- May 25, 2009
According to a government commissioned poll conducted by the state body IICMER (the Institute for Investigating the Crimes of Communism and the Memory of Romanian Exile), 26% more Romanians believe life was better under Ceaucescu's rule than it is now, with a mere 7% saying that they suffered during the rule of his régime. In what will come as a surprise to some, most of those with positive feelings towards the old regime cited economic factors as the chief motivation for their feelings towards the old system.
Romanians say communism was better than capitalism - 21st Century SocialismAccording to a recent poll conducted in Romania, a large majority of those who expressed an opinion stated that life was better when the Communist Party was in power than it is now under capitalism. Most people gave a favourable view about communism in principle, with over 60% saying that communism is 'a good idea'. The pollsters noted a significant increase in sympathy with communist ideas since a similar poll was carried out four years ago.
Conducted in August and September this year by the Romanian polling organisation CSOP, the survey found that over 49% of respondents agreed that life was better under the late Communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu, while only 23% think that life is better today. The remainder gave a neutral or 'don't know' answer.
The reasons given by the participants for their positive evaluation of the communist period were mainly economic, with the availability of jobs cited by 62% and decent living conditions by 26%; the provision of housing for all was referred to by 19%.
In its analysis of the poll results, IICMER noted that Romanians are far from alone in their generally positive evaluation of 20th Century communism. According to a survey carried out in several Central and East European countries in 2009 by the US-based Pew Research Center, the proportion of people in former socialist nations who take the view that life under capitalism is worse than it was during the period of communist power is as follows:
Czech Republic: 39%
Particulary significant in the results of the 2010 CSOP / IICMER poll in Romania is that, as they aquire more experience of life under the 'market economy' people are becoming more negative about capitalism and positive about communism. In the previous poll in 2006, 53% expressed a favourable opinion about communism; the 2010 survey showed that 61% are favourable towards communism.
The CSOP's survey findings are not altogether suprising in view of what has taken place since capitalism was reintroduced- increased poverty, the rise of unemployment and insecurity. Romania's health system is currently in crisis, and public sector workers have recently had their pay cut by 25%.
Information on the poll: 1133 people aged 15 and over were interviewed between August 27 and September 2, 2010. Interviews were conducted based on a standardized questionnaire, face to face at home. Margin of error: 2.9%.