Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Romanian government seeks visas for Michael and staff

January 2, 1948

The Communist-controlled Romanian government is making arrangements for former King Michael, his mother and thirty-three others to "leave their homeland" later tomorrow, reports the Associated Press.

The Swiss government has been asked for the "necessary visas."   But it is "not certain" that the country would grant all 35 visas.  The Swiss government is "concerned with finding out about the financial means of the ex-king and his party."

Premier Petru Groza said that Michael "would be given a certain allowance for crown lands." It is understood that the former king would receive an initial payment of $3,000,000.  At the time of the abdication, the king's annual income was about $414,000 a year from "government grants, royal forests and farm estates.

It is also understood that "necessary Hungarian, Austrian and perhaps Czechoslovak travel visas have been requested" but the applications might not reach Bern before the Government offices closed for the weekend.

It is possible that the King's departure will be delayed until Monday or Tuesday.  However, the Hungarian Foreign Minister had said that Michael and his mother, Queen Helen, would leave Bucharest on Saturday by train and would arrive in Budapest on Sunday afternoon.

The Romanian Automobile Club has issued international drivers licenses' for three of the automobiles that Michael was taking out of the country.

Michael, who was forced to abdicate on December 30,  returned to Bucharest this evening for a final visit to the capital before  "starting a new life in exile."

Palace officials said that the former king would spend the night in the capital and was making plans to leave tomorrow with Queen Helen and approximately 28 people, reports United Press.

But Michael's "timetable may be disrupted by a four-power occupational red tape" as the former king and his party will need "Allied approval to cross Austrian territory."  The application may not get approved until Monday.

Michael, who arrived from Sinaia, where he had spent the night, was seen walking bareheaded "through the cold, snow-covered streets."  He was dressed in civilian clothes, "free from the requirements of royal etiquette."

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