The new Romanian president has unveiled a memorial for those who died in the 1989 revolution. Fifteen years ago today, thousands of demonstrators massed in the capital and turned against former president Nicolae Ceausescu in what is considered a key moment leading to his bloody downfall.
The service was Traian Basescu’s first act as Romanian leader since officially taking over power on Tuesday morning. It has been a busy day for the 53 year old who has also nominated a new interim prime minister.He is to replace Adrian Nastase who resigned from the post after he was elected parliament speaker. His party is locked in a battle with Basescu’s centrist alliance to win over smaller parties to gain a majority in parliament. Despite being the former president’s choice for the post, Nastase lost the election to Basescu earlier this month. Ion Illescu had to face up to the political loss again when he officially transfered power to Basescu at a ceremony in Bucharest. Ilescu said goodbye to the nation he led for 11 out of 15 post-communist years. His time in power was marked by public discontent over poverty and corruption, two issues the new president has promised to tackle head on.