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Timisoara marks 20 years since revolution, Walesa attends events

Timisoara yesterday marked 20 years since the 1989 anti-communist revolution with special commemorations under the headline “Timisoara 1989-2009: Twenty years since the fall of communism.” The forum , held in the West University’s Aula Magna, was attended by leading political figures of the time, such as ex Polish President Lech Walesa, the former foreign minister of the Democratic German Republic, Markus Mackel, ex Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The forum was also attended by Laszlo Tokes, the man who lit the spark of the revolution, currently an independent MEP, but also by former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu.


Also yesterday, the speakers of both chambers of Parliament decided to have a solemn session dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the revolution. The session will be held on December 21, the same day when President Traian Basescu is sworn in for a second term.


Tokes: Romania denounced communism only on paper


In an interview to Mediafax, Tokes said that in the 20 years after the revolution, Romania has made little progress, because former communist activists and elites are still ruling in politics and economy. Tokes also denounced the fact that in some Romanian towns, such as Scornicesti and Targu Mures, people “are erecting statues to former communist gangsters, Ceausescu and Stefan Gusa.” Tokes also said that Romania’s official condemnation of communism through the Tismaneanu report remained only on paper and that President Basescu must enforce the document.


“Separation from the past should be achieved at least on moral level, if on legal level it is hard to make communists accountable for their deeds,” Tokes said.


Week of commemorations


The 20th anniversary of the revolution will be marked by several events this entire week in Timisoara. The darkest day in the memory of Timisoara people is still December 17, proclaimed day of mourning, when the first revolutionaries in the city were shot dead by armed forces. To mark the moment, alarm sirens will be sounded for three minutes and descendants of revolution victims will light candles and lay wreaths of flowers in their memory.

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