Economy under political pressure

Publish date: 22-02-2007
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After the moment of accession to the EU, it appears that all the sleeping monsters of Romanian politics have suddenly waken up and began wrestling with one another. Interesting and positive things happen in the economy: The National Bank of Romania (BNR) announces that last year foreign investments exceeded EUR 9 billion (more than we managed to pool over an entire decade), Ford wants to buy the Daewoo plant in Craiova, the big supermarket chains announce plans to continue the offensive of their investments and even to reach urban areas with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, real estate projects are mushrooming as well and the list could go on and on. But who’s to pay attention to such news? Little notes are overflowing into our lives. The war between the Premier and the President has ceased being a cold one any more; it turned into a full-fledged conflict fought with the pen or from behind film cameras. The media, unavoidably polarised by employers’ interests, is trying to pose as being animated by vigilante spirit only. The Prime Minister learns there is no use anymore to only talk about a friendly relationship with Dinu Patriciu and receives direct reinforcements from the Rompetrol trenches; Dorin Marian has become the PM’s prime adviser, after Patriciu learned it is dangerous to spend his money on telephone bills, placing his confidential man right in the anteroom of the premier.

On the other side, the President appears to grow increasingly lonelier; he continues to rely on his message reaching the electorate in the form he wanted, regardless of how journalists and analysts chew or abuse it. If he is misunderstood, he calls personally at live talk shows. The President however looses points when Elena Udrea rallies behind him.

Before the elections of 2004, I believed that in order to strengthen its framework structure, Romanian democracy should need a co-habitation between a President and a Premier to fight under different banners in elections. Now, I believe that no such cohabitation could get any sharper than this one, when we have a president and a Premier from the same alliance. Is this a war, like all the others, for access to resources? Is it the fever from before healing of such diseases as corruption, rigged auctions or influence peddling? Will there be any stage winners or will the denouement be deferred until the next elections? What is sure though is that too high a pressure for a long time is bound to weaken capillaries.

Romanian economy could be affected by such syndrome. The mood is too tense and for too long a time already. Henceforth, the winners will be those able to come up with solutions aimed at easing the tension.

Nine O'Clock

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