Romaniaâs defense minister Teodor Atanasiu is a celebrity now. A couple
of press conferences during the past few days made him so.
He came to the defense ministry office by chance, a chance Atanasiu himself could not explain.
His main characteristics till a few days ago were his absolute silence and lack of reaction on any issue of some political relevance. We even did not notice he was there, at the helm of the Ministry of Defense, for the past year and a half since the new government took office.
Atanasiu first made news when he married his much younger secretary.
His second attempt to stardom involved us all, since Atanasiu asked no less than Romaniaâs troops to pull out of Iraq. In spite of his portfolio, the authority to pull out the troops stayed with others, namely the Supreme Council for Defense. And yet, Atanasiu made the request with the ease he would have asked for a bag of potatoes in the market place when his wife sent him shopping.
Giving the approach Atanasiu had to national and international politics it may come as no wonder if you would find out that this time too he was his wifeâs husband, more than he was Romaniaâs minister of defense.
And that the decision to go it alone and ask for the troops to come back home was more his wifeâs than his.
Atanasiu does not expect a kind treatment from the media anyway; "some media outlets called me names, like a born-idiot, fathered by a bull and married to a cow, while others called me the stupidest man alive."