Regarding the economy-page article ``Romanian Reform Efforts Progress Only Ploddingly,'' March 9: As the author states, the ex-Communist leadership leans heavily on Western crutches in the form of millions of dollars from the United States and the International Monetary Fund.
It is a good sign that the country is climbing out of the hole that Nicolae Ceausescu and socialism dug in the land's fertile ground. However, I still believe that there is a long journey for the Romanians until they will be able to join the democratic world. While the article noted the economic advances, it ignored the Romanian interpretation of human relations. The leaders, most of them former Communists, are totally ignoring the rights of ethnic minorities. These minorities number in the millions.
Until the Romanian government grants political and religious rights to all its citizens (the Eastern Orthodox religion was forced on Uniate Catholics by Ceausescu's gang) as they said they would in the Helsinki agreement, the West cannot believe the Romanian state ``will weather its current difficulties,'' as the Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu optimistically declared. Stephen Torok, Warm Mineral Spring, Fla.
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