Romania marks Union of Principalities


Premier Victor Ponta, Speaker of the Senate Crin Antonescu, Speaker of the Lower Chamber Valeriu Zgonea, ministers and MPs, attended the ceremonies organized by the Iasi City Hall on Thursday marking 154 years since the principalities of Moldova and Wallachia formed a union. President Basescu stayed in Bucharest.

Several thousands attended on Thursday in Iasi the events organized to mark the Union of Romanian Principalities. The events were also attended by Premier Victor Ponta, Speaker of the Senate Crin Antonescu and several ministers, all wearing cockade rosettes.The events dedicated to the Union of Romanian Principalities started around 9 AM with a folk show, folk singers such as Maria Dragomiroiu, Petrica Matu Stoian, Veta Biris, Laura Lavric, Zinaida Julea and Nicolae Hlib performing on the stage erected within Iasi’s Union Square. The official events that started at 10 AM with the national anthem were attended by Premier Victor Ponta, Speaker of the Senate Crin Antonescu, Speaker of the Lower Chamber Valeriu Zgonea as well as several ministers, including Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin, Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian and Regional Development and Administration Minister Liviu Dragnea. Iasi Mayor Gheorghe Nichita, County Council President Cristian Adomnitei and Prefect Romeo Olteanu were also present. Premier Victor Ponta arrived around 9.45 AM, accompanied by local PSD and PNL representatives. Ponta then talked to some of the people present in Union Square, one of the participants telling him “give us salaries and pensions because we’re only seeing price hikes.” Mayor Gheorghe Nichita tried to escort the man away, telling the people that the officials will return to talk to them after they give their speeches. A religious service took place, followed by speeches given by the officials attending the event. “Today more than ever we need strength, confidence, devotion, solidarity and maybe the best thing we have to do on these festive days (…) is to plan every day, even with a small part of our thoughts, our deeds, wherever we are, to perform once again and once again the union of all of our energies and hopes,” Antonescu stated. Premier Victor Ponta asked Romanians to think not only about the country they inherited but also about what country they want to build now and what country they “want to bequeath to those coming after them.”

In his speech Ponta stated that he goes to Iasi every year “to pay homage” to those that united the principalities over 150 years ago. “I salute those that come to Iasi every year, irrespective of whether the weather is nice or not, irrespective of who is here on the stage, precisely in order to show that they are Romanians, to enjoy the Union,” Ponta stated. “I want the days of January 24 and December 1 to be in our minds and actions during every one of the 365 days of the year,” Ponta concluded. The officials then laid wreaths at the tomb of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. The marching of the guard and the traditional folk dance also took place. Several thousand people attended the event.The folk show continued at 11 AM, after the official events, and starting at 12 PM the City Hall offered 5,000 portions of beans, as well as mulled wine. Soldiers participated in a torchlight parade on the city’s Stephen the Great Boulevard during the evening after which Zdob si Zdub, Iris and Ruby gave a concert within the city’s Culture Palace Square. Public transportation was shut down in central Iasi on Thursday during the events that took place within the Union Square.  President Traian Basescu did not attend the ceremonies that took place on Thursday in Iasi and Focsani, ceremonies marking 154 years since the Union of the Romanian Principalities, Presidential spokesperson Bogdan Oprea pointed out. President Traian Basescu stated in the message he gave on the occasion of the Union of Romanian Principalities Day that Romanians today have the duty to follow and respect their forerunners’ aspirations in what concerns the sovereignty of law, political responsibility and the modernization of institutions.

Boc dances alongside Prefect and President of the County Council

Cluj-Napoca Mayor Emil Boc danced alongside Prefect Gheorghe Ioan Vuscan and County Council President Horea Uioreanu on Thursday at the events organized outside the Prefecture on the Union of Romanian Principalities Day. Emil Boc told the people of Cluj that “there is strength in unity.” Local and County officials took part on Thursday, at the statute of Alexandru Ioan Cuza in Cluj-Napoca, in the events organized in order to celebrate the Union of Romanian Principalities Day. The events included a religious service and the laying of wreaths on behalf of public institutions, parties and associations.