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  Nr. 3992 de vineri, 27 iulie 2007 
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EDITORIAL
Red code, orange code
Mr. Basescu's interview for 'Politique Internationale', a magazine that awarded Mr. Adrian Nastase the 'Political Courage' prize a few years ago, irritated ex President Ion Iliescu, who hastily decided to write a letter at times when Romania is seized with heat. As we are under the ceaseless invocation of warning codes, we can take this letter as part of the red code. On the other hand, the reply expressed by the Presidency spokesman together with the reply belonging to Mr. Boc, a Semper Fidelis (until proved otherwise), would be part of the orange code, at least because of its plainness and predictability.
Did we know nothing about the assumed authors of the two texts, we could think they are quarrelling, mainly about the way power is being used. In fact, as far as this is concerned, their conflict is not at all irreconcilable, even aside from the fact that both of them had power for a long time, one as President and the other one as minister, and that shoulder to shoulder they went through their mandates and two coal miners' attacks. They both are the beneficiaries of support from 'good oligarchs', who invented them as politicians and 'helped them be elected for the highest official position in state", as Mr. Iliescu says. They both expressed as clearly as possible their preference for the same kind of prime minister and even for the same person, that is Mr. Stolojan. Mr. Iliescu grabbed both the government and the Parliament in his booming years. Mr. Basescu tried it too, but he wasn't as successful as he wanted to be. But both of them "stopped the evolution of the national reconciliation process, replacing it with revenge and grudge". Both of them incited "obedient prosecutors, turned into a kind of new political police, against political adversaries." Both Mr. Iliescu and Mr. Basescu "made out of all those they disagreed with their personal enemies to be destroyed at all costs", they "legitimated hatred and revengeful attitudes as instruments of the political battle", making use of state institutions to this end.
Therefore the difference does not consist in the two Presidents' views on power. It is rather the attitude at the opposition that makes this difference. Mr. Iliescu never admitted the legitimacy of the opposition. Had there been no opposition, Mr. Iliescu would have been happy. Were there no opposition, Mr. Basescu would invent it. He admits its legitimacy neither, but he is perfectly aware of its usefulness. Just like in jujitsu, he has found out that he can increase his power more easily amidst the raucous cries of the opposition rather than in the silence of a repressed or absent opposition.
The slogan due to which Hugo Chavez won his mandate was "Let's kick all of them out!" In the same manner, Mr. Basescu, who, just like Mr. Jourdain, is a prose writer although he doesn't know it or perhaps on the contrary, has systematically been encouraging state dysfunctions, in a strategy ceaselessly defying and challenging the opposition. Behind his urges to fight - the villainous system, pales, the 322, demonization of the political class - there is a void of projects and ideas, which makes such slogans be as difficult to dismember as Mr. Iliescu's fake rhetoric passion.
Mr. Iliescu adapted democracy to the imperative survival of the nomenclature, whereas Mr. Basescu is adapting it to an authoritarian regime. Mr. Iliescu's particular democracy was based on "our tranquility", whereas Mr. Basescu's efficient democracy is based on scandal. The only difference between the red code and the orange one is the level of the risk expressed. No matter how faithful to his own biography, Mr. Iliescu can no longer edit it again: his code is as red as the setting sun.
Zoe PETRE 
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