Speech By President Of The Federation Of Jewish Communities In Romania Aurel Vainer At The Ceremony Of Awarding EJC President Viatcheslav Kantor With The Grand Cross Of The Romanian Order “For Merit”, Bucharest, March 11, 2014

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“Mr President of Romania Traian Băsescu,

Now, I am living through unbelievable moments, and forgive me for my emotions. Here I stand, a Romanian Jew, who has experienced the Holocaust in Romania, who is again receiving a reward, who has lived to the age, to the time, when the Romanian President is giving him a reward for the second time, and this reward is the highest reward of the Romanian State. Thank you very much!

I thank you for your open democratic approach and for your courageous approach you have shown so many times; and also because we have here, in this wonderful audience, my colleagues, representatives of minorities in the Romanian Parliament. We all know what you have done and you will still do so that our position will be known and recognised. Certainly, such an event would have been impossible a few years ago. This is a sign of democratic Romania, of Romanian democracy. It is a sign of openness to all the components of the Romanian nation and also openness towards Europe and the world. Just a few more words. I very much appreciate this event and I very much appreciate the fact that you want all the Jews to coalesce their efforts to promote Romania in Europe and in the world. Thank you, thank you so much, and I wish good health and all the best to you, your family and all the people around us. Thank you so much once again.”