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Opinion poll: 61% of Romanians consider communism a good idea

61% of Romanians consider communism a good idea at present, as against 53% four years ago, an opinion poll made by CSOP and the Institute Investigating Communism Crimes and the Memory of Romanian Exile (IICMER) shows. Half of the people interviewed say that before December 1989 life was better in Romania, while 23% consider it was worse. According to investigation results, 25% of Romanians say that Ceausescu did good things for Romania while 15% say he did bad things.

General perception on communism:
* people have a general positive perception on communism: 61% of Romanians consider now that communism is a good idea as against 53% of Romanians four years ago
* four years ago a similar study showed that 12% of Romanians considered communism a good idea well applied, 41% a good idea badly applied and 34% considered it a bad idea
* at present 1$ consider it a good idea well applied, 47% a good idea badly applied and 27% a bad idea
* the main reasons for which respondents said it was better before are: the existence of jobs (62%), the living standard (26%) and the fact that most people owned a home (19%)
* the main negative aspects mentioned by those who evaluate communism negatively compared to the present are lack of freedom in general (69%), the poverty degree (shortage of food, utilities and public services) and the lack of information (11%).

Perception on communist leaders

* as for the perception on the two political leaders of the communist period, Nicolae Ceausescu and Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej, the former is better known than the latter and his image is a better one
* 25% of people say Nicolae Ceausescu did good things for the country as against 15% who say he did bad things
* most people consider that both leaders did both good and bad things (half of respondents believe that about Nicolae Ceausescu) and consider that history books should show that.

Communist repression

*13% of respondents say they had to suffer from the communist regime: 3% personally, 6% somebody from their families while 4% say both them and someone from the family had to suffer
* the main form of the negative impact was the food shortage and the lack of services (47%), the rest concerning the infringement of human rights and citizen freedom (confiscation of properties and goods – 11%, political arrests -6%)
* the responsibility of repression is attributed relatively equally to those with leading positions within the communist party and security apparatus (45% and 44%)
* the question of access to Security files is not important for half of respondents, 40%mentioning that it is important or very important.

Perception on memory of communist period

* less than half of respondents consider a National Museum of Communist Dictatorship in Romania is necessary, a quarter say it is not necessary and the rest did not respond
* half of respondents consider a national day commemorating victims of the communist regime in Romania is necessary, a quarter think such a day is not necessary. Those who answered positively mentioned 22 December (22% of respondents) and 23 August (10%).

1133 people were interviewed for the study. The error was 2.9% with a probability of 0.95%. Interviews were made based on a standard questionnaire at the respondents’ homes. Data were gathered over 27 August and 2 September as part of CSOP omnibus.