Should you happen to visit Western Romania, do stop in Oradea for a walk. This is a city worth visiting simply because it has so many hidden treasures. Forget multiculturalism and architecture. Take garbage for instance: you’ll soon find out that in this city, garbage is simply a stinky metaphor.
Born in Oradea. Read André Gide’s The Counterfeiters in Cluj. And still, last week my hometown pretty much made the headlines in global news with the fabulous fake Euro factory from Oradea producing millions of Euros for the Italian mob.
The Romanian police seized as much as 13 million fake Euros from a factory on the outskirts of Oradea and about 55,000 euros which were previously dumped by the mobsters in the city’s garbage heap. They also helped the Italian police seize about 19 million Euros heading for Italy the same day.
Now the thing is: when mobsters heard that they had been tracked, they started to burn the fake bills and dump it in the garbage. The media covered the big news early in the morning and throughout the day which easily stirred the imagination of some citizens and also of the garbage workmen.
The fake and filthy Euro bills were not only dumped in one place, they were probably scattered across a wide perimeter. And there were plenty of folks who – on hearing the news – headed straight to the garbage dump and found their fortune…
This week there is already evidence that fake Euros did enter Oradea and probably went further into the EU. I always thought Oradea had a head start when it comes to European affairs.