The Week in Bucharest Life


Romania took a great leap forwards this week when the country’s parliament finally voted to ban smoking in almost all indoor public spaces. The only exceptions to the law are airports (where a fully enclosed smoking section can be installed) and prisons (proof that a few politicians who enjoy a fag are no doubt thinking ahead). While a few reactionary, dissenting voices screamed about totalitarianism and being deprived of their constitutional right to kill others with the smoke from their cigarettes, the country by and large greeted news of the smoking ban with a huge cheer, seeing it very much as an early Christmas present. It’s rare that you find so many Romanians on the same page, and it’s all rather encouraging.

The law will be promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis on Monday, and will probably be published in the Monitorul Oficial the next day. As we understand it, the law will then take effect 45 days after that. We are therefore looking at having a smoke-free Romania by the second week of February (which is, in fact, perfect timing for the next issue of Bucharest In Your Pocket. We were rather concerned that the law would be applied immediately, making the current text we have about Romania being ‘a smoker’s paradise’ horribly redundant). When the great day does finally arrive, we will be celebrating by taking the family out to enjoy a smoke-free dinner, and will thoroughly relish having a few polite words with anyone we find breaking the new law.

Indeed, we would suggest the authorities set up a hotline so that venues which allow their customers to flaunt the law can easily be reported. We fully intend to name and shame them on these pages.

While inside Casa Poporului Romania’s MPs were voting to ban smoking, outside around 3,000 shepherds were protesting against another new law which limits – to three – the number of sheepdogs each farmer can keep per flock. The law – which is not without merit, given the damage done by Romania’s 10 million sheep to the environment, not to mention the thousands of wild animals killed each year by the sheepdogs, a notoriously vicious breed – was the next day temporarily annulled (until April) by the government, making use of an emergency ordinance. In the meantime, negotiations will be held and a compromise which we would hope benefits both sheep farmers and the environment reached.

Another protest, this time by truckers, minibus drivers, taxi drivers and other transport workers against increases in motor insurance costs brought central Bucharest to a halt on Thursday. (Well, a bigger halt than usual). The protesters claim that in some cases insurance premiums for vehicles used to transport goods or passengers have risen by as much as 500 per cent in a year. Insurers claim the price rises are justified given the high number of claims currently being made by the transport industry. A delegation of transporters met with government officials but failed to reach an agreement. Their leader, Vasile Stefanescu, said that he would allow the government ‘a couple of weeks’ to find a solution.

Four cities – from 11 which originally applied – were this week announced as final contenders to become Romania’s next European Capital of Culture, in 2021. The short list comprises Bucharest, Baia Mare, Cluj and Timisoara. The four finalists will now be vigorously vetted by a selection committee under the no doubt firmly objective and fully transparent supervision of the Ministry of Culture, and a final decision on which city will receive tens of millions of euros of free cash the honour of being only the second Romanian city (after Sibiu in 2007) to be a Capital of Culture will be taken in spring.

The eleven cities which originally applied were: Arad, Baia Mare, Braila, Brasov, Bucharest, Cluj, Craiova, Iasi, Sfantu Gheorghe, Suceava, Targu Mures, Timisoara. We find the absence from the short list of Brasov and at least one city in Moldova rather strange. Most strange however – we would in fact call it disturbing – is the presence of Baia Mare in the final four.

Baia Mare is currently run by an openly racist mayor, Catalin Chereches. His notion of culture was revealed earlier this year to consist of little more than building a wall around one of Baia Mare’s less-salubrious districts, separating it from the rest of the city and in effect creating a ghetto. He then cynically invited students from a design college in Cluj to cover the wall in graffiti, calling the whole thing an urban art project.

Touted as being Romania’s best shot yet at winning an Oscar for the Best Foreign Film, Aferim! has been receiving rave reviews from far and wide for much of the past year (and indeed won its director, Radu Jude, the Best Director gong at the Berlin Film Festival). We finally got round to watching it this week, and can report that while being in parts very difficult to watch (kind of the point), it is a fine film of huge historical importance, addressing as it does the neglected subject of Romania’s past as a slave state. (Slavery was not abolished in Romania until 1856 – a decade before the US did the same, we would add – yet there is no formal mention of it on the school curriculum). Much compared to 12 Years a Slave we are probably not giving too much away by telling you that there is no 12 Years a Slave-style happy ending: far from it, in fact. This excellent piece published last week discusses many of the issues the film raises, as well as the negative reaction it has provoked amongst some of the more prejudiced and racist sectors of Romanian society.

The United States this week completed construction of its anti-missile defence base at Deveselu, in southern Romania. The unit will be fully operational early next year. While we have always supported the construction of the base (and indeed the presence of any Nato forces in Romania), we stick to our original rider that the US should – in exchange – make Romania a member of the visa-waiver programme. Failure to do so does rather negate American claims that Romania is a ‘trusted ally.’ After all, how much do you really trust somebody who you refuse to allow into your house without them being thoroughly vetted?

Tiberiu Ticlea, the new administrative director of Romania’s state-owned and loss-making national airline, Tarom, revealed this week that as many as 40 per cent of the carrier’s staff are related to each other. Curiously (indeed, ironically), Ticlea is the son-in-law of Anisoara Cornila, director of the legal department at the Ministry of Transport.

Finally, Romania’s girl handball team reached the semi-finals of the World Championships in Denmark, beating the hosts (and favourites) in the quarter-final on Wednesday evening. The achievement is all the more surprising given that Romania lost three of their group games, and only just scraped into the knock-out phase. They now play Norway – the reigning Olympic champions – on Friday night for a place in Sunday’s final. The game is live on Dolce Sport 1 at 21:45, or online here.


48 thoughts on “The Week in Bucharest Life

  1. Chereches only separated gypsies from the normal citizens of Baia Mare, nothing wrong about that. He was even voted with around 90% which means people agreed with his policies.

    Sheep don’t damage the environment. Sheep have been here forever, Romanians have been raising sheep for thousands of years.

    It’s the filthy hunters who kill without reason who supported that law because Romanian Shepherd dogs (a Romanian breed of dogs, very beautiful dogs) kill the small game and there’s no more small game for hunters to hunt (I would suggest to release their children in the woods and hunt them down instead of small game).

    Hunting should be banned, it’s a complete waste of animal lives. Only professional hunting should be allowed, to keep some species under control.


    1. And Chereches didn’t build walls because he’s a racist.

      He built walls because gypsies came over to normal peoples’ neighborhoods and did what gypsies usually do: stealing, robbing, breaking into apartments.

      We can’t afford to have a policeman to watch every gypsy that lives in out cities. So Chereches built a wall, plain and simple.

      As Donald Trump said, as Viktor Orban and Netanyahu have shown the world: walls do work.


  2. I’ve got this feeling that the smoking ban won’t happen now. Sounds like too much facking around with this 45 days bollax. Anything could happen by then?


      1. That’s nothing less in terms of tolerance than what I would call a worldwide ban on Islam.

        There’s always a whiff of muslim wherever you go and the ideas of Islam are proven to be bad for Christian people. Offering muslims any rights at all hardly discourages Islam, which is the main source of trouble in the world.

        You’re smokeaphobic.


        Tolerance is bullshit. People only want other people to tolerate what THEY tolerate…


      2. Hey Parmo, check this out especially at 2:10 onwards. I was in the gym recently telling some guy he’s doing it all wrong. Seems I was wrong and the Romanians just do it differently to the rest of the body building world community? It even has a name!


    1. I’ve been to pubs that have smoking and non smoking areas and in my humble opinion the non smoking area are always the shittiest part of the pub where no sod wants to be.



    European men stand by doing nothing and watch as their women are raped by migrants in broad daylight.

    It’s quite hillarious. Aren’t they ashamed?! How can they face a woman anymore knowing they’re such cowards?! And how do European women accept such cowards in their lives?!

    Now I understand why women want emancipation instead of men in the West. There’s nothing for a woman to seek in such cowardly behavior.

    I wonder if migrants could get away with rape in Arizona or Texas without having their families shot…


      1. Why do people accept this? Why aren’t they AT LEAST voting for extremist parties?

        I would vote any day for a party which would call for war against muslims, for example. Actually I openly support war against muslims, both in our countries and abroad. Their aggression has to be answered upon.

        But what happened to the West?

        People have the power to force politicians to do anything. If people want Putin to nuke Saudi Arabia, it will be nuked.

        I’m even thinking to organize a rally in front of the Russian and US embassies, to demand for nuclear strikes against Saudi Arabia.

        But then what happened to the West?


      2. Well people are voting for extremist parties…
        Le Pen would have won some seats in the recent French elections, but in the second round, any areas where they looked strong, the Socialists pulled out in order for their supporters to vote against NF


      3. It’s still too little compared to the genocide that has been going on against the white population.

        We need to reclaim our rights over the land.

        Non white-Christian minorities should be mass deported to where they came from. I hope Donald Trump will come to power in the States cause we need to get our act together.

        What’s happening to our countries is unbelievable.


  4. “Slavery was not abolished in Romania until 1856 … yet there is no formal mention of it on the school curriculum”

    We already had this, but you seem unwilling/unable to learn:

    Romanian says:
    July 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    “Are Romanian children taught that slavery was legal in Wallachia and Moldavia as late as 1856? ”

    This made me curious to check it in the school books: Gypsy slavery is still at the same place in the history books where I left it three decades ago, under “Medieval Romanian Society”, social structure: domn, boieri, tarani liberi, clacasi (serbi, iobagi), tigani robi (domnesti, boieresti, manastiresti).

    “the damage done by Romania’s 10 million sheep to the environment, not to mention the thousands of wild animals killed each year by the sheepdogs, a notoriously vicious breed”

    Oh dear, you’re afraid of dogs, aren’t you, dear !?

    the sheep damaging the environment is anthological, it made my day


    1. A passing mention? That’s hardly discussing the issue of slavery at anything other than a superficial level, is it? When my own children come home and report about how they were taught this shameful episode in Romanian history I will review my stance on the issue of how it is taught (if it is taught at all). Until then I stand by what I have long said: Romania would like everyone to forget that it was a slave state every bit as brutal as any other, US and UK included.

      As for the sheep, do some homework. You clearly have a lot to learn about agriculture. Start here:


    2. It’s not shameful that we had slavery 200 years ago. Western Europe was built on slavery, they enjoy high living standards today because of the slaves they used in the past.

      It could have happened the other way around: blacks and muslims could have enslaved Europeans if given the chance. It was a war and Europeans won the war. Plain and simple. No reason to be ashamed about winning a war.

      But what did gypsies do when they were released from slavery? They started stealing, raping, murdering normal people and this is what they do nowadays as well.

      It’s shameful that we don’t have some sort of forced labor today, when it’s needed.


      1. Slavery never ended. Got a loan from a jew bank? Then you gotta slave away 6 days a week for the next 35years or they’ll put you in the street like a dog!


      2. “It’s shameful that we don’t have some sort of forced labor today,”…………………..Yes you do, take a look around you every morning, busy slaves going to work to pay off their debts. Wage slaves the lot of them.


      1. There’s been a lot of fake stories this year in the british mainstream media about women losing a leg and the women not giving two shits about a lost leg. The agenda behind it all is to say to the fit and healthy who are claiming benefits/welfare ”your days are numbered”!


      2. Yet thousands of crows still in Calais, waiting to hijack a lorry to Britain. Not enough is being done, as Trump said: “politicians are all words but no action”


      3. “As of today, I refuse to watch any movie in which the main role is played by a crow.”……………….If you change that to a ‘jew’ then you’ll never watch any film ever again.


  5. Just look at these pussies, Mr Rearguard! That small muslim guy took them down with a punch, it’s unbelievable!

    I think muslims are doing whatever they want on our streets because there are too few men left to defend them. What the hell is happening, how did men end up behaving like pussies?!


    1. Only 19seconds of footage. I didn’t see any broken flower pots? That guy in the suit doesn’t look the type to break public property? To be fair to that guy, when he dished out a dry slap he didn’t follow it up by stamping on the other guys head. And the two guys on the floor didn’t look like locals to me either? However, this is still WHITE GENOCIDE and it’s being totally ignored by the mainstream media…I wonder why? Africa is for Africans, China for chinks and the rest of Asia for Asians. But white Christian countries are for everyone. In less than a 100 years white people will be history just like the Incas.


      1. Yes, our press is the problem! They ignore what is going on and they do it on purpose.

        There should be protests agains press institutions, there should be violence against them for ignoring what is going on.

        I think this is where we need to start: take back our press! Politicians will follow.


  6. I agree with the smoking ban, seems like the EU is slowly but surely exerting its own ‘democracy’ on Romania, but in this case, their ideas on a smoke free state of Europe, isn’t such a bad idea …

    However I’d much rather countries like Romania were in full control of their democracy and not non entities from Brussels/Strasbourg.

    My only question is, there is no significant date of when it will come into force, so does anybody have a better idea than Craig’s prediction? And crucially, will it be enforced, or basically ignored by certain establishments?


      1. Winston Churchill, are you sure? That fat jew failed novelist who liked to rape young boys and failed to warn the people of Coventry that they were about to be bombed by his jew mate Hitler.


      2. Parmo he has his faults (what politician doesn’t?) but he’s certainly vexed the liberal lefties, along with the pro european state and border-less country fanatics, who appear happy to see nation states and democracy removed, whilst allowing 500 million plus people, to roam where they please, regardless of consequences. (it’s not as if they’re all going to end up in Bucharest)

        It’s highly amusing to see their anger aimed towards him or people who share some/all of his political opinions. I personally agree with many of his views, but not all. He certainly divides opinion, but he’s no Trump, he’s far too articulate, educated and visionary than that.

        He used to be one of the main ‘cheer leaders’ for the UK claiming its democracy back from the new state of the EU, and leave the un-democratic regime – but actually it’s the likes of Tusk, Merkel and Juncker, who are championing the people of the UK, to vote to leave the EU

        I still believe the UK will vote to remain in the EU regime, but they’ll be far more sceptics and challenges towards the un-democratic state, which flies its flag, and is trying to abolish the sheer existence of nation states.

        I can’t speak for Romanian people, but I’m sure a large proportion don’t want a new flag, currency, anthem, army, laws etc etc … imposed upon them – NOT without a clear and democratic process to vote in full, about ANY proposed changes or erosion of the Romanian nation state.


      3. It won’t happen here in the East. Not until the West disappears drowned in its own liberal shit.

        And then we’re gonna have the perfect example of what not to do.

        But until then – our Constitution is very strong on a lot of issues, our press is still free and there is zero tolerance for the political class, while people are growing dissatisfied with the European Union.

        So anything which comes from the European Union via the political class will be met with resistance.

        We don’t trust anything and we’re too close to each other in this country so that any politician can hide a malicious liberal plan.

        But if the West want to save themselves – Trump and Farage is the way!


      4. Parmo, I have empathy with a lot of what you say … I’m not a great fan of Trump at all, but he’s an underlying point about ‘some’ issues, but goes about them in the wrong way, and basically comes across as a racist bigot.

        Farage is far more educated, a better orator and politically savvy than Trump … He’s not perfect by any means, but his underlying views, are shared by millions of British citizens eligible to vote (4 million did in European elections)

        They KEY issue here and shared by both men, is immigration/and or control of a countries borders.

        The liberal left and fanatical pro EU types always cry ”racism” the second anyone tries to have a sensible debate, about a very important and emotive subject.

        The fact remains, it’s an issue that isn’t going to be swept under the carpet any time soon 🙂

        I welcome the debate and I am hopeful of changes in the future, regarding UK immigration control, and regaining our democracy, from the un-elected EU fat cats.

        Romania doesn’t have to endure mass immigration like the UK, for example … Although I am certain, that the electorate in Romania, if faced with the same levels of immigration, strains on resources etc … Would have something to say on the free movement of basically anyone with a EU ID/and or passport – and I know the liberal left/EU fanatics wouldn’t be in the majority, not in Romania, or many similar Eastern European countries, just for example.


      5. I think Trump is the right man for the US Republican electorate right now.

        They don’t need educated politicians, cause they’re not university educated themselves. They need a man of action, to speak things straight and offer some sort of guarantee that he’s gonna do what he says.

        Except for calling him a racist, Hillary doesn’t have any line of attack against him. In a face-off it’s gonna be Trump charging on all fronts.

        It will be a clear difference, everybody will realize that a man is facing a pussy, there will be a huge question mark on Hillary’s ability to run the country.

        It’s a different situation in Europe and the UK, where the electorate (on any side of the political spectrum) is presumably highly educated. And Farage is indeed the type of politician that would attract votes in Europe (unlike Trump).

        However, I think we’re heading in the right direction because the reaction to the immigration matter has been decent throughout Europe and the US as well.

        Even if 2016 is not our time, we can be certain our time will come soon as things are only going to get worse if the liberals win this round.

        And when we finally take power, changes that we’re gonna make will last a lifetime!


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