(Reuters) - Romania renamed a square in central Bucharest after former King Michael to celebrate his 91st birthday on Thursday, 65 years after Soviet-backed communists forced him to abdicate.
Although a return to monarchy is not on the public agenda in the EU member state, Romanian politicians are divided over their attitudes towards Michael.
While right-wing President Traian Basescu has criticized the former king for leaving the throne and last year did not attend Michael's first speech in parliament since his 1947 abdication, a leftist government showed support for the former monarch.
"Let's send him the warmest birthday wishes and sincere congratulations for what he did for Romania throughout history," said Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who is favored to win a December election against Basescu's rightist allies.
"King Michael I is a living symbol of Romania," Ponta said on his Facebook page.
King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania.