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I think that 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' was mentally taxing, if only because I had to go to a Christmas party shortly after I had wrapped photography in Romania at two in the morning as the Ghost Rider. The invitation had a Christmas ornament on it with Ghost Rider's face on it as a tree.
The saddest country I went to was Romania, years ago, during Ceausescu's rule.
We are the country that has attracted the biggest volume of foreign investment in southeastern Europe in the past few years. Romania doesn't need to beat itself, believing that it is a second-class citizen.
Romania, which had the worst dictator in Eastern Europe, Ceausescu, he was a darling of the West. The United States and Britain loved him. He was supported until the last minute.
One of the most difficult times in my life was when I escaped from Romania in November of 1989.
I was born in Romania and later lived in Vienna, Austria, for a few years, and I eventually made my way over to New York in '95.
I came here from Romania when I was 12 years old. I had an accent. High school was tough a little bit for a few years. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be good-looking. I wanted to be popular. I spent a lot of time thinking, 'What are these people going to think of me?'
I ask you to stand by my side in the next five years. We shall live a good life in a Romania of all Romanians.
In Romania, of course, gymnastics is among the most popular sports, and my parents had a dream of escaping the Ceausescu regime and giving their child a better life. So they came to the United States and put me in gymnastics.
Of course, I grew up in Communist Romania, but I am happy to say that now our country is democratic, and prospering, since the revolution in 1989.
Back in Romania, always I was struggling to compete with Vladislav Rastorotsky, the great Russian coach of Lyudmila Turishcheva. He was a powerful coach, internationally. I took him like the major challenge of my life, and pretty soon I'm beating him and we are pushing each other so hard, so fierce. But out of the arena, we are friends.
In Romania, we have pledged to create a modern public service: well-educated, appropriately rewarded and above all, de-politicized.
Even the National Bank of Romania doesn't have the huge resources needed to intervene in the market and keep the leu at an acceptable level, because they're drawing close to a floor below which the bank's reserves can't drop. The central bank has to wait for a moment of calm to efficiently conduct its interventions.
The post-totalitarian malady has taken its most acute form in Romania. And it has taken place for very specific reasons. The repression here has been more cruel, more brutal, than in other states caught in the inferno of a 'socialist paradise.'
The increase in salaries at private companies has exploded, and Romania also faces a labor shortage, especially in construction. We believe that the Romanian market will remain an incentive, so that migration will not be an issue.
Romania will always defend the Roma's right to move freely in Europe. They are European citizens and as long as there is no evidence they broke the law they should enjoy the same rights of any European citizen.
Romania will not be able to evolve if it continues to take cruel decisions against sensitive creatures, which are under the protection of European law.
Romania can be a linchpin in delivering gas to its neighbors and even become an energy exporter for its neighbors across Central and Eastern Europe.
The United States is the only country left now, bar Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, that has this all-government system.
I am very familiar with Hungary, because I grew up in Romania, which borders it.
Romania and Bulgaria were particularly irresponsible. If they wanted to diminish their chances of joining Europe they could not have found a better way.
For as long as I can remember, my mother went to church every single Sunday. She was born and raised in Romania as a person with limited means, and faith was something she could rely on - something that was free.
Many Europeans are confused by the terms Roma and Romania. They wonder if it is an ethnicity or a nation of 22 million citizens.
There is no such thing as several Romanias, but only politicians who divide Romania depending on the interests of their parties and their clout.
More than ever, Romania now needs to see that a force exists that puts an end to Ponta and Antonescu's abuses and coup d'etat. This force is none other than the Romanian people.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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