Vladimir Mitev

Ilie Şerbănescu (b. 1942) is a Romanian economist and analyst, who was minister of reform between December 1997 and April 1998. He has written more than 600 articles and several books. His most recent book is called ”Romania – a colony in Europe`s periphery“ (2016). It studies the different dimensions of the Romanian economy which prove that it is peripheral and dependent on its foreign masters.

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Victoria Stoiciu: Capital is socially assisted in Romania, not the poor

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Victoria Stoiciu (photo: Victoria Stoiciu)

Vasile Ernu speaks with Victoria Stoiciu about the new serfdom and the guaranteed minimum income: ”In our country the fight against poverty has turned into a fight against the poor”

Vasile Ernu

This article was published on 25 June 2018 on the site ”The Barricade”. 

“On Wednesday 20 June 2018, members of the Romanian parliament approved a legislative project which liquidates the right to a guaranteed minimum income in the case where even one offer of work is rejected by an unemployed citizen. The decision was taken with 274 votes in favour, 4 against and 2 abstentions”, reports the national press agency, Agerpres. In my view, there is no one any more in the Romanian parliament who represents the interests of the poor, who make up more than 40% of the citizens of this country. They are abandoned. We fight not with poverty, which is the gravest problem of Romania, but with the poor. The fight against the poor unites the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) [the two governing parties – translator’s note], the National Liberal Party, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), the Save Romania Union (USR) and others. They have taken an important step towards a new serfdom.

On the occasion of this parliamentary vote I talked with Victoria Stoiciu, who is very familiar with the sphere of social legislation and the problem of poverty. She is the programme director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Romania. She is also the national correspondent for Romania in Eurofound, the European agency conducting surveys on quality of life in the EU.

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Will Romania give up on its anti-corruption fight?

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Liviu Dragnea and Klaus Iohannis (foto: CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 3.0)

After Donald Trump entered the White House the northern neighbour is one of the territories of global fight between pro-German and anti-German powers

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 5 June 2018 on the site and in the paper ”Word”. 

Has the end of the Romanian anti-corruption fight come? The question has probably passed through the head of many people, as the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) stipulated on 30 May 2018 that the urge of the minister of justice Tudorel Toader for resignation of the chief of the anti-corruption fight DNA is legitimate (because according to the court prosecutors are subordinated to its ministry). The CCR also defined the president Klaus Iohannis` rejection to sign the order for Laura Koveşi`s resignation as unconstitutional deed. In other words the Constitutional Court said that Iohannis, who is considered a pillar of anticorruption, must literally cut a part of his political body, signing the order for Koveşi`s resignation.

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