Prime Minister Victor Ponta says that the family will be helped to the extent provided by the law for any Romanian citizen and Foreing Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean says that Cioaba’s family has committed to pay the hospital bill prior to the medical intervention.
Dorin Cioaba, the son of the late self-proclaimed king of the Roma people, Florin Cioaba, said yesterday that he did not ask for money from the Romanian government to pay the hospital bill of his father from the Turkish hospital, but for consular support to issue the repatriation papers, a support he claims hasn’t received so far. He said he had not mentioned not affording to pay the bill, but that it seems to be an exaggerated amount for a failed intervention and that he thinks the reason they came to such a sum is that “the patient is the king of the Roma people”. “We did not say that we cannot affort the sum, only that 350,000 Euros is a huge amount for an unsuccessful intervention. Now the hospital says the sum may not be that high. I have not asked for the help of the government. This is a confusion discussed on different TV channels. If the consul cannot come, it means that the Foreign Ministry does not protect the interests of the Roma people, too”, Dorin Cioaba told B1TV. He said his father has a health insurance in Romania and that now he is waiting for the situation to be clarified. “This is blackmail – if you want the body, you pay as much as we ask for – which I find criminal”, he said. Sources close to the family said yesterday that the Akdeniz Universitesi Hospital in Antalya has issued a bill for 22,000 Euros for the treatment and the operation Florin Cioaba went through during his hospitalization.
The Romanian Identity, the Party of the Romanians in Italy, sent Prime Minister Victor Ponta an open letter in which they threaten to organize protests if the government allocate the financial aid the family of Florin Cioaba asked for to repatriate the body, having in view that the government has not supported the repatriation of the bodies of the Romanian citizens dead in Italy, whose families had no financial posibilities. “There have been six years since, from Italy, we have asked the Romanian governments to establish an emergency fund for the repatriation of the bodies of the Romanian citizens who died at work and whose families do not fave the money to bring them back home! Our demands have been systematically ignored, and currently only in the Italian morgues there are 157 dead Romanian citizens. And that happens although the Romanian budget gets hundreds of millions Euros every year from the Romanians abroad, money in exchange for which the state does not provide them any kind of service”, the letter says.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said, on Sunday evening, that the family of Florin Cioaba will be helped to the extent provided by the law for any Romanian national, stating that he was informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by Raed Arafat that this is a “very high bill”, so that “it may be very difficult”. “Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Raed Arafat have informed me about the problems that occured in Turkey regarding the payment of that invoice. I want to say this very clearly, any Romanian citizen – and it makes no difference if he is a king or not – any Romanian citizen, to the extent provided by the law, will be helped”, Victor Ponta said on Antena 3.
At the same time, Bodgan Oprea, President Basescu’s spokesman, said that “it is a big lie” that President Basescu has asked the government to send a plane free of charge to bring back Florin Cioaba.
“It is a big lie that President Traian Basescu asked the government to send a free plane to bring back Florin Cioaba”, Oprea told Mediafax, when asked about the Prime Minister’s statement that President Basescu called the Minister of Interior, Radu Stroe, to request for a SMURD airplane to be sent to Turkey to bring back Cioaba’s body.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlatean, said yesterday that Florin Cioaba’s family has committed to pay the bill for the medical intervention prior to it being done and that the hospital has a committment in this regard. The Foreign Minister also said for a TV channel that the Cioaba family and the hospital in Ankara have asked from the Romanian Embassy for a financial guarantee for the payment of the 350,000 Euros invoice, but the diplomatic mission cannot do that as they are not a health insurance company.
PDL said on Sunday that Florin Cioaba was an example of a community leader, a promoter of the Roma identity and traditions and a modernizer who sent the Roma community a message that the value of education plays a crucial role.
The Liberal Party too has expressed the regret over the death of the self-proclaimed King of the Roma people, Florin Cioaba, about whom they said he had tried to change the lifestyle of the Roma people, stessing the crucial importance of education.
Last but not least, the self-proclaimed International King of the Christian Roma people everywhere, Dan Stanescu, from Costesti (Arges), said that the news of Florin Cioaba’s death came like “a lightning” and estimated that his funeral in Sibiu will be attended by 150,000-200,000 people. “The news of King Cioaba’s death came as a lightning. We were not expecting that, but better news, as the Turkish doctors let us hope. Before it happened, I have spoken to Dorin Cioaba and he told me everything is all right, but this morning I found out that Florin Cioaba is no longer with us. We, the Orthodox, mourn, but I don’t know their habits, as they are Pentecostals and they have a different tradition. That is why I am the Orthodox Christian King, Dan Stanescu”, Stanescu said.