Former Prime Minister Radu Vasile died Wednesday morning at the age of 71, chairman of the Christian-Democratic National Peasants’ Party (PNTCD) Aurelian Pavelescu told Agerpres. Vasile had battled colon cancer for long; according to sources close to the family, he could be buried at the Bellu Catholic Cemetery.
Shortly after hearing the news, President Traian Basescu said Radu Vasile had been a good prime minister during an extremely difficult period, one who had found the resources and wisdom to say ‘yes’ to programmes that are still under implementation. The head of state noted one of the programmes approved by the ex-PM was the improvement of all national roads and that, thanks to him, Romania now has the biggest container terminal in the Port of Constanta. ‘Radu Vasile marked his epoch, but also what followed after him, with his courage of saying <yes> to ministers who were approaching him with projects. I express my deepest regret and compassion,’ said the president who was minister of Transport in the Radu Vasile Government.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta voices his profound regret for the death of former Premier Radu Vasile, highlighting that he marked Romania’s history after December 1989: “The death after a long suffering of former Prime Minister Radu Vasile represents a great loss for Romania. Radu Vasile marked Romania’s history after December 1989, being a Prime Minister in a difficult transition period. On behalf of the Government and on my behalf I address sincere condolences and I voice my compassion and solidarity for the mourning family. May God rest him in peace!” a Government release shows.
Ex-President and PSD Honorary President Ion Iliescu regrets the death of former Prime Minister Radu Vasile, describing him as a person of dialogue, open, civilised and responsible.
‘With Radu Vasile I always had open and civilised relations. He was a man of dialogue, an open, civilised and responsible person and I appreciated those qualities’, Ion Iliescu said on a TV channel.
Senate Speaker Crin Antonescu says the Government headed by Radu Vasile engaged in some really daring reforms in the difficult social context of 1998-1999, and adds: ‘It is a loss to the entire Romanian people. My sincerest condolences to the family’. “I remember the complicated period and the brave reforms the Government headed by Radu Vasile completed, in a difficult social context, that of the years 1998-1999. It is a loss for the entire Romanian people. I wish sincere condolences to the family. My thought goes to those whom he had near and I am one of the fortunate Romanians who had the privilege to have known him. May God rest his soul in peace!” Crin Antonescu underscored, according to a Senate release.
PNL Vice President Sorin Frunzaverde, former Minister of Tourism in the Vasile Government, says the ex-PM’s merits in the construction of Romania remain unquestionable and the period when his Cabinet ruled the country definitively put Romania on the route towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Former SRI Head Costin Georgescu also expressed his regret for the death of the ex-PM. ‘He was a man, a man who deserved his office as prime minister which he carried out to the end. He had a difficult time, but managed to go through it in good conditions. May he rest in peace!’ said the ex-SRI director who was also Radu Vasile’s friend.
Former PNTCD Timis President Gheorghe Ciuhandu said the ex-PM was ‘an extremely intelligent person who could have probably still done a lot for the Romanian society’. Ex-PNTCD leader Radu Sarbu, in turn, said reforms that determined the re-launch of Romanian economy were implemented during the Vasile Cabinet, beginning with 2000 until the 2008 crisis. PDL representatives also expressed their regret for Radu Vasile’s death in a press release yesterday.
Radu Vasile was member of the Christian-Democratic National Peasants’ Party (PNTCD) between 1990 and December 27, 1999, when he was expelled from the political formation. During his party membership, he was PNCTCD spokesman and Secretary-general (January19, 1996 – January 5, 1999). For a short period (February – October 2000) he was the chairman of the Romanian People’s Party. He was a Senator for the Bacau constituency, running on the lists of the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) as a PNTCD candidate (1992-1996), and Bucharest Senator (1996-2000), elected on the CDR lists, also as PNTCD candidate. He was Senate deputy Speaker (1992 – 1996; 1996 – April 2, 1998). Democratic Party Senator for the Arges constituency in the 2000 – 2004 legislature.
Radu Vasile was Romania’s Prime Minister between April 15, 1998 and December 13, 1999, when then President of Romania Emil Constantinescu forced his removal from office triggering a ‘fault’ in the ruling coalition – the resignation of five ministers. Subsequently, PNTCD also expelled Radu Vasile.
He published over 150 articles and studies of history, economic history, historical demography and economic science; he is also the author of the volumes ‘Global economy. Roads and stages of modernization’ (1987), ‘Currency and fiscal policy’ (1994), and co-author of several university courses of economic history. A lesser known side of the former PM is his penchant for literature and poetry: under the pen name Radu Mischiu he wrote a volume of poems titled ‘’Balance in all’’ that appeared on March 8, 1999 at the ‘Cartea Romaneasca’ Publishing House. He also wrote the novel ‘Fabricius’’ (‘Polirom’ Publishing House – 1999) and a volume of memoirs from his time as a Premier: ‘Race on the opposite lane’ (‘Humanitas’ Publishing House – 2002).