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Ma誰danezi A political Documentation highlighting how Twenty One years on Romania still faces the problem of thousands of dangerous stray dogs known in Romania as Ma誰danezi (Street Dogs)


CEAUŞIMA Leader of Romania from 1965 until he was overthrown and killed in the Revolution of 1989. After becoming President in 1974, Ceauşescu began to run the Country in a militant fashion. Ceauşescu’s politcal independence from the Soviet Union and his protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 drew the interest of Western powers, who briefly believed he was an anti-soviet maverick. Ceauşescu was able to borrow heavily from the West to finance economic development programs, but these loans ultimatley devestated the Country’s finances. In 1982 he ordered most of Romania’s products to be exported in order to pay off a ballooned foreign debt due to his mismanagment. The lack of agricultural and industrial resources crippled the country and the lack of food, energy and other basic necessities drove prople to the brink of starvation. The population finally rebelled when Ceauşescu ordered his forces to fire on antigovernment demonstrators in Timisoara. On December 22, 1989 he and his wife fled the capital by helicopter only to be captured and on Christmas Day they were both executed by a firing squad.

Sys tem ati zat ion Systematisation in Romania refers to a program of urban planning carried out under Nicolae Ceauşescu Communist Regime. Systematisation began in 1974, this consisted largely of the demolition and reconstruction of existing villages, towns and cities. With the stated goal of tuning Romania into a “multiaterally developed socialist society” Respecting neither traditional, rural values nor a positive ethic of urbanism, systematization is now almost universally agreed to have been a disaster for Romania and a major contributing factor to the uncommonly violent fall of the Ceauşescu regime. In the mid-1980s the concept of systematization found new life, applied primarily to the area of the nation’s capital, Bucharest. Nearby villages were demolished, often in service of large scale projects such as a canal from Bucharest to the Danube - projects which were later abandoned by Romania’s post-communist government. Eight square kilometers in the historic center of Bucharest were leveled. The demolition campaign erased many monuments including 3 monasteries, 20 churches, 3 synagogues, 3 hospitals, 2 theaters and a noted Art Deco sports stadium. This also involved evicting 40,000 people with only a single day’s notice and relocating them to new homes, in order to make way for the grandiose Centrul Civic and the immense Palace of the People, claimed to be the second largest building in the world behind the Pentagon.


‘Ceauşima’ is a vernacular word construction in Romanian, sarcastically linking Ceauşescu to Hiroshima.

Homeless dogs appeared during Ceausescu’s dictatorship, when houses with gardens and fences were destroyed and replaced with apartments with very small rooms forbidden to house animals. This forced people to keep their dogs on the streets, where they repopulated into todays crisis.

It is estimated that there are between

50,000 &

200,000 Living in Romania’s Capital Bucharest

souvenirs of a communist past It has been twenty one years since the fall of Communism in Romania, but still no suitable or effective solution has been made to deal with the strays. In 2010, 13,200 of Bucharest’s two million inhabitants were victims of dog related bite wounds. The state now is spending £1.13 million a year dealing with the problems caused by the dogs, and an entire hospital department has been dedicated to bite victims. Romanias solution to this problem initially was euthenasia, according to new legislation, adult dogs held as refugees which are not ‘claimed or adopted’ wihtin a period of 30 days, can be ‘put to death or kept in shelters’ however this provoked to much controversy amongst the people and was abandonned. In 2001 a programme was implented for the capture, sterilisation and eventual adoption of the strays. But this was far from a success either as the inhabitants who had adopted, ended up releasing them back onto the streets. It quickly became clear that the dogs were not suited to domestic life. While the risk the dogs present continues to provoke fear among many, a sizeable proportion of Bucharest’s inhabitants are against the extreme measures used to deal with the strays. ‘Since the fall of the communist dictatorship twenty-one years ago, the majority of Romanians have shared the impression that they have been abandoned by a corrupt state and this feeling means people identify with the stray dogs,’