Greater Romania Party
|Greater Romania Party
Partidul România Mare
|Political position||Centre-left (nominally)
Far-right (in practice)
|European Parliament group||No MEPs|
|Colours||Red, Yellow, Blue (Romanian national colours)|
|Chamber of Deputies||
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|Politics of Romania
The Greater Romania Party (Romanian: Partidul România Mare, PRM) is a Romanian nationalist political party. Founded in May 1991 by Eugen Barbu and Corneliu Vadim Tudor, it was led by the latter from that point until his death in September 2015. The party is sometimes referred to in English as the Great Romania Party.
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.
In January 2007, with Romania's accession to the EU România Mare's five MEPs joined a group of far-right parties in the European Parliament that included the French National Front and Austrian Freedom Party, giving them sufficient numbers to form an official bloc, called Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty. Though due to disagreements, they left the group a few months later, causing its collapse.
History and ideology
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The party was founded in 1991 by Tudor, who was formerly known as a "court poet" of communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, 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 recreating the former Kingdom of Romania which existed during the interwar period. Having been the largest entity to bear the name of Romania, the frontiers were marked with the intent of uniting most territories inhabited by ethnic Romanians into a single country; and it 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 Romanian Revolution.) The party's initial success was partly attributed to the deep rootedness of Ceaușescu's national communism in Romania.
Both the ideology and the main political focus of the Greater Romania Party are reflected in frequently strongly nationalistic articles written by Tudor. The party has called for the outlawing of the ethnic Hungarian party, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, for allegedly plotting the secession of Transylvania.
The party has praised and shown nostalgia for both the military dictatorship of Axis ally Ion Antonescu, whom they consider a hero or even a saint, and the communist regime of Ceaușescu. The party rejected the 2006 Tismăneanu report on the communist dictatorship in Romania as a manipulation of history.
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.
PRM results in elections
|Election||% of vote||Seats|
- 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 was the first time for the party not to gain at least 5% of the votes in the European elections held in Romania for the first time.
- In the 2008 parliamentary elections, the PRM scored only 3.15%, its lowest result since its foundation and below the electoral threshold necessary to obtain seats in the Parliament.
- "PRM și-a ales noul președinte. El este succesorul lui Corneliu Vadim Tudor" [PRM has elected a new president. He is the successor of Corneliu Vadim Tudor]. libertatea.ro (in Romanian). 3 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "Strategiile PRM de maximizare a capitalului electoral (1996-2005)". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "The Ideological Institutionalization of the Romanian Party System". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- Janusz Bugajski (1995). Ethnic Politics in Eastern Europe: A Guide to Nationality Policies, Organizations, and Parties. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 466–. ISBN 978-0-7656-1911-2.
- Alison Mutler (14 September 2015). "Corneliu Vadim Tudor, ultranationalist Romanian poet and politician, dies at 65". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Alina Novăceanu (14 September 2015). "Corneliu Vadim Tudor, de la PCR la PRM, candidat de cinci ori la președinție". Mediafax. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Traynor, Ian (January 8, 2007). "Romania's first gift to the European Union - a caucus of neo-fascists and Holocaust deniers". The Guardian.
- Verbeeck, Georgi; Hausleitner, Mariana (2011), "Cultural Memory and Legal Responses: Holocaust Denial in Belgium and Romania", Facing the Catastrophe: Jews and Non-Jews in Europe During World War II publisher=Berg: 238
- Shafir, Michael (2004), "Memories, Memorials and Membership: Romanian Utilitarian Anti-Semitism and Marshal Antonescu", Romania Since 1989: Politics, Economics, and Society (Lexington Books): 71
- Cinpoeș, Radu. "The Extreme Right in Contemporary Romania" (p. 5) October 2002. Accessed July 31, 2014.
- Shafir, Michael (2012), "Denying the Shoah in Post-Communist Eastern Europe", Holocaust Denial: The Politics of Perfidy (de Gruyter): 33
- Gruber, Ruth Ellen (2002), "East-Central Europe", American Jewish Year Book 2002 (American Jewish Committee): 471
- Bugajski, Janusz (2000), "Nationalist Majority Parties: The Anatomy of Ethnic Domination in Central and Eastern Europe", The Politics of National Minority Participation in Post-Communist Europe (EastWest Institute): 75
- Hogea, Alina, "Coming to Terms with the Communist Past in Romania: An Analysis of the Political and Media Discourse Concerning the Tismăneanu Report", Studies of Transition States and Societies 2 (2): 22–23
- "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)