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Corneliu Vadim Tudor
Corneliu Vadim Tudor (b. November 28, 1949 in Bucharest) is leader of the right-wing Popular Great Romania Party (Partidul România Mare). Previously, during the time in which the party was known as simply the Great Romania Party, he was known for his nationalist and xenophobic views.
In June 1990, with the approval and encouragement of Romanian leaders Ion Iliescu and Petre Roman, Tudor and his maître founded the national-communist weekly România Mare ("Great Romania"). In 1991, they founded the Great Romania Party, the platform of which Time magazine described as "a crude mixture of anti-Semitism, racism and nostalgia for the good old days of communism." To this, one ought to add ultra-nationalism, anti-Magyarism, and anti-gypsyism. România Mare has been sued for libel with stunning frequency, often for Tudor's own writings (which he usually - if not always - signs under a pseudonym). Between 1993 and 1996, he assembled his party into the leftist governmental coalition (the "Red Quadrilateral ").
Tudor's and his party's change from National-Communism to Ultra-Nationalism took place after 1996. In 1999, Dan Corneliu Hudici, a former reporter at România Mare, claimed there was a "secret blacklist" of dozens of politicians (including then-president Emil Constantinescu), journalists, and businessmen to be arrested if Tudor's party came to power. This allegation only increased his popularity. In the first round of the Romanian presidential elections on November 26,2000, Tudor finished second with 28% of the vote. (Four years earlier, he had come in fifth.) However, nearly all other parties backed Ion Iliescu in the December 11 runoff, and Tudor only picked up five additional percentage points, while Iliescu surged from 36% to 67%. In 2001, Al-Ahram called him the "Jean-Marie Le Pen of the Carpathians." .
Changing his convictions to Christian-Democracy, as of 2004 Tudor supports Romania's entry into the European Union and sustains its presence in NATO. In 2003, Tudor dramatically changed his stated views of Jews, Judaism, and the Holocaust. In a letter of February 1, 2004, he renounced certain earlier statements he had made as inappropriately anti-Semitic; further, he wrote, "I know that I was wrong to have denied the Holocaust in Romania, which happened between 1941 and 1944 under Antonescu's regime." Some have publicly questioned the sincerity and motivations of this change.  An Israeli well-known public relations company provides him consulting for the 2004 electoral campaigns. In the elections of 2004 he came out 3rd with a score of 11%, after Adrian Nastase and Traian Basescu.
The owner of a media business, Tudor doesn't use a bank account. He uses the entire amount of his senatorial wage for charitable donations.
- Born in Bucharest on November 28, 1949 into a working-class family. His father was, at one time a Baptist minister, but he professes the Romanian Orthodox religion.
- In his youth being (or pretending to be) an admirer of the French film director Roger Vadim, he chose the pseudonym Vadim. Since his maître Barbu was popular with movie actors and directors, Tudor tended to be friendly with stunt performers.
- Received a degree in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest in 1971.
- In 1975, he studied at the School for Reserve Officers in Bucharest.
- Eugen Barbu was honored with a Herder prize, which allowed Tudor to study history in Vienna, in 1978-1979.
- He worked as a journalist, editor, and poet under the communist regime; in the early 1970s, he edited the magazine România Liberă ("Free Romania") and after 1975 was an editor at the Agerpress agency.
- Has served as a Romanian Senator since 1992.
- On September 25, 2001, Tudor gave up his parliamentary immunity from prosecution.
- He has written at least 10 volumes of poetry and political commentary, at least one of which has been translated into French, English, and Arabic. He has also written for the stage.
- He is married with two children.
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