The Future of Romania Under New Leadership
Regarding the Opinion page article "Romania Stumbles Again," Oct. 8: Since the reelection of President Ion Iliescu of Romania on Oct. 11, the Western media have pounded the Romanian president, and the two-thirds of the Romanian people who voted for him, with accusations that the regime is returning to a communist-like economic system. Such nonsense not only distorts a common-sense approach to the realities of the Romanian economy but is highly destructive to the attraction of the foreign investment which
the country desperately needs.
Mr. Iliescu won reelection on a platform committed to slowing the pace of economic reform - not eliminating it. His concern is that the breakdown of the large, inefficient, state-owned enterprises will cause massive unemployment that might then lead to social upheavals and dislocations and potential chaos in Romania.
The country cannot destroy millions of factory jobs throughout the country unless there are social protections in place to retrain those workers.
Since Romania lacks the hard currency to pay for such programs, and Western investment in the country has been insufficient to counterbalance the loss of such jobs, protection of the Romanian population from a rapid shift in the economy would seem to make a lot of sense.
Virtually everyone in Romania recognizes that the country needs foreign investment in order to prosper. So why do the Western media pummel the Romanian people for choosing a rational, slower course of change?
Why do they keep referring to Iliescu as a former high-ranking Communist when the heads-of-state of Russia, Ukraine, and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States were higher ranking Communists and more recently active in the Communist Party - not 20 years ago like Iliescu? Mark A. Meyer, New York, Romanian-American Cham. of Comm. Balkan Religious distinctions
The article "UN Recognition of Macedonia Is Key to Restraining Serbs," Oct. 7, is right on target.
The Republic of Macedonia must be recognized by the United Nations to maintain its independence from Serbia, which wants to control it as it has done since 1913, when Macedonia was divided among Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria after the Balkan wars. Not to do so is opening the door to a second Balkan war.
Unfortunately, there was an error in the otherwise comprehensive story. Most Macedonians are Eastern Orthodox Christians, not Muslims as reported in the story. It is this difference in religion that could spark the civil war the author describes in the article. Virginia N. Surso, Fort Wayne, Ind., Macedonian Patriotic Organization Ignoring Bosnia?
Once again in human history, we are witnessing the outrage of human suffering and indignity of the people of Bosnia. Ironically, the American people are not hearing the entire truth about the conflict or the horrifying torture inflicted upon these innocent people. President Bush is ready to issue Israel another $10 billion to build communities for Soviet immigrants; or when American interests are at jeopardy, such as in the Gulf war, Americans are ready to jump to defend human rights. But when thousands of innocent civilians are tortured, just in the name of ethnic cleansing, how can the events of the Holocaust replay themselves? Americans should take advantage of the opportunities they have and change the world situation to better the human race. Adam Mason, Los Angeles