Some of them really did take to the streets in December 1989 to bring down Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime, but many others simply “forged revolutionary certificates” so as to benefit from the 42/1990 law, which grants a wide range of privileges to those with proof that they took part in the Romanian revolution. According to Burcharest weekly Revista 22, a total of between 20,000 and 30,000 official veterans were “handpicked from the millions of Romanians who protested at the time,” and so became “profiteers of the Revolution.” Now Prime Minister Emil Boc has decided to put an end to their privileges — an initiative that Revista 22 warmly welcomes: “The revolutionaries are outraged but Boc should stand his ground now that these privileges are costing 80 million euros per year.” That said, the Prime Minister “is right to safeguard state payments to the injured and those who lost their parents in the conflict.” Approximately 1,000 people dies in December 1989. In response to protests from the victims of the Prime Minister’s reform, George Costin, Secretary of State for the Problems of Revolutionaries, insists: “The harm has already been done. We introduced a law to buy people’s support. It is too late to turn back now.”
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