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Corneliu Vadim Tudor (b. November 28, 1949 in Bucharest) is leader of the Greater Romania Party (Partidul România Mare), writer, and journalist. A controversial, essentially populist, political figure, he is known for his strongly nationalist and xenophobic views, the theatrics which often accompany his rhetoric, and his reliance on the denunications of political opponents (so far, a tactic which several civil lawsuits have ruled slanderous). He is most commonly referred to as "Vadim", many times understood as a family name (although it is clearly not shared with his relatively well-known brother, former Army officer[1] - allegedly a Securitate informant [2]- and fellow Party member Marcu Tudor).

Disciple of the writer Eugen Barbu (who was an unofficial trusted advisor of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu), Tudor was energetic in his praise (in both prose and poetry) of the longtime communist dictator prior to Romania's 1989 revolution.

He has frequently styled himself The Tribune, a title that originates in Ancient Rome, but has an ever more combative meaning in Romanian history: tribuni stood for certain activists in the self-defence of Romanian communities in Transylvania against the Revolutionary government in Hungary (see The Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas).

IdeologyEdit

In June 1990, Tudor and Eugen Barbu founded the nationalist weekly România Mare ("Greater Romania") - begun as a magazine favorable to the policies of the government [3]. In 1991, they founded the Greater Romania Party, the platform of which Time magazine described as "a crude mixture of anti-Semitism[4], racism and nostalgia for the good old days of communism." Statements made and articles written by Tudor and his party colleagues can also be described as ultra-Nationalist, anti-Hungarian sentiment, anti-Roma, and homophobic.[5] [6] [7] [8]

Of no less importance is Tudor's irredentism: the ideal of a Greater Romania is what gives the party its name, and Tudor has campaigned several times around the notion that he is the only Romanian politician to have maintained this particular goal. The reference is mainly aimed at the Republic of Moldova, a state whose legitimacy has been questioned by Tudor on numerous occasions. He has supported the cause of Romanians in Transnistria, and was involved in the efforts to set free the victim of a Tiraspol show trial, Ilie Ilaşcu. While Tudor was the one to embarrass the prosecutors by having Ilaşcu elected to the Romanian parliament on his party's list (in 2000), György Frunda—a preeminent ethnic Hungarian representative, and thus a main target of Tudor's attacks—has been the most active member of the Romanian delegation to the Council of Europe in obtaining a condemnation of the trial by the forum.

România Mare has been sued for libel with stunning frequency, often for Tudor's own writings (which he usually—if not always—signs under the pseudonym Alcibiade). Between 1993 and 1996, he assembled his party into the leftist governmental coalition (the "Red Quadrilateral").

Tudor's and his party's change from National-Communism to Ultra-Nationalism took place after 1996. In 1999, Dan Corneliu Hudici, a former reporter at România Mare, claimed there was a "secret blacklist" of dozens of politicians (including then-president Emil Constantinescu), journalists, and businessmen to be arrested if Tudor's party came to power. This allegation only served to increase his popularity: in the first round of the Romanian presidential elections on November 26,2000, Tudor finished second with 28% of the vote. (Four years earlier, he had come in fifth.) However, nearly all other parties backed Ion Iliescu in the December 11 runoff, and Tudor only picked up five additional percentage points, while Iliescu surged from 36% to 67%. In 2001, Al-Ahram called him the "Jean-Marie Le Pen of the Carpathians." [9].

Changing his convictions to what he deemed Christian Democracy, as of 2004 Tudor supports Romania's entry into the European Union and sustains its presence in NATO. In 2003, Tudor claimed to have changed his views of Jews, Judaism, and the Holocaust. In a letter of February 1, 2004, he renounced certain earlier statements he had made as inappropriately anti-Semitic; further, he wrote: I know that I was wrong to have denied the Holocaust in Romania, which happened between 1941 and 1944 under Antonescu's regime. Many publicly questioned the sincerity and motivations of this change, viewing it simply as a political ploy[10]. Despite sharp criticism of the move from within Israel, Tudor hired a well-known Israeli public relations company to provide him consulting for the 2004 electoral campaigns. In the elections of 2004 he came out 3rd with a score of 11%, after Adrian Năstase and Traian Băsescu.

He fired Jewish advisor (and member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies) Nati Meir due to allegations of bribery (according to Tudor) or old habits of hating Jews (according to Meir). The Romanian press discovered that Meir had been convicted in Israel of banking fraud, thus incompatible with the office of member of the Chamber of Deputies. On November 15, 2006 Meir was brought to trial by the Romanian authorities for tax evasion, fraud and swindling, being accused of illegalities concerning work permits for Israel[11].

After stepping down as president of the PPRM (Partidul Popular România Mare—with the added People's Party) for a short while, he returned in a storm, firing Corneliu Ciontu (appointed president of the PPRM by Tudor) and taking over party affairs. The party has since reverted to its old name and its core tenets, as its more moderate stance appeared have lost old votes without gaining new ones. Tudor's publications continued to include articles that denied the Holocaust in Romania and took deliberately antagonistic positions toward Romanian Roma, ethnic Hungarians, and other minority groups.

In recent years, Tudor has also faced an increasing challenge from another Romanian far-right leader, Gigi Becali, owner of the Steaua football team and president of the New Generation Party.

Biographical information Edit

  • Born in Bucharest on November 28, 1949 into a working-class family. At one time, his father was a Baptist minister, but he professes the Romanian Orthodox religion.
  • In his youth being (or pretending to be) an admirer of the French film director Roger Vadim, he chose the pseudonym Vadim. Since his maître Barbu was popular with movie actors and directors, Tudor tended to be friendly with stunt performers.
  • He received a degree in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest in 1971.
  • In 1975, he received military instruction at the School for Reserve Officers in Bucharest.
  • Eugen Barbu was honored with the Herder Prize, which allowed Tudor to study history in Vienna, in 1978-1979.
  • He worked as a journalist, editor, and poet under the communist regime; in the early 1970s, he edited the magazine România Liberă and after 1975 was an editor at the Agerpress agency.
  • Has served as a Romanian Senator since 1992.
  • On September 25, 2001, Tudor gave up his parliamentary immunity from prosecution.
  • In December 2004, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel returned the Steaua României medal, one of the country's highest honors, after President Ion Iliescu awarded Tudor the same honor in the last days of his presidency. Wiesel said he was returning the honor because he could not "accept being placed on the same level" as Tudor and fellow party member (and honor recipient) Gheorghe Buzatu.[12]. Fifteen Radio Free Europe journalists, Timişoara mayor Gheorghe Ciuhandu, song writer Alexandru Andrieş, and historian Randolph Braham also returned their Steaua României medals as a result of the awards to Tudor and Buzatu[13]. According to Ziua, the order Steaua României has been revoked by Romanian president Traian Basescu in May 2007.[14] Vadim consequently announced he will sue Traian Basescu for abuse of power.
  • He has written at least 10 volumes of poetry and political commentary, at least one of which has been translated into French, English, and Arabic. He has also written for the stage.
  • He is married and has two children.


ReferencesEdit

bg:Корнелиу Вадим Тудор

de:Corneliu Vadim Tudor fr:Corneliu Vadim Tudor ro:Corneliu Vadim Tudor

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