8.9 C
Bucharest
October 5, 2022
EDITORIAL

Drought, Mafia… and Justice

Weather forecasts vie for public attention with political scandals lately, given the stifling heat that renders futile even the weekend escapes to mountain or seaside resorts. Heat waves interspersed by heavy downpours hail and thunderstorms. It is exactly the thunderbolts that set the vegetation of Carpathians peaks on smouldering fire from northern Moldavia to Banat, despite fire fighter and helicopter interventions, going down to the sub-Carpathian areas turning hundreds of hectares of forests, pastures and sunflower crops into ashes, prompting residents from 12 counties including Covasna, Gorj, Sibiu and Suceava to wage what so far appears to be a losing battle.The prolong drought only makes the matter worse, not to mention the hail spells, which, along with the drought lead to 80 pc of the maize crops being destroyed, following a similar fate with that of rape and sunflower crops before them.

Even the Galati Botanical Garden has severely suffered from the unwelcome effects of hail that destroyed over 60 pc of its exotic plant species. Farmers demand that government institute a state of necessity considering the massive destructions of vegetables, fruits and various other agricultural cultures suffered by individual farmers, most of whom are lacking insurance policies to protect them from such calamities and are likely to be deprived by state assistance as well. Same for the cars and homes wrecked by fallen trees in the counties of Neamt, Bistrita-Nasaud and others.Political decision makers blame it all on global warming, which, while a reality, can nonetheless be countered to a large extent. Prof to it stands the actions by government of other Southern European countries, which have managed to avoid its negative consequences. Global warming therefore points the finger at the recklessness shown by Romanian governments of all hues, whose corruption and cronyism are mostly responsible for the disaster of the natural ecosystem in Romania, including the decline of forests that a mere 30 years ago, spread across nearly 30 pc of Romania’s soil, a protection factor against heavy flooding and devastating hail, and are now destroyed to a large extents by massive and abusive tree-cuts.It all got to the point that the buying of votes is allowed with the tacit nod to wood being stolen from the woods. And this happens at the initiative of local forestry authorities, obviously, that has been long suspected as incompetent, but also amid flourishing corruption. Many of those guilty blame the plunder on the irresponsible restitution of forested land, given the ownership deeds being released without the owners taking possession of their property. This led to the said land no longer being state property, but not being owned by its actual owners as well, a no man’s land pillaged by both thieves and the alleged owners in permanent competition for who cuts more and swiftest. This is how at least 1.7-1.8 M hectares of forests have been plundered during the past few decades, with tragic economic and climate consequences.Such reckless attitudes favoured by political cronyism also wreck havoc in agriculture as well, where the prolonged drought leads to steep foodstuff price hikes, which in turn will boost the tragedy of Romania being the poorest country in the European Union. If drought, a natural phenomenon, cannot be avoided, its effects could have by means of irrigations. It was only 23 years ago that Romania prided itself in having an optimum such system, destroyed to a large extent once agricultural cooperatives disbanded. And even so, the private lots could have been irrigated unless for government corruption and political cronyism that made irrigations the subject of huge financial speculations. Even 240,000 hectares of tillable land could be irrigated of the more the 3 M hectares overall if those who took over the irrigation infrastructure from the state would agree to do so, which they don’t, as they oppose “cheap irrigation”.All these manoeuvres with serious consequence on the price of flour, corn flour, cooking oil, fruits and vegetables, among others, confirms the fact it is neither the Romanian state, nor Parliament or Government that hold the power in this country but local mafia bosses, of whom some make it to parliament or basic state institutions., who act in their own interest, and in contempt of local communities they are suppose to represent, which they not only don’t but blackmail as well. It is this cruel reality that fuels Romanians’ hope in the justice system, which, although a lot slower than it should, begins being felt in the society at large.

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