Adriana Săftoiu

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Ana Adriana Săftoiu (born 11 September 1967) is a Romanian journalist and politician. While a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), she was a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Bucharest in December 2004, and represented Prahova County in the Chamber from 2008 to 2012. In the interim, from 2004 to 2007, she was an adviser and press secretary for President Traian Băsescu.

She was married to former presidential adviser and former Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) director Claudiu Săftoiu for eighteen years until their divorce in 2011;[1][2][3] they have one child.[4]

Biography[edit]

She was born in Dej and in 1992 graduated from the Romanian-Spanish department in the Literature Faculty of the University of Bucharest. She took a further year of studies in Comparative Literature at the same institution, as well as journalism classes at three different institutions between 1995 and 1998. From 1993 to 1996, she was a journalist for Rompres, then working at Mediafax from 1996 to 1998.[4] From 1998 to 1999, holding the rank of secretary of state, she was press secretary for the government, while Radu Vasile served as Prime Minister.[4][5] From 2000 to 2001, Săftoiu was cabinet director at the Transport Ministry,[4] beginning when Băsescu held the ministerial portfolio.[6] Between 2001 and 2004, she headed the press bureau of the Democratic Party (PD), after Băsescu became president of that party.[4]

In 2004, Săftoiu was elected to Parliament as a PD member, but resigned her seat five days later, after being appointed adviser within the Communications Department and press secretary to incoming President Băsescu; the two positions cannot be held simultaneously.[4] One episode that marked her tenure was a conflict with Defence Minister Teodor Atanasiu, whom she took to court in July 2006 for abuse of office, accusing him of using the Army intelligence service to spy on her, following a comment he made on television to that effect.[7] As a result, Atanasiu was suspended by the president[8] before resigning under pressure several months later.[9] Her resignation from the Băsescu administration in March 2007, coming shortly after that of her husband from the SIE directorship, prompted intense speculation. She stated it was for strictly personal reasons, but others cited an e-mail she sent to PD secretary general Vasile Blaga, in which she asked for his intervention with Băsescu to reconcile her family relations, which had allegedly deteriorated due to the intrigues of administration colleague Elena Udrea. Another theory pointed to a newspaper article alleging she was having an extramarital affair; rumours had also circulated that her husband was involved in an affair of his own. Săftoiu's departure came at a politically sensitive moment for the president, who was impeached shortly thereafter.[10] The following month saw publication of Vocile puterii ("The Voices of Power"), her book of interviews with all sixteen post-1989 Revolution presidential and governmental press secretaries.[11]

From 2007 to 2008, Săftoiu headed Capital Promotion, a Bucharest consulting firm.[4] In a February 2008 interview, she remarked that Băsescu, whom she accused of creating a Messiah image for himself, and Udrea, whom she described as "dreaded but not respected", rule the PD-L (into which the PD had by then evolved) by fear.[12] That summer, she joined the PNL, running for a seat in Prahova County, considered the fiefdom of one of Băsescu's most trenchant opponents, businessman Dinu Patriciu.[13] She won her race at that autumn's election, after which the PNL moved into opposition.[14] In the Chamber, she sat on the committee for education, science, youth and sport, and was a deputy leader of the PNL group from 2010.[15] In February 2012, against a backdrop of anti-government protests and calls for early elections, Săftoiu resigned her seat.[16][17] That December, Săftoiu's local PNL chapter removed her from the party without informing her in advance, prompting her to comment that the process was harsher than purges during Romanian Communist Party rule, when one could "at least... say something in one's own defense".[18] In April 2013, Săftoiu became spokeswoman for the PD-L at the invitation of party leader Vasile Blaga, a move seen as a rebuke to Băsescu, who had earlier distanced himself from the party.[19] In May 2015, she published a controversial memoir, Cronică de Cotroceni ("Cotroceni Chronicle"), recounting her years as Băsescu's adviser. Among the book's claims is that Băsescu and Udrea carried on an extramarital affair in the former's office at Cotroceni Palace; the two promptly denied the existence of such a liaison.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ (in Romanian) "Adriana Săftoiu, după demisie: 'Nu plec la Havana, nici la Londra. Plec acasă. Şi eu, şi Claudiu!'" ("Adriana Săftoiu, after Resigning: 'I'm Not Going to Havana or to London. I'm Going Home. Both Me and Claudiu!'"), Cronica Română, 30 March 2007; accessed 10 July 2009
  2. ^ (in Romanian) "Adriana şi Claudiu Săftoiu au depus actele de divorț" ("Adriana and Claudiu Săftoiu File for Divorce") Archived 2011-01-06 at the Wayback Machine., Evenimentul Zilei, 3 January 2011; accessed 2 February 2011
  3. ^ (in Romanian) Cristian Vasilcoiu, "Soţii Săftoiu au divorţat azi" ("Săftoius Divorce Today") Archived 2011-02-02 at the Wayback Machine., Evenimentul Zilei, 31 January 2011; accessed February 2, 2011
  4. ^ a b c d e f g (in Romanian) Profile at the Romanian Chamber of Deputies site; accessed 10 July 2009
  5. ^ (in Romanian) "Săftoiu, de şapte ani omul preşedintelui" ("Săftoiu, for Seven Years the President's Man")[permanent dead link], Evenimentul Zilei, 27 September 2006; accessed July 10, 2009
  6. ^ (in Romanian) "Adriana Săftoiu îl consiliază pe inamicul lui Băsescu" ("Adriana Săftoiu Advises Băsescu's Enemy")[permanent dead link], Evenimentul Zilei, 18 September 2007; accessed July 10, 2009
  7. ^ (in Romanian) Răzvan Savaliuc, "Săftoiu s-a plâns penal de Atanasiu" ("Săftoriu Takes Atanasiu to Court"), Ziua, 12 July 2006; accessed July 10, 2009
  8. ^ (in Romanian) George Tărâţă, "Atanasiu a pierdut în instanţă" ("Atanasiu Loses in Court"), Ziua, 28 September 2006; accessed July 10, 2009
  9. ^ (in Romanian) Alina Mihai, "A dat Armata pe un comisar" ("He Gave the Army for a Commissioner"), Cotidianul, 25 October 2006; accessed November 22, 2009
  10. ^ (in Romanian) Ioana Theodoru, "Ultimul Săftoiu l-a parasit pe Băsescu" ("The Last Săftoiu Abandons Băsescu") Archived June 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Gardianul, 30 March 2007; accessed July 10, 2009
  11. ^ (in Romanian) Simona Tărnă, "Adriana Săftoriu şi-a lansat 'Vocile puterii' la Piatra Neamţ" ("Adriana Săftoriu Launches 'The Voices of Power' at Piatra Neamţ"), Monitorul de Neamţ, 24 April 2007; accessed July 10, 2009
  12. ^ (in Romanian) Oana Stancu, "Elena Udrea terorizează PD-L" ("Elena Udrea Terrorizes the PD-L"), Jurnalul Naţional, 27 February 2008; accessed July 10, 2009
  13. ^ (in Romanian) "Fosta consilieră a lui Băsescu, Adriana Săftoiu, sare în barca liberalilor" ("Former Băsescu Adviser Adriana Săftoiu Jumps into the Liberals' Boat"), Ziarul Financiar, 30 July 2008; accessed July 10, 2009
  14. ^ (in Romanian) Election results, alegeri.tv; accessed July 10, 2009
  15. ^ (in Romanian) 2008-2012 profile at the Chamber of Deputies site; accessed August 23, 2010
  16. ^ (in Romanian) "Deputata PNL Adriana Săftoiu şi-a dat demisia din Parlament" ("PNL Deputy PL Adriana Săftoiu Resigns from Parliament"), România Liberă, 31 January 2012; accessed February 9, 2012
  17. ^ (in Romanian) Ernest Zachmann, "Adriana Săftoiu a demisionat din Parlament" ("Adriana Săftoiu Resigns from Parliament"), Adevărul, 1 February 2012; accessed February 9, 2012
  18. ^ (in Romanian) "Adriana Săftoiu după excluderea din PNL, confirmă orientarea stângistă a partidului de dreapta" ("Adriana Săftoiu after Removal from PNL, Confirms Leftist Orientation of Right-wing Party"), România Liberă, 22 December 2012; accessed December 23, 2012
  19. ^ (in Romanian) Andreea Udrea, "Săftoiu, purtătorul de cuvânt al PDL anti-Băsescu" ("Săftoiu, Spokeswoman for an anti-Băsescu PDL"), Evenimentul Zilei, 9 April 2013; accessed May 27, 2013
  20. ^ (in Romanian) Iulia Marin, "Adriana Săftoiu şi cronica unui scandal neanunţat" ("Adriana Săftoiu and the Chronicle of an Unannounced Scandal"), Adevărul, 25 May 2015; accessed January 5, 2016

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