Sunday, December 31, 2017

Victim of a Communist coup: King Michael prepares to leave Romania

The New York Times is reporting that King Michael's abdication was not voluntary and he was the victim of a "cold-blooded Communist-dictated coup d'etat against the monarchy."

Michael, who was beloved by his people, is now a private citizen and is prepared to leave Romania "without a single known public demonstration against abdication."

After more than three years of "Communist domination," the Romanians are unable to "manifest in any public way their loyalty to the young monarch, whose personal record was spotless."

Many Romanians have wept for the king's abdication in the privacy of their homes.

The efforts of the Communist government to "inspire rejoicing" over the elimination of the popular monarchy has fallen flat.    There have been a few "obviously organized groups dancing in the streets," and the hastily prepared signs "Long live the Romanian People's Republic."

Premier Groza met with the former king this morning at a Bucharest palace and told reporters that Michael would spend New Year's Eve with his mother, Queen Helen, and his friends at Peles in Sinaia. 

Groza over affirmed that Michael was "free to remain in Romania" or to leave whenever he wanted and return again if that was his desire.  He also acknowledged that Michael "wished to leave the country" to marry Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.

The premier has also promised passports and exit visas for Michael, Queen Helen, and their personal staff, numbering between forty and sixty persons., and would leave Romania by special train by Sunday at the latest.

The New York Times can confirm that the King's engagement was not the reason for the abdication.  Although the king and his staff "are sworn to secrecy about yesterday's developments," the New York Times' correspondent has received "from a reliable source" a chronology of yesterday's events.

On Monday (December 29), the king and his mother were at Sinaia. He had been at Peles since before Christmas and planned to return to Bucharest until New Year's Day when he would attend the annual traditional reception for the diplomatic corps.   Late Monday evening, Premier Groza telephoned the king to ask him to return to Bucharest "for the discussion of an urgent state problem."

Michael agreed to return, although neither he nor his staff "were puzzled" about what the problem would be,

He arrived at the Elisabeta Palace, on the outskirts of Bucharest, on Tuesday morning.  Michael observed that the "area was heavily guarded by soldiers."  Groza arrived about 10:30 and handed the king the act of abdication.  Groza gave no reason for the "drastic step."   The King "could clearly sign or risk the consequences.  Groza did not allow for any deliberation, apart "concerning the desire" of the King to get his family and staff out of the country.

The act of abdication was signed at 1 p.m., and at 3:30 p.m., members of the Romanian Parliament, which had been in recess, were called into a special session at  Parliament accepted the abdication and the People's Republic was proclaimed.

Groza would not discuss yesterday's events with reporters.  He told them that what happened was a "normal development" and there was "nothing sudden about it."

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