Wave of sympathy for King Mihai

According to an IMAS poll published last week by ‘Adevarul’ daily, the level of confidence in King Mihai stood at 25.7 per cent in December, being higher than that of President Traian Basescu and of Premier Emil Boc taken together.

According to the aforementioned source, the level of confidence in King Mihai was higher than the level of confidence in President Traian Basescu (12.9 per cent) and in Premier Emil Boc (9.7 per cent) taken together. Only PNL President Crin Antonescu has a higher level of confidence (27.1 per cent). Of the personalities whose popularity was measured by IMAS in 2011, only Mugur Isarescu surpassed the King’s popularity with a confidence level of 33.2 per cent in June.

Romanians aged 18-29, those living in Transylvania and in mid-size cities show most confidence in King Mihai. According to IMAS, 27.8 per cent of Romanians aged 18-29 have confidence in King Mihai, 25.7 per cent in Crin Antonescu and 18.1 per cent in Victor Ponta. By comparison, Traian Basescu scores 12.2 per cent and Emil Boc 6.6 per cent. When it comes to other age groups, King Mihai is second after Crin Antonescu, scoring confidence levels of 23.7 per cent (30-44 age group), 25.4 per cent (45-49 age group) and 26 per cent (60+ age group). Moreover, King Mihai tops the list of public personalities in Transylvania, the level of confidence in him standing at 29.4 per cent. He is followed by Crin Antonescu (26.8 per cent) and Victor Ponta (19.9 per cent), Traian Basescu (15.9 per cent) and Emil Boc (14 per cent). In the rest of the historical regions the King is second, after Crin Antonescu. Thus, the former King has a confidence level of 25.6 per cent in Moldavia, 23 per cent in Wallachia and 20.9 per cent in Bucharest.

King Mihai tops voters’ preferences in mid-size cities where his popularity reached 31.9 per cent, followed by that of Crin Antonescu (24.8 per cent), Victor Ponta (19.3 per cent), Traian Basescu (10 per cent) and Emil Boc (6.6 per cent). King Michael is second, after Crin Antonescu, in large cities (26.3 per cent), small cities (20.1 per cent) and rural areas (25.4 per cent).

The wave of sympathy for the former King who was forced by communists to abdicate on December 30, 1947, is undoubtedly understandable in view of the events organized last year on occasion of his 90th Jubilee. The events culminated with the speech that the former King read in Parliament on October 25, a speech in which King Michael evoked “love for country,” “morality,” “faith” and the need to recognize values. The speech was well received by Romanians. Both the Head of State and members of the government were absent from that event. The attacks that President Traian Basescu launched against the former King last summer do not seem to have affected the former King’s popularity, quite the contrary. Basescu accused the former King of having been the Russians’ “lackey,” but the King refused to answer the attacks.

‘Jurnalul National’ daily nominated King Mihai “man of the year” in 2011 for the speech he read in Parliament, a speech that the international press considered “historical.”

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