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EU: Warn To Romania On Democracy

Brussels, 4 December 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission today joined the United States in warning Romania that any deviation from basic principles of democracy would harm the country's relations with the international community. Jean-Christophe Filori, the European Commission's spokesman on enlargement, today said in Brussels that all candidate countries must demonstrate their respect for human rights and democracy.

"I don't know why we should repeat these specific basic principles which are laid down in the Copenhagen criteria, just ahead of elections. But it goes without saying that cooperation with candidate countries depends on their ability to respect human rights and democracy."

Last Saturday, President Bill Clinton said in a message to Romania that the U.S. expected Romania's new government to respect rule of law and human and minority rights.

In the second round of Romania's presidential elections, the ex-communist Ion Iliescu faces Corneliu Vadim Tudor, who has voiced ultra-nationalist and xenophobic views. In first round of voting last month Tudor won 28 percent of the vote against Iliescu's 36 percent.