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June 17, 2021

A comforting myth

What kind of connection might exist between Marine Le Pen and Klaus Iohannis? If we apply a domino of the last political partnerships, we will be able to discover a surprising network. MEP Laurentiu Rebega, which went to Brussels from the Romanian Conservatives, joined the group called “Europe of the Nations and Freedoms”, quickly being rewarded with the position of a vice president. Now he brought to Sinaia some of the group leaders, in order to take part to a conference called “Our Europe – Europe of the Nations”. There were present: Marine Le Pen – President of the French National Front, together with her spokesman, Ludovic de Danne, which is also the General Secretary of the group; the Dutch Marcel de Graaf – Co-President of the group together with the first above mentioned person; Tomio Okamura – President of the Direct Freedom and Democracy Movement in Czech Republic; Riccoardo Molinari – Vice President of the North League in Italy; Johannes Hübner, representing the Freedoms Party from Austria, as well as Zbigniew Jarzabek, representing the New Right Party from Poland. In other words, some of the current Euro skepticism leaders, hardly working to undermining the EU, came at this conference. Among Romanian, along with Rebega were present not only Mircea Chelaru – former Chief of Staff of the Army and also former president of UNPR, being in the same time a fan of the former Marshal Ion Antonescu, which led him to passing in reserve – but also Victor Craciun, the president of the Cultural League for All Over Romanians’ Unity and the actor Florin Zamfirescu or Constantin Cojocaru, a pocket-party leader; the picturesque Cezar Avramuta, known as “The Dacian Flagman”, after 2012 street protests, as well as the mathematician Florian Colceag, participating by the phone. The last ones, starting with Florin Zamfirescu, are part of the Group for Romania too, the founders of which include Marian Munteanu also. The latter is now the Liberal candidate for the position of mayor of the Capital, due to the proposal of Constantin Dudu Ionescu, which was a candidate for the presidency. So the domino which started with Marine Le Pen ends with Klaus Iohannis.

However, this doesn’t mean we deal with a homogeneous mass. On the contrary, it is rather heteroclite, showing that some of the actors of this drama are fishing in troubled waters, trying to create partnerships which under specific conditions can have an explosive impact. Yet, what does connect all these people? It’s not just about some exotic guys having café political dreams; their views are shared, cross-cutting, by a part of the electorate. Whatever the polls say, certain Euro skepticism is far from being marginal among Romanian, being maintained either by a certain inferiority complex, or by a suspicious attitude against the EU political leaders of the day. The refugees’ crisis showed that East – European people are very reluctant to the idea of the extra-continental immigration. In the context that EU represents not only the possibility to emigrate in a Western country, but also the obligation to receive Asians and Africans, there is a part of the population who is no longer willing to accept the current European politics. Or, anyway, it’s looking for other options, and the one represented by the group led by Le Pen seems to be attractive.

Another link item is the nationalism. It succeeds to connect people that otherwise are different, in the name of a vague but enthusiastic ideal, which is able to present the most troubled emotions as honorable virtues. When Marian Munteanu’s Legionary options of are invoked, everybody forgets that nationalism has evolved, and on the market of its various categories, we can find some of them a lot more adapted to the current dynamics. However, everybody turns to nationalism. Liberals did it – let’s remember of the anti-occidental tirades which Crin Antonescu had only few years ago. Social-democrats did it – Victor Ponta abused of his Romanian nature against the German Iohannis. Even the today’s President’s councilors use it, as they ar concerned by the future of his former party. What about former President Basescu, one of the leaders of the local Islamic-phobia. Do not forget that behind all these attitudes, directly or indirectly feeding them, stays the Orthodoxy, which promotes for centuries ago a nationalist mythology. Besides, the things happening in the region – Russia, Poland, Hungary, even Bulgaria – reveals a phenomenon transcending the country’s boundaries. The fever of the pro-occidental mimicry may leave in place the pride of the identity. An identity which unfortunately is based on too many imagination, yet so seductive and comforting.

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