Richest Romanian dies at 91

Newsroom 02/09/2008 | 15:36

Born on June 20, 1917, in Lugoj, Dragan was a businessman, professor, historian and writer with a PhD in corporate law, which he studied at the University of Bucharest. In 1941 he was granted a scholarship in Italy at the Rome University where he studied political science and economics. The same year he founded a company that exported Romanian oil to Italy. In 1948, he founded the gas distribution company Butan Gas.
After the communist party came to power, he was forbidden to set foot in Romania for 30 years.
Allegedly a supporter of the legionnaire movement in Romania, Dragan was accused of ties with members of this movement He later became an unofficial collaborator of Ceausescu and the communist regime, which gave him access to documents about Marshall Ion Antonescu, under whose rule Romania was an ally of Germany during the Second World War. He later wrote a book shedding a positive light on leader Ion Antonescu. After the anti-communist revolution in 1989, he financed Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the extreme right Greater Romania Party, to start the newspaper Romania Mare.
He was also the founder of several foundations and invested in several media outlets. In 1967 he laid the foundations of the Dragan European Foundation which has branches in various European cities. The foundation aims to help to disseminate Romanian culture and values in Europe.
He also founded two publishing houses: Nagard in Italy and Europa Nova in Romania, plus the Dragan European University in Lugoj. He also invested in a television station, Radio NovaFm, the weekly Redesteptarea and a local daily Renasterea Banateana.
For several years, between 2002-2004 and in 2006, he headed Capital magazine's Top 300 Richest Romanians.
Dragan was a rather private figure, so little is known about him. His death has set the scene for a battle over his estate. He married 22-year-old Daniela Veronica Gusa when he was 78 and the couple had three sons together: Stefan Constantin (9) and twins Alexandru Eugen and Tudor Sebastian (7). Dragan also has an illegitimate son from a previous relationship, Mike Fink, born in 1971, who complained that after his father's marriage, he could not get in touch with him. Moreover, Fink said that a court in Germany ruled that he was the biological son of Dragan.
Currently, his business is administered by his wife who has announced that she wishes to make investments in green energy and real estate in Romania.
Otilia Haraga

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