Saturday, March 31, 2012

More to Laugh from the Balkans

The grotesque and absurd in Romania didn't just occur during the 1950's (see post 28 March). Some fine (and sad) examples can be found in the 30's and 40's; what, and in all those years until Ceausescu's fall also, yes. 
And these days there is Radu Ştefan Mazăre, Mayor of Black Sea port Constanţa. Mazăre founded the Telegraf newspaper, the local Neptun TV channel and was a shareholder of the Conpress Holding. He joined the Democratic Party (PD) and was elected to the Romanian Chamber of Deputies in 1996. He later resigned due to "differences between electoral promises and the realities of government".
He is considered one of the top 300 richest people in Romania, controls a sizable chunk of the Romanian media and is known for having his name written on every project where the municipality was involved, such as on every bus of the public transportation system of Constanţa.
A controversial event took place in July 2009 when, during a fashion show, Radu Mazăre participated in the show wearing a Nazi Wehrmacht uniform, together with his son, who was also wearing Nazi uniform. He explained that he "always liked this uniform, and admired the rigorous organization of the German army". According to Mazare, "I checked it before I put it on; the swastika was very small and I didn't see it". Two days later he issued a public apology to Jewish organisations, declaring that by wearing the uniform he wanted to pay homage to Claus von Stauffenberg, a leading member of the failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler during World War II.
Mazăre (and his followers) have a liking for red berets. Funny?

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