Poverty Protest in front of Bucharest Parliament Daniel Mihailescu/Getty Images

Un populisme qui sert les riches

BUCAREST – Je me suis joint, voici peu, à une visite du Palais du Parlement à Bucarest, cette gigantesque folie, construite dans les années 1980 sur l’ordre du défunt dictateur Nicolae Ceauşescu, qui fut exécuté avant d’en voir l’achèvement. Les statistiques égrenées par notre guide étaient stupéfiantes : le troisième plus grand édifice au monde, plus 20 000 mètres carrés de tapis, un million de mètres cubes de marbre, 3 500 tonnes de cristal. L’énorme escalier de marbre avait dû être reconstruit plusieurs fois afin de mieux en adapter les marches au pas du dictateur, qui était de petite taille.

Pour bâtir cette monstruosité néoclassique, des maisons datant du XVIIIe siècle, des églises, des synagogues ont été rasées, tout un quartier de la ville, dont les 40 000 habitants ont été déplacés. Plus d’un million de personnes ont travaillé sans répit, jour et nuit, au projet, qui a presque ruiné l’État roumain, alors même que Ceauşescu privait volontiers ses sujets de chauffage et d’électricité. L’entretien du palais, dont 70% demeurent inutilisés, qui héberge aujourd’hui le parlement roumain et un musée d’art moderne, coûte encore plus de 6 millions de dollars chaque année.

La folie voulue par Ceauşescu est un monument à la mégalomanie. Mais elle n’a rien d’unique excepté la taille – quoique le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ait depuis tenté de se distinguer en ce domaine avec son nouveau palais d’Ankara. Il est d’ailleurs remarquable que les pensées des mégalomanes de ce genre se rejoignent, du moins pour ce qui concerne l’architecture. Les plans d’Hitler pour la reconstruction de Berlin témoignent du même goût pour le gigantisme néoclassique. Et l’intérieur du palais de Bucarest – du Louis XIV gonflé aux stéroïdes anabolisants – est à peine plus extravagant que les appartements de Donald Trump en Floride et à New York.

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