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Monday, December 06, 2004
Business in Romania blog
Quite an interesting analysis about Romania under the new perspective with the elections' results in mind is features at PINR.

Here are some excerpts:

"On November 28, Romania held general elections for its presidency and parliament. On November 29, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso announced that the European Union intends to sign an accession agreement with Romania in 2005 that would put the country on track to full membership in 2007. The two events are closely linked; the major issue in the electoral campaign concerned which of the two major candidates was best equipped to lead Romania into Europe successfully."

"Along with and in consequence of its economic disadvantages, Romania has been plagued by public corruption -- Transparency International estimates that people spend 10 percent of their earnings on bribes -- and a slow pace of market reform. Its politics have been dominated by the successor of the Communist Party -- the Social Democratic Party (P.S.D.) -- which was led by Ion Iliescu, who has been president of Romania for eleven of the last sixteen years. Under Iliescu, the former Communist elite benefited from privatization of state industries and kept control through a support base in the impoverished peasantry that feared even worse immiseration if the meager social safety net were to be removed by market reformers."

"As Romania stumbles through a period of political incoherence, if not yet serious instability, its progress towards E.U. accession in 2007 remains on track. E.U. Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen had planned to complete Romania's accession talks on November 24 -- on the eve of the general elections -- but finalization was delayed for "technical reasons," after complaints that it would give a boost to the P.S.D. campaign. An accession agreement, however, is not yet in serious doubt, although there remain outstanding issues on steel subsidies, politicization of the judiciary, corruption and government influence on the media, among others."

"In embracing Romania with misgivings, the E.U. probably commits itself to pouring large amounts of extra aid into the country, if for nothing else than to tighten the security of its borders. Europe will most likely pay for its acquisition, fill out its current projected borders and, in the process, become more a power bloc than the community envisioned by its proponents."

Posted by Mihai Botea : 12/06/2004 11:43:00 am Romania - Europe's New Sick Man
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