The mirage exercised by ?Europa Liberă?1 was huge. The symbol, the myth of the redeeming Occident and the memory of that wince during childhood generated by the jammed voices, broadcast on short waves, really made the difference. Liviu Tofan?s admirable character and Neculai Constantin Munteanu?s charm made life better in an editorial office where we were learning other type of journalism on the fly and where- I can say it now, since it?s been so much time- people were rather edgy, a bit infatuated, the wallets were loaded, the free gesture and the great friendship were kind of living their last days or turning into theatrical gestures. I myself, as editor of the office set up by ?Europa Liberă? in Bucharest, turned not only into a journalist but also into a very infatuated person. As époque, things were rather tragic-comical: Iliescu?s regime was functioning full-speed, and the dignitaries and the government officials were still looking at us through the smoky lenses of the cold war.
Therefore, while trying to get an interview from the controversial commander of the ?Two and a quarter? secret service (U.M. 0215), I was struck by the astonishing reply provided by a colonel, the head of the press department for the Internal Affairs. With a very slick smile, the fellow (I guess Vasilescu was his name), said: ?get out of here, do you think we are that stupid!? As if we didn?t know that ?Europa Liberă? does espionage for the Americans, for the CIA, it is no pint in you pretending to be journalists? ?
Later, in 1995, I ended up at Deutsche Welle. Loads of work, monotony, honour. The romantic days were already gone for me. I was like a football player passing from one club to another, only interested in the financial aspects of the contracts. I used to yearn for the years spent within my dear team, ?Cuvântul?, where I would have gladly given up my life on the field without needing a dime.
Translated by Raluca Vîjîiac
1 ?Free Europe? radio station.