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POLITICS - November 9th 2004King Mihai welcomed yesterday, at the Queen Elisabeta Pallace, all the people that wanted to congratulate him with the occasion of the Mihail and Gavriil Archangelsâ Day. After that the former king took part in the lunch that President Ion Iliescu, together with knights of the "Mihai Viteazul" Order, offered at Cotroceni.
By MONICA IORDACHE
LUNCH. After that King Mihai I and Queen Ana took part in a lunch offered in Cotroceni by President Ion Iliescu for the knights of the "Mihai Viteazul" Order. The Chief of the State evoked the Second World War and the merits of the knights of the "Mihai Viteazul" Order. King Ferdinand initiated this Order in September 26 1916. The President said their meeting is being held short time before the presidential and parliamentary elections, and this proves the validity of the Romanian democratic system. However, the Chief of the State said an "insufficient" work has been done in order to ensure "a quiet old age" for the veterans. He continued by saying there still are problems regarding the putting in possession of agricultural lands and of lands for houses. "You have lived through all the sufferance and tragedies of the last century. You were born and formed during the times of the Great Romania and witnessed at its dismemberment. When you were still young the country called you to do your duties on the battlefields of World War II. And from all the people, you were the ones who performed at the highest level", told the President to the war veterans, knights of the "Mihai Viteazul" Order, who he invited for a "comradesâ" lunch.
SPEECH AT MARASESTI
During his visit at Marasesti this weekend, King Mihai made a speech from which we will show some fragments, as it follows: "In the last decade, commemorating the victories in the wars became frequent for Europe. (â¦) Our effort for the national independence and unity meant passing through a lot of wars and battles. Some have been necessary for our right of existing, some have been imposed by other nations. But I think there is no Romanian who doubts the special meaning of World War I for our history. (â¦) At the end of World War I, King Ferdinand addressed the Parliament saying that our national Unity is the merit of each Romanian, of each young peasant who fought, sometimes with no weapons or military equipment. Today it is our duty to commemorate all those who sacrificed themselves in this region. This is where new Romania was formed, the place where, today, we should proclaim the beginning of the new Romania, a state of independence, prosperity and world peace, with full rights in a new Europe.
Translation: SORIN BALAN