Romania’s First Lady Carmen Iohannis impressed from her first public appearances. By her elegant, modest, discrete and, at the same time, highly charismatic appearance, she immediately attracted the limitless appreciation of public opinion, as the unanimous verdict was that she was radically different than the spouses of the previous Presidents of Romania.
She might seem very withdrawn at first sight, but actually she is an extremely active woman, granting a great attention to her career and also involving in many other activities.
She is an English teacher, but she is passionate about French art, French cuisine, music and ballet.
In her first interview for a TV station since she became Romania’s First Lady, Ms. Iohannis declared that she did not intend to give up her career as a teacher and the children in Sibiu she teaches to. She revealed her intention to divide her time between Bucharest, to be by her husband’s side, and Sibiu, to continue her work at the highschool she was genuinely bonded to, as she bonded to the children studying there as well.
“I am trying to keep some of my classes at “Gheorghe Lazar” College in Sibiu and, most of all, to guide my class for the next few years as well. I am trying to make this effort, to be in Sibiu for a few days, and then in Bucharest. No, I do not want to give up my career”, Romania’s First Lady outlined in an interview for TVR.
Previously, in an interview broadcasted in December by the local TV station Turnul Sfatului in Sibiu, President Iohannis had declared having discussed this matter with his wife and having decided what to do in the future.
“There will be a period of adaptation, but we discussed the matter and she will accompany me. There will be some time for transition but, basically, she wishes to get involved, by my side, in solving issues that are the duty of the First Lady. When we decided to enter this competition, we were aware that there are matters of this kind and we assumed them”, President Klaus Iohannis declared in his interview for Turnul Sfatului.
Nadia Constantinescu: An active First Lady, without exaggerating with public appearances
A great attention for her career during her husband’s term as Head of the State was also granted by the wife of President Emil Constantinescu (1996-2000) , Nadia, a legal counselor.
Unlike Nina Iliescu, who was by far the most discrete First Lady, Nadia was much more active in public life. She accompanied Romania’s ex-President in a few official visits, but she did not exaggerate with public appearances. The ex-First Lady of 1996 – 2000 retired from the Ministry of Justice, where she had worked even while her husband was President.
Maria Basescu: The most active and involved First Lady
Maria Basescu, the wife of former president Traian Basescu (2004 – 2014) was the most active and involved First Lady. Having been a housewife for many years, Ms. Basescu had no time to spend on ambitions related to a career, so she was able to frequently accompany her husband for official public events.
Anytime she attended an event, Maria Basescu was remarked due to her elegance and the discrete smile she exhibited.
Nina Iliescu: Very mysterious and low profile
Ion Iliescu’s wife, Nina Iliescu, has always been very mysterious and low profile during Ion Iliescu’s presidential terms (1990-1996 and 2000-2004), avoiding to expose herself in public appearances, even when her presence as a First Lady was utterly necessary or when it was demanded by the protocol. Yet, she always reprimanded her husband at home whenever he made a wrong step. Ion Iliescu himself counted how his wife confronted him when he had declared that Emil Constantinescu was stupid. Even if she never interfered in politics, Nina Iliescu was her husband’s most exigent critic. Iliescu even confessed in an interview that one of the reasons for his wife’s low profile was to never grant any opportunity for a comparison with the influence reached by Elena Ceausescu (Cabinet 2) on her husband’s decisions.
“My wife is my best friend. First of all, we have been living together for a lifetime. She is a person with a strong personality, she never accepted a secondary position to me and she never wanted to consecrate her status as Iliescu’s wife. She has her own personality, her own responsibilities with a well determined professional destiny and she did not wanted, besides the given circumstances, to stir the memory of certain practices assumed by Cabinet 2 in Romania, she did not want to accept any similarities from this point of you and therefore, while providing continuous moral support and communion in understanding things, she also preserves a highly exigent criticizing tone. My critic is my closest person. She is the person I love most and she suffers besides me when there are complicated issues, but she is my harshest and my most objective critic, as she does not do it out of any interest, she simply does it for my own good”, Ion Iliescu had declared in 2004.