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USA Visit - Ion Iliescu, as Santa Claus
POLITICS - September 21st 2004Presidentâs Ion Iliescu official visit at the residence of an American senator with Romanian roots became a true giftsâ contest, him being compared with Santa Claus.
By GABRIELA ANTONIUThe republican Illinois senator, Chris Lauzen, invited Iliescu on Sunday for "a cup of coffee" at his residence in Aurora, near Chicago, informs Mediafax. The meeting had been on Sunday, on the occasion of the Romanian Presidentâs visit in the USA. "My grandparentsâ last name is Moldovan", said the American senator to the journalists. "During the existence of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire many Romanians in Transylvania chose a place with jobs and America was attractive, Chicago especially", explained Iliescu.
MENU. "Bring me some rural cabbage or some sausages and my feet go pit-a-pat", said the senator. "I also like tuica (a very strong alcoholic drink prepared especially in Romania) a lot", he continued. "I will also work on my Romanian", stated Lauzen.
EXCHANGE. Together with his family he offered Ion Iliescu a statue of Abraham Lincoln, while the Presidentâs councils received a glass bowl each. Iliescu offered the senatorâs wife, Sarah Lauzen, a Romanian rural head-kerchief made of wool, and for the senator he had an icon painted on wood. President also brought music albums, which determined the senatorâs wife to say: "itâs like Christmas time in here". The favor exchange, in front of the house - where the Romanian and American flags were waving - as well as in the residence, also continued in the senatorâs press release, which presented Iliescu as the contrary of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, which applies a rough leading strategy in order to control the country.
NO AGGRESSION INVOLVEDYesterday President Iliescu expressed his "deep surprise" towards the things in the Romanian written and audio-visual press regarding his visit in Canada, says a Presidency communiquÃ©. In Montreal, the initiation of the Romania Plaza has been disturbed by "an aggressive protesting group", but "the assumed physical aggressions" against Ion Iliescu "only occurred in some peopleâs imagination, people that wanted this to have more serious repercussions", says the communiquÃ©.
During the meeting with representatives of the Romanian community in Chicago, president Ion Iliescu stated that, while the Americans leave aside any political dispute when their leader represents the country abroad, for Romania there still are some "defects and handicaps" for this matter. Ion Iliescu alluded to the happenings in Montreal.
Translation: SORIN BALAN