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Romania: Scandal Erupts Over Returning Property To Former Monarch

Prague, 9 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - One day after former King Michael ended a visit to Romania, a public scandal erupted over alleged intentions of the government to return to the former king some of the property confiscated after his forced abdication in 1947.

Governmental counselor Valentin Hossu Loghin was cited yesterday to have told the Spanish EFE news agency that the goverment has decided to give the former monarch a palace in Bucharest now used as governmental guest house, as well as to restitute to him his former hunting lodge in Savarsin in Transylvania.

According to the statement attributed to Loghin, these are to serve King Michael as residence places once he decides to re-establish his residence in Romania.

Loghin later denied having made the statement, but the opposition Party of Social Democracy in Romania and the Greater Romania Party officially protested. The government said it had made no such decision and would investigate if Loghin had made the statement.

Before he left Bucharest earlier this week, the former king, whose Romanian citizenship has been restored this year by the new center-right government, said he has not yet made up his mind whether to re-establish a permanent residence in Romania. He now lives in Switzerland.