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Bucharest
November 24, 2022
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The rats

If the many years of communism destroyed something important in Romania, that thing must have been people’s character. That is the source of all other evil.


Naturally, any generalisation is unbecoming. I am not talking about all the people. You must have suspected that I refer to those people to whom dignity, as a notion, does not strike a cord with either mind or soul. To that sort of beings, a cosy living and social make-believe is everything. The rest is all negotiable.


It gets more serious when such people decide to come out of the gutter and invade public life. There, in that noisy world of merchants and merry andrews, find the perfect dais to do their number. They sing out of tune, conducted by invisible baton, so the background noise is perfect. They relentlessly scratch people’s tympanic membrane just to be noted. Generally, it is not advisable to pay any attention to them, because they will immediately get fresh with you. On other occasions, just as a precaution, it’s good to send them back to their nooks.


To cut this short, the rats with a vocation made their meteoric appearance in the public limelight on the occasion of the National Day of Hungary spectacularly celebrated last week in Romania. Passionate poems, street dancing, white horses, flags, ‘hanged’ historic Romanian personalities and, on top of everything else, an ambassador’s wife caught by the flame of the event. In short, a cheap show that seems to gain weight every year. All that happened in a united Europe with no more division borders and looking at a joint foreign policy in the near future.


Coincidence or not, the attitude on the Romanian side was, again, somewhere between pans down and a Caragiale -like inflated carotid. The responsibility is equally shared between power and opposition. The former did not react to the festival of offences brought to the Romanian state, for fear not to jeopardise its feeble and dishonest alliance with UDMR. The latter missed another good occasion to shut up, and managed to make something that becomes annoying look derisory – the 19th century mentality of extremists from Harghita and Covasna, supported by obscure sources.


Everything turned into a rich dinner for other rats. Those who are used to nibble at the leftover of the masters of circumstance rushed to mix up things, as if the whole story had been based on the Romanians’ ‘ancestral fear’ of ‘loosing Ardeal’. That is, obviously, foolish. The real issue was the disappearance of dignity and common sense in the current Romanian society, including in localities with a majority Hungarian population. That has been proved, in turns, by the political power (including UDMR), who is willing to trade off anything believed to return the tiniest benefit, national interest included, and the opposition, through cheap, petty politics and inability to produce solutions. (‘Adevarul’)

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