Through their traditional religious content, the holidays of Christmas, New Year and those of the next few days symbolise each time the future and, as a consequence, children are more than ever in the spotlight of public attention. Because they are the first symbol of the future. The future shape and destiny of a family, but also of a larger collectivity, also a national one, can be predicted starting from the present status of the youngest generations. This is why futurology studies everywhere often resort to the multilateral analysis of the youngest generations, of the social condition specific to families, the relations between parents and children, and the more the evaluation of these factors is ample and precise, the more frequently confirmed by life are the scientific conclusions thus reached. It is not the economic-social crises or the possible political-administrative successes, but the condition of young generations that influences the future of any state and national structure.
Seen through this lens, Romania’s future looks ever gloomier now. Because young generations are increasingly underprivileged today. We have the highest child mortality rate in the EU and, because this tragedy repeats every year, our rulers have generally become immune to this national tragedy. Without admitting such an alienation, some ministers even rejoice at this tragedy, because it saves money which otherwise should be paid as allowances to these children. When they are criticised by the media for this poorly masked satisfaction, they excuse themselves saying that “it is not us, the rulers, but poverty that chokes Romania.” Like they were no co-authors of the present poverty which has fallen upon more than 50 pc of Romania’s population for many years.
Romania has conditions of weather, air, soil, underground, water superior to many other countries of the EU, yet the poverty that caught in its grips much of its population is the most terrible in Europe. The fierce and unfair competition which Romania is subject to in the EU has totally minimised or destroyed its industry, mining, rail and water transport, scientific research and many other economic and social sectors of strategic importance, along with the vital education and culture. Thus, unemployment reaches new peaks each year, despite the fact that governments of all orientations have the habit of masking it. Because of unemployment, emigration has exceeded 15 pc of the total Romanian population, and children are worst hit by this phenomenon. Left alone at home, at best in the approximate care of old and ill grandparents, these children whose parents emigrated in search of the daily bread make the object of the most terrible consequences.
The first of these consequences, and the most severe of all on a long term, for our entire society, is school abandonment. This anti-state and anti-national problem reaches 20 pc today, being stimulated precisely by our educational practices. One of them, enforced several years ago, resulted in the closure of schools from remote villages, forces children to commute in order to go to school in a neighbouring locality. In theory, a number of minibuses should be made available for these commuting children. But, through another illogical government measure – the administrative decentralisation – the respective minibuses (those still in working condition) were made available to local mayors. And with many of these mayors obtaining these offices on political criteria, rather than because of their education, they use these minibuses like local satraps. So schoolchildren are still forced to commute by foot in order to have access to one of the fundamental human rights: education. Hence the massive school abandonment in present-day Romania.
And precisely the gate of school abandonment is the entry point of many other mishaps for the young generation. One of these is the increasing consumption of drugs. Drug consumption has descended to the age of 9-10. The official figures currently released, of 600,000 drug consumers, including 150,000 minors, are challenged frequently and with arguments as being obsolete. Drug consumption is more widespread, but also more rigorously dissimulated. Because drug trafficking reaches big proportions as well as a high degree of subtlety of the masks under which it thrives, especially among minors. This is why a first objective of the anti-drug strategy is discovering the trafficking methods and networks. Their variety and complexity is known as being of eastern inspiration and western amplification. Unfortunately, Romania is a gate of European drug transit to the west, but also from the west. This is the source of the big tragedies of our young generations. The number of HIV infection cases increases and is ever more difficult to control, also because the medical treatment of this diseases costs EUR 10,000 a year for each patient. The difficult situation also derives from the fact that, under the aspect of the so-called ‘ethnobotanical substances,’ drugs become more diversified and more difficult to control.
Thus, through the freedom of action of drugs, we witness other tragedies of young generations, including juvenile delinquency, the lack of protection of minors, hence their exploitation through illegal labour and human trafficking. Among the causes of these serious problems there are poverty and illiteracy, the dissolution of families through the departure of one or both spouses to work abroad, and problems that pertain to administration. The violence in rural areas, for instance, is also caused by the closing of some police and gendarme precincts, for so-called “spending cuts.” Plus, condemning the cases of violence, human trafficking and other such crimes becomes increasingly relative, given that Romanian prisons are overcrowded and the state spends for prisons more than for creches and kindergartens. Of course, under the pressure of the EU, which compels Romania to provide optimum living standards to prisoners, rather than to the children without parents. Hence the preference of some Romanian lawmakers for pardoning convicts, instead of the right to life and education of young generations.