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Scornicesti - the Birth Place of Ceausescu Sinks into Poverty like Most of Romania

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Autor: Monica Iordache Apostol Carmen Plesa 14 Iul 2005 - 00:00
Early elections are not well received in Scornicesti sthe village former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was born in, trans. notet: "It doesn’t matter who will win. Things will not change for the better, no matter what," is the general mood of the people.

At the local pub some are for, some are against early elections. One mathematics teacher and a history one refuse do give us their names, but volunteer their comments: "It would have been a surprise to not have early elections"; "Early elections are what we needed now, only six months since elections?"; "We are placed at the gates of the Orient, where anything goes."
As for the reasons why early elections would be called, they agree that: "It is not normal to have the opposition leaders as speakers of the House and the Senate - they sthe centrist ruling coalition, trans. notet want to get them down, that’s for sure" - says one of the teachers; "sPresident Traiant Basescu dealt the cards. He was the one who pressed for early elections," adds the other one.
"sPM Calin Popescut Tariceanu is more arrogant. He is of the same fabric sAdriant Nastase sformer PM and leader of the Social Democrat Party, in oppositiont is made of. Basescu does not like his style, so he is preparing the position to be taken over by sTheodort Stolojan sformer leader of the Liberal Party and presidential candidate at the 2004 electionst."

After the 1989 revolution, Scornicesti was among the first cities having a local organization of the Liberal Party. But the last liberal mayor took office in 1992.
"We are always out of step: when the former communists were leading in Bucharest we had a liberal mayor. Now, when liberals came to power in the central government, we have a SDP mayor …"

So, what would you do now, engage in the electoral campaign or not?
"What else should we do, but campaign and use our own resources," comes the answer.
"How come your own resources? You will get no help from the Democrat Party ssenior member of the ruling coalition along the Liberal Partyt?"
"Not likely. Here the Democrats are in bed with the SDP," we are told.

The Liberals in Scornicesti see their ranks shrinking by the day, as the SDP is aggressively recruiting people. "Even the current mayor became an SDP member right ahead of the elections last year, though he was one of us since 1990. That’s the way things go: as soon one sees the fortunes move to the other side, there goes their allegiance too," comments bitterly another guy in the pub.

At the City Hall, Constantin Nedelea, the city mayor, claims he wears no political color. He glosses over his switching camps and cuts directly to the early elections topic. "Elections was the last thing we needed; not that the SDP could not benefit from them to make a come-back, but this was not our priority," whines Nedelea, replicating the stance of the SDP central leadership in Bucharest.

Politics mingled with the fate of the high-school graduates too, drop-outs here believe, as the former high-school director san SDP membert was replaced with the liberal Constantin Stefanescu, a philosophy teacher, who made sure the standards for the final exams were so high that 80% of the students failed to pass, the story goes.
The mayor complains that his phone rings off the hook since the results came out, with requests from parents to have a reversal of the exams, swhich of course the mayor has no authority over, trans. notet. "What am I to do; the poor results put the high-school in danger of being dismantled. For all I know, this would be for the better: fewer funds to be drained out from the city coffers," comments Nedelea.

One worker at the textile factory couldn’t care less for the early elections. "Today, one of my colleagues fainted over the ironing board. We work 10 to 12 hours a day for a 2 or 3 million lei sup to 100 dollarst monthly salary. We cannot leave when we finish our work; the employers threaten us that we will lose our jobs," she explains.
"When another of our colleagues got sick; they called the doctor, he managed to make her stand on her feet again, but the bosses did not let her leave the work place and go home for the day," she goes on.
"We have no other place to work, this is why people keep quiet about the conditions at work," she adds. This is why she also refused to tell us her name.
A 10-year old girl, with eyes as blue as her mother’s still clings to her skirt. A shady future awaits her in Scornicesti, where the local high-school does not meet the national standards, where jobs mean to be over-worked for little money, and where housing looks more like a ghetto, since water runs here only a few hours a day and street lights are never on.
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