Ceausescu Blames Woes on Fascists
Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu today blamed “fascist, reactionary groups” for anti-government protests in his country and confirmed that the army had to intervene to restore order.
In a 25-minute address on national radio and television hours after he returned from a three-day visit to Iran, Ceausescu made no mention of casualties in the west Romanian city of Timisoara.
Witnesses coming out of Romania have suggested that hundreds of people were killed when security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters on Sunday. Reports today suggested that the unrest had spread to other cities.
Ceausescu said the army had to restore order in Timisoara after unrest was provoked by “fascist, reactionary groups who wanted to destroy the independence and to stop the construction of socialism in Romania.”
The address, monitored in Vienna, did not say what steps would be taken to prevent unrest.
Troops and police were reported patrolling Bucharest and other Romanian cities today in an apparent attempt by the hard-line Communist authorities to stamp out further protest.
About 50,000 demonstrators took to the streets today in Timisoara, 30 miles from the Yugoslav and Hungarian borders, the Yugoslav press agency Tanjug said.
Demonstrators reportedly passed the Yugoslav Consulate, chanting slogans against Ceausescu. The group passed Romanian army tanks, but soldiers watched without intervening, the report said.