Traian Băsescu

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Traian Băsescu (2013)

Traian Băsescu [ traˈjan bəˈsesku ] (born November 4, 1951 in Murfatlar , Constanța district ) is a Romanian politician. He was Minister of Transport from 1996 to 2000 and Mayor of Bucharest from 2000 to 2004 . From December 20, 2004 to December 21, 2014 he was President of Romania . During his tenure as president, Băsescu was temporarily suspended twice. However, he was reinstated both times and was able to exercise the office until the regular end of his second term.


In 1976 Băsescu graduated from the Naval Institute in Constanța on the Black Sea and was ship commander in the Romanian merchant fleet from 1981 to 1987 . From 1987 to 1989 he was a member of the maritime trading company Navrom in Antwerp . In 1989 he moved to the Ministry of Transport for one year as Director General in the Inspectorate for Civil Shipping . He then became Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Transport in 1990. From 1991 to 1992 Băsescu was Minister of Transport in the governments of Petre Roman and Theodor Stolojan .

From 1992 he was a member of the Democratic Party ( Partidul Democrat , PD) for four years before serving as Minister of Transport in the governments of Victor Ciorbea , Radu Vasile and Mugur Isărescu from 1996 to 2000 . From 2001 he was chairman of the Democratic Party and at the same time from 2000 to December 2004 mayor of the capital Bucharest . He was re-elected in 2004 when he was already chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Justice and Truth (DA).

Băsescu is married. His daughter Elena Băsescu was a member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2014 .


On December 12, 2004, Băsescu won the runoff election for President of Romania as a candidate for the opposition alliance Democratic Alliance for Justice and Truth (DA), an amalgamation of the National Liberal Party ( Partidul Național Liberal , PNL) and the Democratic Party ( Partidul Democrat , PD) . He was elected in the second ballot with 51.2% of the vote. His opponent from the social democratic Partidul Social Democrat (PSD), Adrian Năstase , achieved 48.8%. Nastase had won the first round on November 28th. The priorities in the program of Allianz DA - which fell apart again in 2007 - were, according to their statements, the decoupling of power and institutions, the abolition of corruption and the economic recovery of the entire country.

Since 2005 Băsescu came increasingly in opposition to Prime Minister Călin Popescu Tăriceanu . The reason was mutual allegations of corruption and different views on the withdrawal of Romanian troops from Iraq , which Tăriceanu supported but Băsescu refused.

On April 19, 2007 he was suspended by parliament. Among other things, he was accused of "violating the constitution" and "arbitrarily applying the law". In the meantime, Nicolae Văcăroiu , the previous chairman of the Senate, took over the functions of President. A referendum had to decide on a final dismissal. This took place on May 19, 2007. According to an original law, at least 50% of the electorate had to vote against the president for him to be definitively removed. Băsescu's opponents, however, pushed through a change in the law in parliament according to which a relative majority would have been enough to remove Băsescu in the referendum . Băsescu, who is very popular among the population, was confirmed in office with 74.5% of the votes. 24.8% of the voters voted against him. The turnout was 44.5%. Ironically, on election day, he damaged his positive image himself when he insulted an intrusive journalist as a “smelly gypsy” and a “whore” in her absence. In September 2007, Băsescu attracted attention by making discriminatory statements against the Armenian minority in Romania.

Traian Băsescu is named in the report of the Council of Europe investigator on illegal activities of the US secret service CIA in Europe, Dick Marty , as one of the people who authorized secret torture prisons at the Mihail Kogălniceanu military base or at least knew about them and are responsible for them.

In autumn 2009 there was a constitutional crisis when the PD-L- led government was voted out of office in a vote of no confidence, but Băsescu refused to nominate a prime minister who is supported by the opposition parliamentary majority. After much hesitation, he decided to run again in the presidential election on November 22, 2009 . In the first ballot he won the most votes, but had to face his social democratic challenger Mircea Geoană in a runoff election . There he achieved an extremely close victory. Băsescu was the first Romanian president since Ion Iliescu in 1992, who was directly re-elected.

On July 6, 2012, Băsescu was suspended a second time by parliament with 256 votes to 114 . A referendum on his remaining in office was then scheduled for July 29, 2012, which had been introduced by the social-liberal coalition led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta . Băsescu is accused, among other things, of having illegally appropriated government powers, protecting political allies from criminal prosecution and having predominantly manned the anti-corruption authority with his supporters. In the meantime, Crin Antonescu continues the official business. Băsescu himself spoke of a “strong shock to the democratic system”. The Romanian Constitutional Court declared the procedure to be legal, while the German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed that it was "unacceptable" if the fundamental principles of the rule of law were violated in a country of the European Union. However, the referendum on Băsescu's removal failed due to the low turnout of less than 50 percent. According to the Romanian Central Election Commission, almost 90 percent of the voters voted for the removal of the head of state from office, but the turnout was only around 46 percent.

The social-liberal ruling coalition Uniunea Social Liberală (USL) expressed doubts about the correctness of the electoral lists on which the referendum was based and demanded that the number of eligible voters be recalculated. USL representatives had allegedly located 1.7 million incorrect entries, mainly due to the dead and emigrants. The coalition appealed against the result of the referendum to the Constitutional Court of Romania . The court announced that it would decide on the validity of the referendum after submitting the electoral lists valid at the time of the referendum. Băsescu remained suspended for the time being. On August 21, the court confirmed that the July referendum had missed the necessary quorum and was therefore invalid. Traian Băsescu could return to his post as president.

See also: State crisis in Romania 2012

Băsescu's performance is judged very controversially in Romania. For his followers he is still the guarantor of democratic and economic development. His opponents, on the other hand, are increasingly accusing him of authoritarian tendencies. He advocates strengthening the role of the President at the expense of Parliament.

After the end of his second term, Băsescu handed over the presidency to Klaus Johannis on December 21, 2014 .


Controversial statements

In June 2011, Băsescu caused irritation when, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the start of the Barbarossa company , he said that under circumstances similar to those of the Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu he would have decided to allow Romania to participate in the company. In 1940, in consultation with Germany, the Soviet Union occupied parts of Romania that had belonged to Russia ( Bessarabia ) and Austria ( Bukovina ) before the First World War . At the same time, he unfoundedly accused King Michael I of participating in the Holocaust , which, according to verified historical facts, can in fact be attributed to Antonescu.

After the sexual assaults on New Year's Eve 2015/16 in Cologne, Băsescu opposed a quota system for refugees and complained that Muslim refugees were brought up in the spirit of the Koran and that women would cut their throats in public or throw stones at them.

Web links

Commons : Traian Băsescu  - collection of images
 Wikinews: Traian Băsescu  - in the news

Individual evidence

  1. Time: Elena Băsescu .
  2. ^ William Totok: Presidential Xenophobia (taz, September 13, 2007) .
  3. Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second report (PDF; 813 kB) 7 June 2007, Dick Marty.
  4. Bucharest Herald of October 14, 2009, accessed on November 5, 2009 ( Memento of the original of October 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Website of the Central Election Office of December 7, 2009, accessed on December 7, 2009 ( Memento of the original of December 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 34 kB). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Parliament suspends President Basescu at, July 6, 2012 (accessed on July 6, 2012).
  7. Romanian President more and more distressed: Parliament votes for the removal of Basescu ( memento of July 9, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) at, July 6, 2012 (accessed on July 6, 2012).
  8. Constitutional court decision in Romania: Impeachment proceedings against Basescu are legal ( memento of July 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) at, July 9, 2012 (accessed on July 10, 2012).
  9. taz-online : William Totok, referendum failed , July 30, 2012.
  10. taz-online : William Totok, The fight goes on , July 30, 2012.
  11. ^ Hermann, Rudolf: Romania: A Basescu victory that is none at, July 30, 2012 (accessed on July 30, 2012).
  12. , Der Standard , Laura Balomiri: Resignations put Romanian Prime Minister under pressure , August 6, 2012, accessed on August 18, 2012.
  13. , Rheinische Post : Romania's judges doubt the referendum - Băsescu remains suspended until September 12, August 2, 2012, accessed on August 3, 2012.
  14. , the daily newspaper, William Totok: President Basescu remains in office , August 21, 2012, accessed on August 22, 2012.
  15. Bucharest Herald of October 14, 2009, accessed on November 5, 2009  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  16. Boletín Oficial del Estado N. 278, November 20, 2007 Online
  17. Official visit of the Romanian President to the Order of Malta ( Memento of the original from November 19, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. N ° 7909 du VENDREDI 24 AVRIL 2009 * Ordonnance Souveraine n ° 2.165 du 16 avril 2009 portant élévation dans l'Ordre d. Retrieved September 25, 2019 .
  19. Wayback Machine. March 4, 2016, accessed September 25, 2019 .
  20. Par Triju Zvaigžņu ordeņa piešķiršanu - Latvijas Vēstnesis. Retrieved September 25, 2019 (Latvian).
  21. ^ Vabariigi President. Retrieved September 25, 2019 .
  22. Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana. Retrieved September 25, 2019 .
  23. В Баку состоялась церемония награждения президентов Азербайджана и Румынии высшими) (Орсми) (Орденами) (Орденами) (3). April 19, 2011, Retrieved September 25, 2019 (Russian).
  24. ^ Taz-online : William Totok, Revisionism in Romania. President calls ex-king "traitor" , July 5, 2011.
  25. Welt Online : Campaign against the Soviet Union: Romania angered Russia with "Barbarossa" praise , June 30, 2011.
  26. ^ Keno Verseck: Refugee Policy: Eastern Europeans mock "political correctness" of Germans. In: Spiegel Online . January 12, 2016, accessed June 9, 2018 .