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February 3, 2023

Timisoara,25 years of freedom: President-elects says a national museum of communism should be set up in the city


Every year, Timisoara organizes on December 16 festivities to commemorate and honor the heroes of the 1989 Revolution who defeated communism. The events of this year to mark 25 years of freedom had a special guest: Romania’s President-elect Klaus Iohannis who benefited of a warm and emotional welcome on behalf of the inhabitants.

“Triumphant welcome in Timisoara on Tuesday afternoon for the President elect of Romania Klaus Iohannis,” writes opiniatimisoarei.ro.  “Thousands of people gathered at the Metropolitan Cathedral to see him, to shake hands and for applause.  Over 2,000 people chanted the name of the President and were trampled to get near him. Circulation in front of the Cathedral was blocked tens of minutes”, the same website also mentions.

Iohannis was applauded by people who attended the traditional march with lit torches and flags, from the house where the pastor Laszlo Tokes was living in 1989 to the city center, in the memory of those who opposed the communist regime 25 years ago.

“ Romania should have a national museum of communism, that should inspire great educational projects, inspire topics relating diversity, the need of tolerance and civic responsibility,” Romania’s President-elect told people gathered  in the Opera Square.

‘In my capacity of the president of Romania, I will insist for setting up such a museum, because the president must watch over the cultivation and protection of his nation’s memory’, Iohannis stressed as quoted by Agerpres.

He argued that the absence of options and prospects, the social and economic constraints, the inefficiency of the institutions that should have served the citizen get to be forms of restraining freedom.

The president-elect added that therefore, ‘in anything we build, we have the duty to always have freedom as a landmark and principle’.

‘Here, in Timisoara, communism was defeated for the first time in December 1989. The communist regime collapsed in the same way that it was set up: by crimes and abuse. Much too often have we proved we have learnt nothing from history, therefore we can no longer afford to ignore the lessons of the past, such as becoming aware of the horrors that communism inflicted in Romania’, he said.

Iohannis said the democratic future of the Romanian nation hinges on the manner in which the Romanians assume a tragic past, but also of the manner in which they will prove day by day that they know how to defend freedom, human rights and the European values.

He added the Romanians have the duty to ask themselves what exactly has been done with the freedom gained by sacrifice.

‘There are things we have succeeded in doing, no doubt of it. We have built a security system for Romania. We are NATO members and we have a strategic partnership with the United States of America. Today, Romania is a safe country from the viewpoint of security and a credible partner in the world. We have integrated Romania in the European Union…. We have a range of deep-rooted democratic practices, the freedom of speech, the ownership right and an already visible civic participatory culture. But, at the same time, we must think of the backlog of freedom’, Iohannis underscored.

The president-elect also raised several questions that all must ask as regards the functioning of the democratic system, the efficiency of the public systems, the performance of the current market economy.

‘The answer to all this is rather ?no’. We have outstanding work on these chapters and many others, even very much outstanding work on some of them. We have integrated Romania into a security system and into the European construction, we have set it on a democratic track, but we have done too little for the people, for their everyday life’, Iohannis pointed out.


“Political class is responsible for never succeeding to create a space matching people’s aspirations”


President-elect, Klaus Iohannis told also in his speech  that  the political class is responsible for never succeeding in the past 25 years since the December 1989 Revolution, to create a proper space matching the people’s aspirations, which otherwise was forced to leave the country. ‘This nation has strong desires. Should it didn’t have those desires, millions of Romanians would have never left for foreign countries. All of us who have been or are part of the political class, for 25 years or for a few months, we must sincerely and directly admit: yes, we do have a responsibility. The political class is responsible for never making it to build here, in Romania, a space for the achievement of these aspirations. (It is responsible) for not performing in accordance with its commitments, for underestimating the wish of progress and prosperity of the Romanians,’ said Iohannis.

In his opinion, the great disappointment of the people didn’t come only from the lack of results, but also from the lack of admittance of the undone obligations, from the fact that each and every time one moved on as if nothing had happened and because after unfulfilled promises new promises were made. He blamed the political class that it has never fully understood that with freedom comes responsibility, with power comes the responsibility to the people.

‘The effects of this are seen everywhere. The relationship between the political class and the citizens has been deeply deteriorated. The partnership has been replaced with distrust. There are entire generations leaving the country to finding a job and there are children who grow up alone. There are young who never know where to go. There are people of my age (over fifty – editor’s note) who hardly find their place in the society, although they lived both the communism’s go-by and the transitions’ hardships. They are our parents and our grandparents, who barely live from a pension and who have hoped all their lives in a change which has never come for real,’ Klaus Iohannis highlighted.

In the end of his intervention, Iohannis said he wished that in December 2014 this historic chapter be closed and a new national project be started.

‘This is what it has been until now. This doesn’t mean that as of tomorrow we couldn’t do things otherwise. On the contrary. Reconstruction starts with admitting the unpaid debts, with assuming responsibility and reconciliation with the past. We should reconcile with this past, yet not before we have learned its lessons, and look to the future. I wish that in December 2014 we close this historic chapter and commence, together a new national project. We should work consistently and coherently, step by step,’ said Klaus Iohannis.

He noticed that neither the Romanians at home, nor the ones abroad could be enlightened that things are going better but when they would see that things happen like that literally.

‘When they will see that there are jobs and decent salaries, that they have social health and education systems comparable to the ones in the Western countries. And, above all, when they’ll see we don’t accumulate unpaid obligations and we know what we want to do with the freedom we’ve gained. We cannot be the country of the projects always started and always unfinished, from the Fundamental Law to the freeways. The legacy of our Revolution makes us to a Romania of the thing well done, to a Romania where its citizens are respected and the state bodies are in the public service’s interest, the projects are successfully accomplished and the value is appreciated and rewarded,’ specified Klaus Iohannis.






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