Parliament convened on Wednesday in a solemn meeting devoted to the celebration of the Centenary of the Great Union, meeting in which President Klaus Iohannis, Premier Viorica Dancila, Princess Margareta, members of the Government and of the Diplomatic Corps, Patriarch Daniel and Archbishop Ioan Robu took part.
The plenary meeting started with the national anthem, followed by President Klaus Iohannis’s speech. Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu, House Speaker Liviu Dragnea, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, as well as representatives of the parliamentary groups also gave speeches.
Iohannis, call on political class after virulent speech: It’s time to reconsider some laws that lack the people’s support
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday, during the solemn meeting of Parliament marking the Centenary, that the representatives must reconsider some laws – such as the judicial laws – that lack popular support or the support of European bodies.
“It is your responsibility to ensure good legislation, in a framework of open and transparent debates involving professionals, and through social dialogue, so that the decisions taken here would correspond with the real needs of the people. Do not harm Romanian society by going forward with judicial laws and Criminal Code amendments that are incongruent with a veritable democracy. There are so many problems that are waiting for solutions, problems which Romanians want you to address,” Klaus Iohannis stated.
Referring to the political and governmental majority, the President added that there are populist approaches that have sown discord, and that there are some politicians who lack the sense of democratic governance.
“The anniversary of the Centenary has been awaited by our fellow citizens as one of those moments of vitality. Romanians have seen what our forefathers accomplished. If today’s political class wants to be evoked years from when there is talk about Romania on the Centenary of the Great Union, then it will have to attain those objectives that truly correspond with the expectations of our citizens,” Iohannis added.
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday, during the solemn meeting of Parliament marking the Centenary, that the question is whether politicians want to continue to promise a lot and to deliver little.
“On 1 December 1918, Iuliu Maniu was wondering in Alba Iulia what his generation could do to live up to the accomplishment of such an ideal. Having the privilege of being President of Romania during the year of the Centenary, I pick up the question and ask it to you, the representatives of the nation: What would make us worthy of the accomplishments made 100 years ago. Today the question that must be answered by politicians, regardless of party or doctrine, is whether they will continue to promise a lot and deliver little, or whether they have the courage to deliver at the second Centenary. I believe the answer to this question can give us the source of cohesion,” Klaus Iohannis stated.
President Klaus Iohannis claimed that some populist approaches have sown discord, referring to the political and governmental majority, and said that some politicians lack the sense of democratic governance.
“Ladies and gentlemen parliamentarians and members of Government, listen to the voice of Romanians, reconnect with national interests, live up to the Centenary and do not dishonour it. Romania reaches its potential only when politicians are guided by a national project and the hopes of the people. Not losing its compass and becoming the captive of several politicians who lack the sense of democratic governance. (…) Romanians understand that things depend on the consistency with which we pursue our commitments. It is time for the political and governmental majority to understand this too. Some populist, demagogical and manipulative approaches have sown discord and have affected the way we should celebrate,” the President stated.
“It is also a moment of reflection in which we should ask ourselves in all honesty whether we have claimed the place we deserve among the countries of the world. Are we going in the right direction or are we heading toward the wrong road? The anniversary of our country’s 100 years finds Romania at a crossroads in the next Centenary. We are living in a free society with stable institutions and we are linked by a strategic partnership with the strongest country, the United States. We are EU members integrated in the family of nations as our forefathers dreamed. It was not easy for us to get here and that is precisely why, just like one century ago, people have high hopes and justified expectations from those who are leading them. Even more so on the Centenary, Romanians expect to have responsible, honest political leaders that would hold the interests of Romania – not their ephemeral interests – at heart,” Klaus Iohannis stated.
PM Dancila: I address President Iohannis message of political peace, our duty to cooperate
Prime minister Viorica Dancila on Wednesday conveyed a message of “political peace” to President Klaus Iohannis, stressing that regardless of the political or electoral stakes, they have the duty to cooperate and collaborate.
“Dear compatriots, at this solemn sitting of the Greater Union Centennial, I address a message of political peace to the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis as well. As I have said throughout my term, I am convinced that, regardless of the political or electoral stakes we have ahead of us, in the official capacities that we have as Prime Minister or President, we have the duty to cooperate, to collaborate with each other. It is a duty beyond any personal stake, it is a duty to Romanians and to Romania, it is time to enjoy consensus and tranquility at the 100th anniversary of the Greater Union,” Viorica Dancila stated in Parliament’s plenary session dedicated to the celebration of the Greater Union Centennial.
The prime minister added that she wishes the National Day be celebrated in a climate of “peace and tranquility, without discord.” “The national interest must take precedence over political interest,” she added.
The Prime Minister saluted the Liberals for the contribution of the Bratianu family to the Greater Union, specifying that this is a “high bar” for those who run the party these days.
“I am addressing a salute to the opposition parties. I salute the Liberals for the essential contribution of the Bratianu family in achieving the Greater Romania and the Union of 1918. It is a precious political inheritance which was left by the founders of the National Liberal Party, but it is, however, a high bar for those who today run this party. No matter how fierce the political fight is here in Parliament, there is no reason in this world that would justify a vote against their own country. The differences in opinions must not place us on adverse positions, everyone has the right to their own opinion. We can debate, we can negotiate, there are legislative and institutional levers that work and need to be respected,” said Dancila, during the solemn session of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, dedicated to the Centennial of the Greater Union’s celebration.
The Prime minister also recommended those who represent Romania at an international level that, regardless of their political or personal opinions, “they should first think about the common interest of Romanians as a European nation, not just their own personal discontent.”
“The famous motto: “By ourselves”, coined by the Bratianu family on the letterhead of the Greater Union must find a correspondent in our topicality. By ourselves and not by others we should resolve our problems in Romania. By ourselves, and not others, we should defend our national interests in Europe, and generally, in the world, and this does not make us less pro Europeans. By ourselves, not by others, should be Romania’s motto today as well, 100 years after the Greater Union. One can criticize, one can express your opinions or discontent, but, as a Romanian, when one speaks about Romania, one must be balanced in their statements. As a political person, regardless of the doctrine beliefs, one has the obligation of honor to defending and promoting the rights of the Romanian citizens, to militate for one’s country to be treated with respect, to do all that one can through the legal levers they have and to the extent of the position in order for Romanians to benefit from the same rights and to enjoy the same liberties as all other European citizens,” Dancila said.
The Prime minister also addressed a message to the national minorities of Romania and assured them that they will keep on enjoying all the rights.
“I am addressing in equal measure to the representatives of UDMR (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania) and the other 18 minorities represented in Romania’s Parliament. I would like to remind all that the fundamental rights of minorities in Romania were guaranteed since the act of the Greater Union we are celebrating today. (…) In the name of the Government I am leading, I guarantee all Romanian citizens of other ethnicities that they will keep on enjoying of all the rights and our respect, regardless of the provocative statements some foreign officials launch against Romania from time to time. Regardless of ethnicity or the language they speak, Romanian citizens belong to Romania,” Dancila also declared.
Tariceanu: The Union, an act of political lucidity
Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Wednesday, during the solemn session of the Parliament marking the Centenary, that the Union of 1st of December, 1918 was an act of political lucidity. He added that “patriotism is not a seasonal and festive event”.
“The day of 1st of December is unanimously and rightly considered to be an event, the most important one, in a long series of episodes that led to the creation of the national state of Romanians by unifying all the historical provinces in which they had an overwhelming majority. Undoubtedly, the first decision of the Assembly in Alba Iulia was the union of the Romanians from Transylvania, Banat and Maramures with the Kingdom of Romania. It is right to celebrate, on 1st of December, Romanians’ decision one hundred years ago to live together as an indivisible nation. It is also right to commemorate, on each 1st of December, the Romanian soldiers who first, by their blood sacrifice, gave birth to Romania as a sovereign and independent state, and made the creation of Greater Romania to be possible”, the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated.
He also said that however, the events from Alba Iulia were not only the political expression, but also “the institutional crowning of a national revolution”.
“The Union wasn’t affirmed then as a metaphysical achievement of a secular ideal, but as an act of political lucidity, both democratic in thinking and radical in terms of action. The Union was proclaimed both a historical reparation and a social project. (…) Therefore, perhaps the time has come to agree that 1st of December is not only the day in which the nation has fully gathered by the union of all the Romanians within the same state. 1st of December is also the day in which we should celebrate the representative democracy and pluralism, in which we should recognize the central role of the democratic political parties in our contemporary history, a role that is equally important as the one of the army or of the governments”, Tariceanu added.
He quoted Montesquieu, who wrote that the real patriotism means to love the laws of your country.
“Of course, if these laws deserve your affection. Where liberty is, there is my country, Benjamin Franklin also underlined. Therefore, it depends on us, the members of Parliament, if we will be willing to let ourselves be inspired by the principles and values that fed the Resolution of Alba Iulia, to give reasons to the Romanians to be real patriots and make Romania a homeland of freedom for all its citizens. We are the ones who have the duty to consolidate the democratic regime whose view animated the Assembly in Alba Iulia on 1st of December 1918”. The Senate’s Speaker concluded.
Dragnea: We are criticizing each other, but we go too far, unfortunately
PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday, at the solemn session of the Parliament dedicated to the Centenary, that Romanians must be united, giving the negative example of the MEPs in favor of the resolution related to Romania.
“As we all know, these days we are living a unique moment in the history of our country. Romania celebrates 100 years. It is a century of unity. In three days, we will celebrate the Great Union, but today we must mark the fact that on November 28, 100 years ago, Bucovina’s General Congress voted the union with the mother country, Romania. I salute the parliamentarians from Suceava! Happy anniversary, Bucovina! I have the same wish to those living in Bessarabia over the Prut River. Today, we are separated by an imaginary border, but no one can draw borders in one nation’s soul. I was asked these days what is the most important achievement of Romania in 100 years since the Union. It is hard to choose, because there are a lot of great events, both in the interwar period and in communism, when there were people who sacrificed themselves for… The greatest achievement is Romania’s Euro-Atlantic integration”, Liviu Dragnea stated at the solemn session dedicated to the Centenary.
The PSD Chairman stated that Romanians must be united, giving the negative example of the MEPs who voted for the resolution related to Romania.
“We have clear objectives. To adopt the Euro currency, the join the Schengen Area. Also, we must ensure an active role of Romania within NATO, also in the context of the dark clouds that gathered from East. We, as politicians, have the duty to act as real Romanians. We are politicians. We are in a continuous competition. We criticize each other, but we go too far, unfortunately. First of all, we must be Romanians, we can be politicians, but we must be patriots when it comes about Romania. First of all, we must be Romanians when we vote in Europe. We must establish our goals that all of us must support on a single voice, in the Romanian language. We must avoid situations like that one in which Romanian MEPs voted against Romania in the EP. Let’s stop this war of Romanians against Romanians we are waging abroad and in the country. Separately, we can be defeated one by one, as it happened before in our history, but together we can be strong”, Liviu Dragnea also stated.
Princess Margareta: Today, we pay tribute to an uplifting but also tragic page of our modern history; today, after one hundred years, our consciousness rejoices, while our soul is crying
The Crown Custodian, Princess Margareta, spoke on Wednesday at the solemn session of the Parliament dedicated to the celebration of the Centenary of the Great Union, about an “uplifting but also tragic page in our modern history”. After one hundred years since the Great Union, the Romanian Crown continues to support the aspirations of democracy and freedom of the nation”, Princess Margareta stated.
“Today, we pay tribute to an uplifting but also tragic page of our modern history. My great-grandmother Queen Marie, said at the end of the World War I that after so many dark moments, she was afraid to see the light of the day. Our people went to war singing, because they to fight for their dream for centuries. But the dream was fulfilled with an unprecedented human sacrifice. Speaking about the Romanian tragedy of those years, the sovereign queen of the Greater Romania was saying: ‘how many sacrifices, what a slaughter, how many deaths’. Today, after one hundred years, our consciousness rejoices, while our soul is crying”, Princess Margareta stated.
She called for gratitude for the glorious page written by the Romanian Army.
“Let’s be proud for the Great Union of 1918 and grateful for the glorious page written by our Army. But we should never forget that every Romanian family was mourning at that time. Let’s admire the politicians of those times, who, regardless of their doctrine, strengthened the union process. Let’s keep in our minds and souls the triumphal return of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie to Bucharest, on !st of December 1918. Their passage under the Arch of Triumph, along with the Parliament, the Army, the Government and hundreds of thousands of Romanians, was a gesture of national rebirth. It was also a moment of communion and reflection, of happiness and sorrow, a covenant for the future. After one century since the Great Union, the Romanian Crown continues to support the aspirations of democracy and freedom of the nation. The Royal Family is deeply and sustainably involved in the consolidation of Romania’s place within the European family of nations”, the Crown Custodian concluded.
Liberals’ Orban: Bucovina citizens bring order to Romania, respect towards laws and property, entrepreneurial spirit
The citizens of Bucovina contributed to Romania’s evolution, they brought this “order”, respect towards the law, the property and entrepreneurial spirit, the chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) declared during the festive meeting of the Suceava County Council (CJ), which took place on the occasion of 100 years since northeastern Bucovina was united with Romania.
“I am honored to be here today, at an anniversary moment. I would not have missed such a celebration for anything, 100 years since Bucovina merged with Romania, a fundamental moment in Romania’s history, a moment that was built with great difficulty (…) Iancu Flondor had the power to constitute the Romanian National Council, to assume the leadership of the province, to convene the congress where the decision of the Union between Romania and Bucovina was made (…) Bucovina citizens brought much to Romania, order, to call it like that, a respect towards the law, towards property, the entrepreneurial spirit (…) They also had an extremely important contribution regarding the subsequent evolution of Romania,” Orban said.
The Liberals’ head said that the Greater Union occurred due to the intelligence of Romanian leaders who with courage, assuming great risks, fulfilled extraordinary opportunities.
“The Greater Union was possible because statesmen convinced the Romanian peasant to fight for unity, to fight for land (…) Let us remind ourselves that one of the main promises towards the Romanian peasants was ownership, the fact that they will receive land (…) It was possible because Bratianu went into the war only when he had firm guarantees of the Powers of the Entente that Romania will receive what it wished for (…) The Union with Bessasabia and Bucovina was possible due to the remarkable intelligence of the Romanian leaders, due to the fact that we exploited extraordinary opportunities that could not have been exploited without extreme courage, and assuming extraordinary risks, which, probably, few people would have assumed,” Orban said.
PMP’s Tomac: Romania of future, greater, stronger country after return home of R. of Moldova
People’s Movement Party (PMP) leader Eugen Tomac wants Romania’s restoration to what it was 100 years ago, voicing his conviction that in the future Bessarabia would be brought “home to Romania, into the European Union.”
“I went into politics because I have this belief – I want to rebuild Romania as it was 100 years ago. I am convinced that together we will be able to bring Bessarabia home to Romania, in the EU. We started this reunification process with President Basescu and it must be continued. We have the duty to conceive a safer and better future for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and this can only be built together with Romania. The Romania of the future will be a bigger and stronger country after the return home of the Republic of Moldova,” Eugen Tomac said on Wednesday at the solemn sitting of Parliament dedicated to the Greater Union Centennial celebration.
“Romania has strong allies today, Romanians fully enjoy all the rights and freedoms stemming from the EU Accession Treaty. Our place is in Europe, and we must continue at a more vigorous pace to align ourselves with EU standards. Millions of Romanians feel at home today in Rome, Madrid and Berlin, and no one has to judge them for having chosen to leave. We know that they create a church there, a school, a small Romania in order to keep our language and traditions alive. They are part of the body of the Romanian nation,” he added.
The PMP leader specified that “Romanians have big expectations from the political class,” which they demand more responsibility from” because “that is the only way we can generate a better life. Romanians want a state that respects them, efficient institutions, they want a mature political class that acts for the public interest, Romanians want motorways, a quality education system.”
Eugen Tomac congratulated Patriarch Daniel for the Cathedral of Nation’s Salvation, “for the courage to believe in the success of an uplifting and necessary project for the Romanian people, and for the effort to make it happen. The construction at the heart of the Capital of the National Cathedral – a symbol of gratitude to those who have shed their blood for Romania – is probably among the few joys of this Centennial Year,” said Tomac.
USR’s Barna: Romania was created by those who did not sit aside
Dan Barna, President of the Save Romania Union (USR), said on Wednesday, at the solemn joint session of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies celebrating the Centennial of the Greater Union, that Romania was created by those who did not sit aside, while making a parallel between the successes of the forerunners and the failures of recent governments.
“One hundred years ago, Petre Carp said that Romania has too much luck to need politicians, and if we look at where Romania is today – the EU, NATO, the US partnership – yes, we tend to say Carp was right. But he said that when the Romanian state was ruled by King Ferdinand, Marshal Averescu, Ionel Bratianu, Barbu Delavrancea or Nicolae Titulescu. Now, Romania is ruled by Liviu Dragnea, Viorica Dancila and Florin Iordache. Dear Romanians, I believe we ran out of luck,” he said.
“With a generation before the Greater Union, Anghel Saligny made the Cernavoda bridge system, the most spectacular engineering project in Europe at that time was in Romania. Do you know how long it took to be finished? Five years. The politicians who ruled Romania after the Revolution were unable to finish a motorway, only one linking the historical regions in 30 years in power. Shortly after the Greater Union, Nicolae Paulescu discovered the insulin, one of the greatest achievements of medicine. A discovery that improved the life of millions of people with diabetes and one hundred years later the corruption in the Romanian medical system made our hospitals unable to respond to a tragedy such as Colectiv and then dozens of young people died,” Barna said.
He added that, a few years ago, none of the USR members dreamed of becoming a politician, but this happened because none of the representatives of this formation “wanted to sit aside and watch on television as their future and of those around them is decided by corrupt and incompetent politicians.”
“A hundred years ago, Greater Romania was the country generations of Romanians had dreamed about, but today, four million Romanians are forced to live far away from the country in hope of a better life. We ran out of luck, dear friends. We cannot sit aside by anymore. Throughout this Romanian Centennial, in every generation there were Romanians who chose not to sit aside: the soldiers who died at Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz, and their sacrifice made Greater Romania possible; students who in 1945 took to the streets in a desperate attempt to stop the establishment of the communist regime, the workers who defied the Securitate and interrupted work in 1977 in the Jiu Valley or in 1987 in Brasov and all those who defied the bullets in 1989 and ousted the communist dictatorship. Our Romania, the centennial Romania was created by those who did not sit aside,” he said.
National minorities ‘ Pambuccian: Most important is return to self-respect of those who mulled Alba Iulia Proclamation
The leader of that national minorities in Parliament (other than Hungarian), deputy Varujan Pambuccian, declared on Wednesday, during a solemn joint session of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, dedicated to celebrating the Centennial of the Greater Union, that the most important aspect is to return to the self-respect of the ones who mulled the Alba Iulia Proclamation.
“The Alba Iulia Proclamation is one of the documents that contrasts, in an extraordinary way, through its modernism, with the way of thinking of the times in which it was read. What happened to the voice of that document?! Cardinal Hossu died under house arrest. Maniu died in a communist prison. Why am I saying these to you? Because I believe that the most important aspect that we can do for all that occurred then is self-respect, a comeback to the self respect of those who thought out the Alba Iulia Proclamation and which we lost, because of the times, because of conjecture, perhaps. But I believe that nothing is more important than a nation’s self-respect,” the leader of the national minorities’ group declared.
“The First World War was an exemplary participation of what was called in Alba Iulia as “coinhabiting peoples” to this extraordinary effort of making this great Romanian nation. There were countless volunteers on the battlefields. Roma people, who after being released from slavery and left in a new form of slavery, without any sort of property, were promised that they would be integrated alongside the other citizens of Romania. Jews, who had no Romanian citizenship and died on the battlefields, for the Romania that was about to be forged, who were promised citizenship, who were decorated for their feats of arms, including by the great King Ferdinand. What happened after? You know what happened with the Roma. The Jews should have received individual citizenship, through each of the decision of the two Chambers, after being decorated for their feats of arms,” he specified.
“Shortly after the Alba Iulia assembly there was the Saxon’s assembly, in Medias. There were assemblies of the Ruthenians, of other inhabiting people in Ardeal or on Romania’s entire territory, who proclaimed the same. In Bucovina’s Assembly there were minorities alongside Romanians: there were Germans, Polish, Jews, who proclaimed the same and all these, together, are part of this self-respect that those people had and we, through what we did after that, lost. The third point of the Alba Iulia Proclamation included great promises (…), it speaks of minorities, about the rights of these peoples. (…) I believe that if we were to reread this proclamation we would solely think of the principles and we would realize what a great nation was forged then. And to this Romanian nation, which our people are part of, we wish today happy anniversary,” Pambuccian said.