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Author: Ioana Burtea

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

Why Romania Needed Roșia Montană

I still wonder why I went to the protest on the September 1st. I had only attended such events as a reporter and what I had witnessed up to that point didn’t make me want to participate.

September 24, 2013 - Ioana Burtea

The Romanian Dream is Now Behind Bars

George “Gigi” Becali is one of Romania’s most recognisable public figures. He was active as a politician for over decade and owns Steaua Bucharest, the country’s top football club.

June 12, 2013 - Ioana Burtea

Be Careful What You Say

World Press Freedom Day, celebrated across the globe on the May 3rd, has even greater importance for Romania this year.

May 5, 2013 - Ioana Burtea

Romania and the Horse Meat Scandal

Horse meat is on everyone’s lips these days. Most likely, literally as well as figuratively. The scandal that started in mid-January and seemed like another endearing phase in Romanian-British relations quickly spread across the continent and all the way to Asia. Countries like France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Italy and even […]

March 3, 2013 - Ioana Burtea

The CVM Report on Romania: How effective is the mechanism today?

Romania’s progress in restoring the independence of the justice system and rule of law has received an unexpected endorsement from the European Commission in the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report. The somewhat positive findings follow a disastrous evaluation last July, when Europe raised concerns about Romania’s commitment to democracy during a political scandal leading […]

February 3, 2013 - Ioana Burtea

When the New Boss Came to Town

Just a few days before the parliamentary elections on December 9th 2012, the Romanian government quietly passed a controversial emergency ordinance reorganising the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). Far from going unnoticed, as Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his social-liberal coalition (USL) would have hoped, the imposed changes have sparked yet another fiery debate between media […]

January 6, 2013 - Ioana Burtea

Communist Ideals in Eastern Europe: Alive, cinematic and prêt a porter

Slavoj Zizek’s new film, The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (offical website), is meant to be a wake-up call, not a propaganda film. While most things we see on the big screens are idealised, romanticised, stereotypical versions of reality (and especially of morality), the “big problems” eat away at us because public opinion avoids tackling them. […]

November 24, 2012 - Ioana Burtea

Change: How Badly Does Romania Want It?

“As citizens, I think we all have an exhausting duty to know what our governments are up to, and it is cowardice or laziness to ask: what can I do about it anyway? Every squeak counts, if only in self-respect.” Martha Gellhorn, The Face of War As the Indian summer of Romania’s political turmoil continues, […]

October 15, 2012 - Ioana Burtea


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