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November 24, 2022

Railway Authority “goes off track”

The Romanian politicians’ most serious mistake is their thinking of themselves first and foremost as Liberals, Social-Democrats, Conservatives, ecologists etc and only then of being Romanians, obviously, if they ever think about it at all. It is this erroneous mentality that lies at the root of Romania being leveled the most serious and groundless accusations against, of which the wrong-labeled horsemeat exports is but the latest episode. The tragic-comical aspect of it all starts off with such groundless allegations often being voted by the Romanian MEPs themselves, for which political hues in Brussels are more important than their being Romania’s representatives in the European Parliament. This form of betrayal went as far as the fiercest advocate of a dismantled Romania becoming an MEP, also thanks to the votes of Romanian-speaking parliamentarians.

Seen from this angle, such anti-national and anti-state politicking of the decision makers of the past two decades is no longer surprising, who accepted, without opposition, any conditions imposed from abroad, international financial institutions mainly, which lend  ever growing loans at burdening interest rates due to the lack of personality and amateurish performance of Romanian state officials, which will bear a huge impact on the next generations of Romanians, or better said, “inhabitants of Romania,” since the current demographic discrepancies lead to Romanian-speaking population becoming less and less numerous. The matter is compounded by the loan access being tied to the sacrifice of the largest, strategic importance economic units, some of which were founded as early as over one century ago. Romanian Railway Authority is a case in point, which enabled the first step being taken toward the modern industrialization of Romania nearly 150 years ago, with the construction of the first rail stretch in this country linking Bucharest to the Port of Giurgiu on the Danube River. The growing railway network was tightly linked to the economic modernization of this country. Gradually, the rail staff has made a name for itself both professionally and through their discipline, dedication. And solidarity. This explains why some of the most comprehensive and best organized worker protests in the first half of the last century were those organized by railway workers, as well as the second half of the 20th century saw electro-diesel locomotives being built in this country on the basis of some of the most advanced manufacturing licenses in the world at the time, modern railroad passenger, freight and tank cars operating under safe conditions. And the glorious tradition of modern railroad bridges started off with the construction of the Fetesti-Cernavoda Bridge across the Danube, in the wake of Romania gaining its independence. For a long time, the bridge built by Romanian engineer Anghel Saligny was Europe’s largest and most complex construction of its kind.However, the continuous development of the Romanian railways came to an abrupt halt in 1998, after the ultimatums issues by world banks to which the Romanian governments requested one loan after another, with the unitary structure of Romanian railways being fragmented into several small companies. Lacking the necessary complementary feature, the four to five CFR components, among which the CFR Marfa freight rail operator, sunk deeper and  deeper into debts owed to the state, and private companies as well, “parasite companies” asked to do higher-priced and worse quality works than that could have been done by their state-held counterparts. Why the former were preferred to the latter” Since the private ventures were owned by none other than CFR managers and some politicians as well. What those parasite companies did was to “suck” the profit of this enterprise of strategic importance.The plundering was also made possible by some trade union leaders whose substantial bonuses and other forms of material reward led to their turning a blind eye to what was going on. To compound the issue, criminal elements engaged in massive thefts of electrical installations and railway tracks, which they sold for scrap, which led to Romania being a top exporter of scrap metal which was carried abroad in CFR freight cars, of all things.This is how the Romanian freight rail operator got into the “desperate position” of being put out to the privatisation block, despite being of strategic importance, allowing the Romanian state to take complementary measures in natural calamities or even in case of a foreign aggression against Romania. He who rules out such prospects should think ten times before deciding once. The more so as the nearly 60 M euro asked by the state in exchange for a 51 pc stake in CFR Marfa is a derisory price, when the 23,000 freight cars, thousands of locomotives and other assets should  rake in at least 200 M euro, which shows that this  compelled privatization is a horribly wrong move, which state officials are trying hard to hide, in an attempt to shift public attention from other strategic errors involving Oltchim, Arpechim and other chemical plants, which are one step away from being demolished on account of being parasitized. Their only concern is how to get rid of those issues at the soonest. Why Romanian politicians only think in the here and now? What about their vision for the future, their synthetic ability, as the EU tells us? Why is it that Romanian politicians forget about their European vocation exactly in this respect? All the political parties in this country emphatically claim that their ideological leanings are rooted in the predecessors, whose national ideal they nonetheless steadfastly ignore. Why? Because they no longer are their successors, as they claim, but their diggers!

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