Thursday, 24 September 2009

Vision impairment

One watched for 20 years how, after the Revolution, the various layers of Romanian administration, Government departments, Parliament, business circles were harmoniously and consistently a vast chorus of utterly self-centred, short-sighted people who only and only tried to fill their pockets while in power.

Why would it then be a surprise to anyone that a German research group has placed Romania at the but-last position in the list of countries that took measures and/or have a vision against the economic crisis.

After all, why would people think about measures against the crisis and have any vision whatsoever about the country's future, if the same people have spent every minute of their political and business life simply squandering the resources of the country? In a country with unique and considerable natural and cultural treasures, they couldn't even make use of these in tourism, which is in deplorable state (unless we count the EU millionaires being brought in by organised Mafia to hunting parties where even protected animals, in the perfect Ceausescu era's fashion, are served in front of the shotguns of paying 'guests'). Politicians like Petre Roman and Attila Verestoy have, after all, also sold illegally vast amounts of timber cut from forests that now causes catastrophic flash floods. Especially Verestoy, who is known fondly as "God's Chainsaw"... for a very good reason.

It really is a matter of absolute and perfect state of self-absorbed egocentricity, where any means are employed to rob the country blind. Irony is that when it comes to EU funds, they can't even steal properly - the absorbing of EU funds is remarkably bad in Romania and everything is tangled up in such bureaucracy, that you have to pay layers of consultants to get anywhere near the funds.

Other funds, in the meantime, are diverted and stolen immediately, just think of the amount of money poured into Romania for infrastructure development (where again the country is in the last position in the EU rankings - and 20 years of motorway building led to few tens of kilometers being 'almost ready' while all the money disappeared) or anti-corruption agencies (which don't really do anything and never will).

A Deloitte study has shown also that 70% of the subjects considered EU funds difficult to access, and the overall pessimism regarding any chance of recovery is understandable when Romania can proudly show a 125% fall in consumer spending - this is the most dramatic fall in the EU.

What is remarkable is that this, to some in the press and on the street, is still surprising. Maybe 20 years of consistent patterns in the economic and political reality of the country were not enough for many to acquire some eyesight?... let alone vision...

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