May 1, celebrations and campaigning


Initially celebrated abroad, Labour Day was celebrated for the first time in Romania in 1890, being considered in the first years after 1920 “a workers’ holiday.” In recent years May 1 lost its original “depth,” becoming a mere holiday.
This year the Romanian tourists that took advantage of the four-day public holiday on May 1st spent a total of approximately RON 50 M, according to the statistics, despite the fact that their number dropped by approximately 10 per cent year-on-year. Most of the approximately 90,000 tourists that left their homes these days spent their Labour Day at the seaside, Digi24 informs. Hotel operators registered 20,000 vacancies, blaming the rains registered throughout the country and the fact that the Romanians that overspent during the Easter holiday did not save money for May 1.
Statistics show that approximately 25,000 persons chose the seaside as their destination for the May 1 public holiday, approximately 18,000 chose mountain resorts, 2,000 the Danube Delta and over 8,600 chose destinations abroad – Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Spain and Turkey.
During the four-day public holiday Romanians consumed 30 million highly seasoned forcemeat balls (approximately 1,500 tons) and 50 million liters of beer (approximately 5 liters per person). According to the ProAgro federation, Romanians eat 440 million highly season forcemeat balls ever year, a total of 20-25,000 tons, the May 1 holiday generating the highest sales. A Romanian eats on average 40 highly season forcemeat balls per year, if one takes into account the active population that is part of the 20-55 age group (11 million persons according to INS data).
Moreover, several unions whose members are employed the Ploiesti local public administration organized the “Union May 1” event featuring concerts and barbecues. A highly seasoned forcemeat ball measuring 25 meters and weighing 20 kilograms was prepared at the event.
The atmosphere in Vama Veche, the young people’s favorite spot for the May 1 holiday, was the same as in past years: tents on the beach, music and drinks. Moreover, some participants used drugs. According to realitatea.net, on a single day no less than 15 youngsters were caught carrying high-risk drugs. Cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy were among the forbidden substances used by youngsters at the seaside.
Electoral promises
Party leaders and members amply capitalized on the international Labor Day, taking the opportunity to campaign for the European Parliament elections scheduled on May 25.
Thus, Romanian President Traian Basescu spent his May 1 holiday along with his wife at the protocol villa in Neptun sea resort, just like he did in previous years. At the same time, the president met there several leaders and candidates of the Popular Movement Party (PMP), including Elena Udrea and Cristian Preda, all of them wearing white t-shirts bearing PMP’s logo and electoral messages, Mediafax informs. Elena Udrea posted on her Facebook account on Friday afternoon a series of photographs titled “Traian Basescu with PMP’s youths and women.” The photographs were taken on the beach.
In his turn, Premier Ponta visited, along with ministers Liviu Dragnea and Dan Sova, Constanta’s “Henri Coanda” neighborhood. On that occasion, Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare promised those present that he will build another 1,000 houses for the poor, and Premier Victor Ponta stated that he went there to thank Mazare for what he did, asking the people to chant the mayor’s name. Likewise, Ponta also inspected various construction sites in Mamaia, assuring Radu Mazare that an emergency ordinance allowing local authorities to engage in construction works during the holiday season in the case of projects involving European funds will be issued on Tuesday.
According to PDL’s campaign schedule, a team formed by PDL President Vasile Blaga and PDL candidates Theodor Stolojan, Marian Jean Marinescu and Traian Ungureanu was in Prahova County on May 1st, PDL’s EP elections candidates being launched in Targsorul Vechi, Plopeni, Baicoi and Campina.
On May 1, PPDD founder Dan Diaconescu went to Vama Veche with an electoral convoy, asking the locals there to vote for his party in the EP elections, gandul.info informs. Dan Diaconescu himself is a candidate. Passers-by reacted by booing him.
On the other hand, politicians mobilized their election teams and organized various events throughout the country. Approximately 1,000 persons took part in a May 1 march in Sibiu, the participants carrying party flags, balloons and red scarves. Most of the participants also took part in a bicycle competition.
In Bistrita, PSD handed out to those attending a party organized at a local recreational center over two thousand food stamps with which they were able to buy highly seasoned forcemeat balls and beer. The participants at the event included Water, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Doina Pana and PSD MEP Ioan Mircea Pascu.
Dozens of members of PSD’s and PSD’s youth wings took part on May 1 in the clean-up of recreational areas around Cluj-Napoca, wearing orange and red t-shirts bearing election campaign messages. PDL Cluj President Daniel Buda, a candidate for the EP elections, also took part in the action.
May 2 was the National Youth Day, most of the cities hosting dance shows, concerts, theater shows and sport events.

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