Author Topic: Post-communist coinage of Romania  (Read 462 times)

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Offline <k>

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Post-communist coinage of Romania
« on: September 28, 2020, 11:52:59 PM »


Map of Romania.



After victory in World War 2, Stalin, the leader of the communist Soviet Union, used his power and influence to instal communist rule in many of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. These then became satellite states of the Soviet Union. They also provided a buffer zone for the Soviet Union against invasion by the West. This did not go unnoticed in Western Europe. Winston Churchill stated in his "Sinews of Peace" address of 5 March 1946, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri:

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow."
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Offline <k>

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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 12:08:00 AM »


Flag of the Socialist Republic of Romania, 1965 to 1989.



In 1965 Nicolae Ceaușescu succeeded to the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party as general secretary. As Romania's foreign debt increased sharply between 1977 and 1981 (from US$3 billion to $10 billion), the influence of international financial organisations—such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank—grew, gradually conflicting with Ceaușescu's autocratic rule. He eventually initiated a policy of total reimbursement of the foreign debt by imposing austerity steps that impoverished the population and exhausted the economy. The process succeeded in repaying all of Romania's foreign government debt in 1989.

The other communist leaders of Central and Eastern Europe regarded Ceaușescu as an embarrassment. He was notoriously corrupt and greedy, and he and his wife Elena enjoyed a life of excessive luxury while the population suffered. The Soviet leaders joked that Stalin had invented 'socialism within one country', but the Ceaușescus enjoyed socialism within one family.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union began to falter. By the 1980s, the neo-Stalinist command economy of the Soviet Union (USSR) had become sclerotic and was failing. Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to introduce democratic and economic reforms from 1985 onward. However, the Soviet system was essentially unreformable. Eventually Gorbachev realised that he could not afford his Soviet Empire and decided to set the countries of the communist bloc free. He encouraged them to hold free elections, though he was reportedly surprised at how poorly the communists performed in these elections.

Some of the communist bloc countries were still run by hardline neo-Stalinist communists, and these - particularly East Germany - resented and resisted Gorbachev pleas. However, the oppressed citizens of the communist bloc sensed that things were changing and began demonstrations against their communist rulers.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 12:17:03 AM »


The collapse of communism in Europe.



1989 was a momentous year, as one by one, communist leaderships in Europe caved in to pressure from their citizens on the streets and gave up the leading role of the communist party. Democratic elections were then held.

For a while, Romania seemed to be immune from these pressures, so harsh was its dictatorship.

From Wikipedia:

The secret police, the Securitate, had become so omnipresent that it made Romania essentially a police state. Free speech was limited and opinions that did not favour the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) were forbidden. The large numbers of Securitate informers made organised dissent nearly impossible. The regime deliberately played on this sense that everyone was being watched, to make it easier to bend the people to the Party's will. Even by Soviet Bloc standards, the Securitate was exceptionally brutal.

Ceaușescu created a cult of personality, with weekly shows in stadiums or on streets in different cities dedicated to him, his wife and the Communist Party. There were several megalomaniac projects, such as the construction of the grandiose House of the Republic (today the Palace of the Parliament)—the biggest palace in the world—the adjacent Centrul Civic and a never-completed museum dedicated to Communism and Ceaușescu, today the Casa Radio. These and similar projects drained the country's finances and aggravated the already dire economic situation. Thousands of Bucharest residents were evicted from their homes, which were subsequently demolished to make room for the huge structures.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2020, 12:25:05 AM »


Fear shows on Ceauşescu's face, as he is booed during a public speech on 21 December 1989.



From Wikipedia:

As Ceauşescu prepared to go on a state visit to Iran, his Securitate ordered the arrest and exile of a local Hungarian Calvinist minister, László Tőkés, on 16 December 1989, for sermons that offended  the communist regime. Tőkés was seized, but only after serious rioting erupted. Timișoara was the first city to react on 16 December and civil unrest continued for five days.

Returning from Iran, Ceauşescu ordered a mass rally in his support outside Communist Party headquarters in Bucharest on 21 December. However, to his shock the crowd booed and jeered him as he spoke. Years of repressed dissatisfaction boiled to the surface throughout the Romanian populace and even among elements in Ceauşescu's own government, and the demonstrations spread throughout the country.

At first the security forces obeyed Ceauşescu's orders to shoot protesters. However, on the morning of 22 December, the Romanian military suddenly changed sides. This came after it was announced that defense minister Vasile Milea had committed suicide after being unmasked as a traitor. Believing Milea had actually been murdered, the rank-and-file soldiers went over virtually en masse to the revolution. Army tanks began moving towards the Central Committee building with crowds swarming alongside them. The rioters forced open the doors of the Central Committee building in an attempt to capture Ceauşescu and his wife, Elena, coming within a few meters of the couple. However, Ceauşescu and his wife managed to escape in a helicopter that was waiting for them on the roof of the building.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 12:46:53 AM »


Soldiers in Bucharest who joined the Romanian anti-communist revolution.



Amid the violence and chaos of the revolutionary situation in Romania that followed the flight of Ceauşescu, many Romanians cut out the communist arms from the centre of the Romanian flag and brandished it as a symbol of freedom.

See: Romanian Revolution.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2020, 12:53:26 AM »


Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife receiving an unwanted Christmas present: execution by firing squad.



From Wikipedia:

Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife were eventually captured in Târgoviște. They were tried by a drumhead military tribunal on charges of genocide, damage to the national economy, and abuse of power to execute military actions against the Romanian people. They were convicted on all charges, sentenced to death, and immediately executed on Christmas Day 1989, and were the last people to be condemned to death and executed in Romania; before capital punishment was abolished permanently on 7 January 1990.

As the saying goes, it couldn't have happened to a nicer couple. :D  The momentous year of 1989, that had seen the fall of the Berlin wall, ended with the televised death of a vile dictator in Romania.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 01:00:01 AM »


The flag of Romania.



The Romanian Revolution was the bloodiest of the revolutions of 1989: over 1,000 people died, one hundred of which were children, the youngest only one month old. As democracy was restored, so too was the old flag and associated symbols.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2020, 01:05:01 AM »


Romania's traditional coat of arms was restored in 1992.



From Wikipedia:

The shield surmounting the eagle is divided into five fields, one for each historical province of Romania with its traditional symbol:

golden aquila (eagle) - Wallachia (Muntenia).

aurochs - Moldavia (Moldova) and Bukovina (Bucovina).

dolphins - Seaside: Bessarabia/Budjak (1867–1878) and Dobruja (after 1878).

a black aquila, seven castles, a sun and a moon - Transylvania (Transilvania), Maramureș and Crișana.

lion and Trajan's bridge - Oltenia and the Banat.

Romania’s coat of arms has as a central element the golden aquila holding an Orthodox cross. Traditionally, this eagle appears in the arms of the Argeș county, the town of Pitești and the town of Curtea de Argeș. It stands for the “nest of the Basarabs”, the nucleus around which Wallachia was organised.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2020, 01:19:19 AM »



The first coin of the post-communist series was the 10 lei, commemorating the date of the revolution.

It was minted in 1990, 1991 and 1992, with the appropriate year shown on the reverse.


The coin had a diameter of 23 mm and was made of nickel-clad steel.

The obverse design showed the Romanian flag and an olive branch.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2020, 01:22:51 AM »



The reverse design of the 10 lei coin featured a stylised olive wreath.

The design was very similar to that on the 15 bani coin, last issued in 1966.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2020, 01:33:34 AM »



A new 20 lei coin was issued in 1991.

The coin had a diameter of 25.1 mm and was made of brass-plated steel.


The obverse design featured Stephen III of Moldavia (1433-1504).
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2020, 01:35:17 AM »



The simple reverse design featured a wreath of stylised oak leaves.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2020, 01:42:08 AM »



The 50 lei coin of the series was introduced in 1991.

The coin had a diameter of 26.1 mm and was made of brass-plated steel.

The obverse design featured Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1820-73), Prince of Moldavia and Wallachia.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2020, 01:43:52 AM »



The simple reverse design featured two stylised laurel branches.
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Re: Post-communist coinage of Romania
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2020, 01:52:18 AM »



The 100 lei coin of the series was introduced in 1991.

The coin had a diameter of 29.1 mm and was made of nickel-plated steel.

The obverse design featured Mihai the Brave (1558-1601), Prince of Moldavia and Wallachia.
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