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Voice of America, 98-12-27

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ROMANIAN POLLS BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

  • [01] ROMANIAN POLLS BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=12/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243528
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NINE YEARS AFTER ROMANIA'S BLOODY REVOLUTION WHICH ENDED MORE THAN FOUR DECADES OF COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP, ROMANIANS ARE INCREASINGLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR DROP IN LIVING STANDARDSS. STEFAN BOS REPORTS FROM NEARBY BUDAPEST THAT POLLS PUBLISHED SATURDAY SHOW THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION BELIEVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR REMAINS WISHFUL THINKING.

    TEXT: THESE MOST RECENT OPINION POLLS SHOW THAT MORE THAN HALF OF THE ROMANIANS BELIEVE 1999 WILL BRING EVEN MORE POVERTY THAN THIS YEAR.

    THE RESULTS WERE SHOWN AT A TIME WHEN ROMANIA REMEMBERS ITS BLOODY REVOLUTION WHICH LED TO THE EXECUTIONS OF DICTATOR NICOLAE CEAUSESCU AND HIS WIFE ON CHRISTMAS DAY NINE YEAR AGO.

    EARLIER POLLS RELEASED BY THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION -- AN INDEPENDENT THINK TANK -- SHOWED THAT HALF THE VOTERS BELIEVE THAT LIFE WAS BETTER UNDER COMMUNISM. IN ADDITION, THREE OUT OF FOUR ROMANIANS SAY THEY WANT A STRONG FIGURE TO RULE THE COUNTRY ONCE AGAIN.

    TO MAKE THEIR POINT, ELDERLY PEOPLE BURN CANDLES NEAR THE SITE WHERE DICTATOR CEAUSESCU IS BELIEVED TO BE BURIED. ALSO, WORKERS AND STUDENTS ARE PROTESTING THE FALL IN LIVING STANDARDS. THAT DROP IS WELL BELOW OTHER FORMER COMMUNIST COUNTRIES SUCH AS HUNGARY, POLAND AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

    INDEPENDENT RESEARCHERS SAY THAT THREE OUT FOUR ROMANIANS EXPRESS MISTRUST OF PARTIES, PARLIAMENT, GOVERNMENT AND THE PRESIDENCY. BUT THE OPINION POLLS ALSO REVEAL THAT ROMANIA'S ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE ARMY ARE SEEN AS THE MOST TRUSTWORTHY INSTITUTIONS -- FOLLOWED BY THE STATE SAVINGS BANK.

    ROMANIAN PRESIDENT EMIL CONSTANTINESCU SAYS THERE HAS BEEN A LACK OF PROGRESS IN THE AREA OF PRIVATIZATION AND THE ECONOMY IN GENERAL. AND WESTERN DIPLOMATS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT A PATCHY ECONOMIC POLICY ALONG WITH POLITICAL BATTLE WITHIN THE CENTER RIGHT COALITION GOVERNMENT MAY DELAY ROMANIA'S CHANCES TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NATO

    BUT THE CABINET, WHICH OUSTED FORMER COMMUNISTS IN 1996, HAS PROMISED THE SPEED UP THE LONG AWAITED REFORMS. SOME CRITICS, HOWEVER, ARE ALREADY PREDICTING EARLY ELECTIONS AND SAY THERE IS LITTLE TO SMILE ABOUT THIS FESTIVE SEASON. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/SD
    26-Dec-98 9:59 PM EST (0259 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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