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The Hostages’ Crisis, Romania’s Crisis

24 Apr 2005 - 00:00

The latest images with the Romanians kidnapped in Iraq seem to be a part of a horror film. If, after the first images, there was a national debate about the lipstick of our colleague Marie-Jeanne, now the images seen at Al-Jazeera shocked the public opinion.


  • This is also because weeks in a row we heard so many scenarios that the reality almost didn’t matter, almost disappearing completely. The official information before these images was optimistic, letting us under the impression that the journalists would be freed soon. The destroyed faces of the three, which all the people in this country saw, brought a violent end to these four weeks of stuttering, scenarios and misleading. This doesn’t mean we received the answers to all the questions regarding this dramatic case. I don’t believe this is the moment for political adjustments due to this case! Especially if we take into consideration the fact that the request of the kidnappers, to withdraw the troops from Iraq, is putting the Romanian authorities in a difficult situation. In case the negotiations with the kidnappers fail, Romania will have to decide whether it will fulfill their request, meaning the retreat of the military troops from Iraq. This is an extreme case, and is getting more extreme with the time pressure. All the things happened during this crisis of the hostages showed us that Romania still has a lot to do until the real democracy. Like in any other crisis since December ’89, all our older or newer weaknesses came upfront! We are far from where we think we are and such crises show us how naked we are and how dead our feet are. The state’s institutions are, paradoxically, after 15 years of freedom, as far as they used to be from where they should be. The hard years of transition didn’t bring the long wished change of Romania. Unfortunately, the money we paid for it is just a part of the bill. The costs of our European integration will be double just because of this. The nightmare images with the free journalists kidnapped in Iraq will remain for long time in our memories as a sign of our helplessness in doing what we should have in these 15 years.

    Translation : SORIN BALAN
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