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Romania: Pressure Caused Spy Chief's Resignation

Bucharest, 25 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A spokesman for Virgil Magureanu, the head of Romania's intelligence service, says Magureanu tendered his resignation yesterday because of domestic and foreign "pressure."

Magureanu's spokesman, Nicolae Ulieru, today told Bucharest radio that the resignation was the result of "pressure by groups in Romania and abroad" to replace the heads of the country's intelligence services. Magureanu's resignation must be approved by reformist President Emil Constantinescu before it becomes official.

Magureanu, a former officer of the communist-era Securiate secret police, is considered by observers as a key player in the overthrow of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. He was the only leading figure of the revolt to have kept his original job.