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Tag: Romania

Civil society steps in to preserve Romania’s past

In Romania, despite a lack of political will, civil society is racing to save dilapidated old structures and help ensure the survival of the region's unique identity. Yet, will their efforts be enough to save the thousands of heritage sites across the country?

A dozen-strong group of volunteers gather at the stone base of a fortified Lutheran church in the small Saxon village of Filetelnic, Transylvania, as Eugen Vaida, head of the Ambulanta Pentru Monumente (Ambulance for Monuments), gives directions on how to save one of the church’s three-metre-high fortified walls. The wall, part of which dates back to the 15th century, is crumbling from the top down as a result of water infiltration. This would eventually destroy the wall, as well as the ancient inscriptions on it, which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Sadly, Filetelnic is not a unique case. Many heritage buildings throughout this region have fallen into various states of disrepair, from crumbling medieval fortified churches to abandoned Hungarian castles, from old war monuments to centuries-old Saxon homes.

January 2, 2018 - Stephen McGrath

Romania’s justice system under threat

Liviu Dragnea, head of Romania’s ruling Social Democrats, is facing allegations of embezzling 24 million euros from EU funds between 2001 and 2012. Despite the massive anti-corruption protests in February 2017, Romania continues to be run by the ruling elite, for the ruling elite.

December 15, 2017 - Maryla Król

Like thieves in the night

On the night of January 31st 2017 the Romanian government defiantly passed the ill-fated Ordinance 13, decriminalising certain instances of office misconduct, despite previous criticism from the public, the media and legal experts. People immediately took to the streets to protest both the document and the way in which it was adopted. “Like thieves in the night” became one of the main slogans of the protesters. The ordinance was seen as favouring a high number of corrupt officials either already sentenced or facing trial. Then, following five days of record-breaking protests across the country, the government agreed to withdraw it. However, the country is struggling in an atmosphere of social tensions and distrust of its elected leaders and the protests continue.

February 9, 2017 - Ioana Burtea

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