| Partidul România Mare |
Greater Romania Party
|Leader||Corneliu Vadim Tudor|
|Senate Leader||Gheorghe Funar|
|Chamber Leader||Ion Mînzînă|
|Headquarters|| Str Georges Clemenceau nr. 2|
|European Parliament Group||none (former Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty, January-November 2007)|
|Colours||Yellow and Blue|
|See also||Politics of Romania|
It promotes strongly nationalist policies and is seen as the most right-wing of the major Romanian parties. The party's philosophy has often been characterized as xenophobic, anti-ethnic Hungarian, anti-Roma, homophobic, Antisemitic, and irredentist. PRM's rhetoric has also focused extensively on Romania's pervasive problem of high level corruption, a top concern of many average Romanians and an issue that has gained votes for the PRM, even from those who do not wholly agree with the party's strongly nationalistic ideology.
It briefly participated in government from 1993 to 1995 (in Nicolae Văcăroiu's cabinet). In 2000, Tudor received the second largest number of votes in Romania's presidential elections, partially as a result of protest votes lodged by Romanians frustrated with the fractionalization and mixed performance of the 1996-2000 Romanian Democratic Convention government. Tudor's second place position ensured he would compete in the second round run-off against former president and Romanian Social Democratic Party (PDSR) candidate Ion Iliescu, who won by a large margin. Parallels are often drawn with the situation in France two years later, when far right Front National Party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen similarly drew the second largest number of votes and was elevated, but defeated, in the presidential run-off against Jacques Chirac.
Although Tudor clearly remained the central figure in the PRM, in March 2005 he briefly stepped down from the party presidency in favour of Corneliu Ciontu. A primary objective of the move was to provide the appearance of a shift toward the political center and to attempt to align PRM with the European People's Party (EPP) bloc in the European Parliament. During this period the PRM also briefly changed its name to the Greater Romania's People Party. EPP, however, rejected the PRM as a potential member. Tudor stated he refused to join the EPP because of its lack of identity. In June 2005, Tudor asserted that he had decided the new leadership had distanced itself from the founding principles of the party, and he sacked the new leadership and reverted the party's name back to simply the "Greater Romania Party". In November 2005, Ciontu, along with a small faction of the PRM, formed their own party, the People's Party, which has since merged with the New Generation – Christian Democratic Party.
As of January 2007, with Romania's accession to the E.U., it was reported that România Mare's five MEPs were set to join a group of far-right parties in the European Parliament that includes the French National Front and Austrian Freedom Party, giving them sufficient numbers to form an official bloc, called Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty.
History and ideologyEdit
The party was founded in 1991 by Tudor and his literary mentor, the writer Eugen Barbu, one year after Tudor launched the România Mare weekly magazine, which remains the most important propaganda tool of the PRM. Tudor subsequently launched a companion daily newspaper called Tricolorul. (The historical expression "Greater Romania" refers to the idea of uniting all territories inhabited by ethnic Romanians into a single country; it was briefly achieved between the two World Wars, and is now a rallying cry for Romanian nationalists. Due to internal conditions under Communism after World War II, the expression's use was forbidden in publications until 1990, after the 1989 Romanian Revolution.)
Both the ideology and the main political focus of the Greater Romania Party are reflected in frequently strongly nationalistic articles written by Tudor. For example, in his magazine there is a permanent column called simply Unguri ("Hungarians"), in which he fights alleged anti-Romanian conspiracies of the ethnic Hungarian party.
In 2003, Tudor said he would no longer engage in discourse against Jews and Judaism or deny the Holocaust (see Corneliu Vadim Tudor). He also said that he had become, in his own words, a "philo-Semite". In subsequent months he and some of his supporters traveled to Poland to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp; and, despite strong objections from the family of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and many Jewish organizations, Tudor illegally erected a statue in memory of Rabin in the city of Braşov (for which he was found guilty and fined). During this period, Tudor hired Nati Meir, a Jewish advisor, who ran and won as a PRM candidate for the Romanian Chamber of Deputies. Tudor also hired an Israeli public relations firm, Arad Communications, to run his campaign. In 2005, Meir resigned from the PRM, stating he had discovered that Tudor and the party remained Antisemitic. Throughout this period, PRM 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.
PRM results in elections Edit
- After 1992's elections, PRM polled less than 4% of the vote and won 22 seats in Romanian legislative and it was part of the governmental coalition (the Red Quadrilateral) for three months in 1995.
- At the elections of 1996, PRM and Tudor polled less than 5% of the vote, still achieving 27 seats in Romanian legislative assemblies.
- After the elections in 2000, PRM was the second-largest party in the Romanian parliament. The party polled 23% of the vote, winning 126 seats in both of the Romanian legislative assemblies. In the presidential elections, Tudor polled 33% of the popular vote, being defeated after the second ballot by Ion Iliescu.
- In 2004 Vadim Tudor scored third, with 12.57% of the vote, while PRM scored 13.2%.
- In 2007 the party managed for the first time not to gain at least 5% of the votes in the European elections held in Romania for the first time.
- ↑ Traynor, Ian. "Romania's first gift to the European Union - a caucus of neo-fascists and Holocaust deniers", The Guardian, January 8, 2007.
- ↑ "Dedication of Romanian Statue of Rabin a Ploy", Anti-Defamation League, January 16, 2004.
- ↑ Yad Vashem has issued the following statement regarding the business relationship between Israeli public relations entrepreneur Eyal Arad and the leader of the Greater Romania party, Vadim Tudor:. Yad Vashem (March 14, 2004).
- ↑ APPEAL. The Romanian Jewish Community.
- (Romanian) Greater Romania Party
- (Romanian) România Mare (magazine)
- (Romanian) Tricolorul (magazine)
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