News reaches us today that Romania Mare: the racist, xenophobic, homophobic and downright lunatic weekly newspaper for seriously deranged fools is closing after 25 years. It was founded in 1990 by the writer Eugen Barbu and journalist/poet Corneliu Vadim Tudor – both of whom had been loyal servants of the Nicolae Ceausescu regime. (Barbu wrote vitriolic attacks against writers who opposed Ceausescu, while Vadim Tudor went as far as to compose and recite ridiculous odes to the loathsome dictator).
The closure of Romania Mare comes as no surprise, given that its fortunes have, over the decades, mirrored those of Tudor and his extreme nationalist and often anti-Semitic Romania Mare Party (PRM). Influential in the 1990s and early 2000s (Vadim took second place in the 2000 presidential election) the party is now but a shell with not a single MP in the Romanian parliament. Its extremist message has by and large been adopted by the PSD: parts of Victor Ponta’s presidential campaign last year would have been familiar to anyone who remembers Vadim’s campaigns of old.
As for us, we can’t help but raise a smile at the news of Romania Mare’s demise.
When Bucharest In Your Pocket first appeared back in 1999, Romania Mare got hold of an early issue and promptly described us as ‘A great swinery against Romania.’ What’s more, because our printer at that time was in Odorheiu Secuiesc, in a predominantly Hungarian-speaking part of Romania, we were also charged with being Hungarians. (For Romania Mare, the only life forms lower than blacks, gays or Jews were Hungarians).
Since then we have worn Romania Mare’s condemnation like a badge of honour. We even still have the cutting from the newspaper:
Well, given that Bucharest In Your Pocket goes from strength to strength while Romania Mare is about to go the way of Nicolae Ceausescu, we’d say that’s very much a victory for the swinery.