Romania's elite rush to confess links to Securitate

ROMANIA'S leading political and media figures are rushing to confess that they were informers for the feared Securitate as the nation prepares for the files of the old secret police to be opened.

Several well-known politicians and journalists in recent days have admitted co-operating with the Securitate - desperate to pre-empt disclosures that would reveal their role as spies for the former Communist regime.

More than 16 years after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship, a mountain of more than 1.3 million files have finally been surrendered by Bucharest's present-day spy agencies to a truth commission, the National Council for the Search of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS). Some historians believe that 700,000 Romanians collaborated with the secret police. Under intense public pressure, a string of prominent Romanians have already visited the CNSAS offices in central Bucharest to inspect their files. Several emerged to confess that they had helped the Securitate, though some said they had little choice.

Mona Musca, a centre-Right MP, former minister and campaigner for the expulsion of ex-communists from high office, has admitted signing a pledge to report on foreign students while working at Timisoara University in 1977.

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