Subjective timeline of the ?90s*
Petre Popovăţ

For Romania, the ?90?s began in December 1989.

December 16, 1989 The 1989 Revolution starts in Timişoara. The spark of the revolt is the eviction of the protestant pastor Lászlo Tökés. In the beginning, a few hundred parishers protest in front of his house. The revolt expands in the entire city.

December 17 Protesters are shot at. There are many dead and wounded.

December 21 In Bucharest, Ceauşescu organizes a ?denunciation? rally against the ?hooligans? in Timişoara. The rally turns against him. Many participants shout out ?Down with Ceauşescu!?, ?Down with the Communism!? A barricade is set up in the University Square, in the night of 21/22 December. The Army and the secret police (Securitate), drive tanks into the crowd, leaving many dead and wounded.

December 22 Protests continue. Hundreds of thousands gather in the city center. At 12.06 Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu run away with a chopper from the roof of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party headquarters. The building is occupied by the demonstrators. So is the national public television. A new body is created ? the National Salvation Front (FSN) - in order to fill the power vacuum. The declared purpose of FSN is to ?bring democracy, liberty and dignity to the Romanian people?. The head of this body is Ion Iliescu, former high-ranking activist of the Romanian Communist Party, fallen off the graces of Ceauşescu. In the ?80?s, due to his ?gorbatchevian? orientation, he is considered to be an alternative to the dictator. As dusk settles, the ?terrorists?, left unidentified to this day, start shooting at the peaceful demonstrators. Many die and are wounded.

25 December After a show trial, Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu are sentenced to death and executed.

26 December Petre Roman is appointed prime-minister.

* The material is almost exclusively realized by putting together data from the folowing books: Domniţa Ştefănescu, Five years in the history of Romania, Edit. Maşina de Scris, Buc., 1995; Domniţa Ştefănescu, Two years in the History of Romania, Edit. Maşina de Scris, Buc., 1998; Emilian M. Dobrescu, Românografia, bilanţ şi perspective, Edit. Compania, Buc., 2000

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