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Romanian Political Crisis Escalates, Spreads Across Europe



BUCHAREST - An escalating political crisis in Romania pitting the prime minister against the president is spreading abroad, with protests in foreign capitals and concern from European officials about the state of democracy in one of the EU's newest members.

Center-left Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Social Liberal Union (USL) have moved to oust center-right President Traian Basescu, which some critics have said amounts to a political coup. A group of Romanian intellectuals and members of the civil society addressed a letter on Monday to the governments of all the European member states, complaining about Ponta's recent actions, reported Bucharest daily Adevarul.

In addition to the dubious Parliamentary maneuver on Friday, and alleged manipulation of the media in the coverage of the crisis, the letter criticizes the Prime Minister for not resigning after he was accused recently of copying his PhD thesis.

As Mediafax press agency reports, Romanian PM Ponta will have a meeting with the President of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso, after several representatives of the Commission expressed their concern about the status of democracy in Romania. Markus Ferber, head of the German delegation in the European Parliament, said that he will initiate procedures for unprecedented sanctions against Romania because of threats to rule of law from the Parliamentary actions, reports the Bucharest Herald.

Romania, a country of 22 million inhabitants, has a significant diaspora that exceeds 10% of the total population, including many in the United States, though increasingly concentrated in Europe after its 2007 entry into the EU.

The vote of Romanians living abroad appears to be issue, after President Basescu managed to obtain a second term in 2009 thanks in part to Romanian ex-patriates.

Meanwhile, protests have been held on the streets of cities in France, Spain, Germany and Belgium. Ponta accused Romanians living in Germany and Belgium of organizing protests against his party and being manipulated by the President's supporters, reported Romania Libera.

According to the Romanian Constitution, until the referendum, the temporary chief executive is Crin Antonescu, president of the Senate, a member of Ponta's coalition. The website ziare.com reports that Antonescu suggested Romanians living abroad should pay a tax if they want to have the right to vote.

A protest by Romanians in Paris took place at Place du Trocadéro on Sunday:

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The Colonial Spirit And "Soft Racism" Of White Savior Syndrome

Tracing back to Christian colonialism, which was supposed to somehow "civilize" and save the souls of native people, White Savior Syndrome lives on in modern times: from Mother Teresa to Princess Diana and the current First Lady of Colombia, VerĂłnica Alcocer.

photo of a child patient holding hand of an adult

Good intentions are part of the formula

Ton Koene / Vwpics/ZUMA
Sher Herrera


CARTAGENA — The White Savior Syndrome is a social practice that exploits or economically, politically, symbolically takes advantage of individuals or communities they've racialized, perceiving them as in need of being saved and thus forever indebted and grateful to the white savior.

Although this racist phenomenon has gained more visibility and sparked public debate with the rise of social media, it is actually as old as European colonization itself. It's important to remember that one of Europe's main justifications for subjugating, pillaging and enslaving African and American territories was to bring "civilization and save their souls" through "missions."

Even today, many white supremacists hold onto these ideas. In other words, they believe that we still owe them something.

This white savior phenomenon is a legacy of Christian colonialism, and among its notable figures, we can highlight Saint Peter Claver, known as "the slave of the slaves," Bartolomé de Las Casas, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess Diana herself, and even the First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

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