(Photo source) The revolving door is spinning again, and no one will weep. The sinister minister of culture Daniel Barbu has resigned - the best news of the week since the mining law was rejected by parliament on Monday. All other news has so far been groaznic so we could do with another cause for cheer.
Barbu's recent outrageous statement on Sunday (following an event at Teatrul National in Craiova) in which he said he would have preferred money used to fund HIV-AIDS patients to be spent on cultural events instead was "likely to trigger his resignation as minister," Crin Antonescu said yesterday. Apparently, Barbu was "shocked" when he realised the number of Shakespeare festivals that could be organised with the same amount of money. What a nice chap. And as ugly inside and he is out. He should have got the boot long ago in relation to his scandalous stance on Rosia Montana, the anti-RMGC protesters themselves whom he labelled neo-nazis, and a whole lot of other blunders besides.
UNOPA, an association supporting people affected by HIV/AIDS, condemned Barbu's remarks as giving "major offence to patients and to the experts fighting to save their lives".
Why he was ever given the job in the first place is beyond me, but the same goes for most of those fat behinds in the plush seats up there on Mount Olympescu - 28 of them, according to the DNA, with either criminal cases pending or currently serving time.
Last night, President Basescu urged PM Ponta, in S. Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral, to sack Barbu immediately since the sinistru' culturii's 'spiritual handicap' meant that he could not assume full responsibility for his own actions by resigning.
This morning, the Ministry issued a statement that Barbu, 'culture' minister since December 2012, "deeply regrets the unfortunate comparison" between the HIV prevention programme budget and that of the ministry he leads. He apologised to "all those who have been offended by the inappropriate statement." Too little too late, mate.
At 1pm Bucharest time, Ponta confirmed Barbu's resignation, but said he would only be sending Basescu the resignation document after talks with the aforementioned and Antonescu on the nomination for Barbu's replacement. Basescu must sign the decree for the vacancy. So far, three names from PNL are in circulation. The first and most likely candidate is Gigel Stirbu (oh no!), priest by profession, sub-prefect of Olt and state secretary to the Ministry of Culture. Another is Vlad Nistor, professor of history, president of the University of Bucharest Senate, state advisor to the Constantinescu team and director of Institutului de Studii Diplomatice. The third name is Ben-Oni Ardelean who was Pastor of Romania's Union of Baptists and a university professor at the Baptist Institute.
Romania has been blighted with a long list of appalling ministers of culture, almost all of them profoundly detrimental to the country's patrimony. Sadly, until things REALLY change, this bespectacled imbecile (whether political scientist, publisher, essayist, journalist, and professor at the University of Bucharest’s Faculty of Political Science or not, and regardless of how prolific he may have been in terms of publications) will probably be replaced by another of the same calibre. Today's government does not hold culture as a priority on any level.
Calatorie sprancenata, Daniel Barbu! Preferably into a wall at high speed.