29 APRIL 1989, Page 27

Bucharest is better

Sir: You share Doughty Street with the Dickens lovers (of whom I am one), so Perhaps you will have realised that much of the ill-tempered criticism of President Nicolae Ceausescu which has appeared in Your columns has been foolish, to say the least of it. What, indeed, would Mr Micaw- ber have said, of the only country in a foolishly indebted world which has suc- ceeded in repaying its foreign currency debt. Of course, this has been done at the expense of current living standards — before the spending spree started, I re- member how much higher they were in Bucharest than in London in 1968 — but not at the expense of tropical forests, naming no names. Some disgruntled peo- ple, of the sort who would be writing for the Guardian in the UK, complained, but that is to be expected. I am only surprised that you took their part.

Roy MacGregor-Hastie

Chairman, The British Association for Romanian Studies