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February 28, 2021

Romania, choked by demographics

Some time ago, an announcement made in Brussels informed that, after the next elections for the European Parliament, Romania will have fewer MEPs than now. Why? Because its population has significantly decreased of late. Unlike other troubles we have, which need urgent support from Europe, the only evolution that is granted attention in Brussels is the negative demographics of Romania. Because the negative demographic indices are most relevant once the number of children is in a drastic decline. For many years, we had the highest child mortality in the EU. The percentage of general mortality is much higher than the birth rate, also because, each year, almost one million abortions are made in Romania, simultaneously with a drastic decline of the frequency of marriages. The average age limit in Romania is 5 years under that of the EU. And, through the intention of political decision makers, born from external pressures, to enforce the co-payment system in the medical sector, the lung, kidney, heart diseases, plus diabetes, cancer and even AIDS will be even more numerous.

This will further affect the demographic index. And any worsening of the demographic decline leads to national tragedy.When people are rigorously aware of the he sense of tragic, it has a big capacity to mobilise and gives power to resist. In our case, however, the sense of tragic is very present among ordinary citizens, but it turns into a disfiguring tragicomic among politicians. This is about the usual reaction of the Romanian politician who “defends” himself of the responsibility which falls upon him. “We’ll live and see” is the excuse often used by the Romanian politician when it comes to the tragic consequences generated by our demographic collapse. Although the respective problem has been threatening us for a long time, also at European scale. A report of the European Parliament warned that the aging and dwindling of the population in EU countries tends to start, in the not so distant future, a crisis more than 10 times worse than the present economic crisis. The concreteness of this forecast is already perceptible in Romania, which loses approximately one million people every 6-7 years. Meanwhile the share represented by the population that reached retirement age vertiginously increases. ‘How will authorities be able to pay pensions two or three decades from now?’ is a question nobody dares answering, because Romania sold its future over a long term, by borrowing tens of billions of EUR.For Romanian politicians, the dominant issue remains the acute problems of the present, which rule out anticipating a solution. Even the normal expression of “constructive opposition” is blamed by some of today’s politicians as a “betrayal when confronted with the power.” Although it is well known that the role of a parliamentary democratic opposition is not justified by the clan interest of one party or another, but only through defending and promoting the national interest. This leads to the logical conclusion that an action that belongs to either the power or the opposition is entitled to general acceptance, if it comes to the support of the entire nation. The capacities of synthesis and prospective thinking, which forms the basis of modern society, unfortunately are not the attributes of some Romanian politicians, who consider as essential only the immediate present, with its exclusively material and strictly personal acquisitions. It is precisely this abnormal state of mind that explains the fact that our ruling factors, of all political orientations, consider themselves first democrat-liberals, social-democrats, conservatives, independents etc. etc. and only after that Romanians, when and if there still remains room for this identity which some of them do not hesitate to overtly despise. But when they get in trouble, rulers demand national solidarity in support of decisions which disqualify them as politicians. Or they bow to xenophobic ethnics, in order to gain their support for staying in power ‘sine die.’ Even in the conditions when the only objective of these minority ethnics is tearing the Romanian territory into pieces.Thus, the multiple crisis which keeps Romania in its grips today has shown its teeth a long time ago, but our politicians did not take it into consideration. The downplaying and reassuring political reactions were always dominating. Some of these blamed the warnings launched by experts as subsidiaries of electoral tendencies. Other political interventions insisted on claming that demographic involution in Romania is not an exception, but the rule for the entire Western Europe. Like if this “European alignment” could excuse our serious setbacks, including the use of the local creative force also in the industrial sector. Because of this, many of our young specialists emigrate each year. Some politicians’ reactions “explained” the pathetic tone of demographic warnings as pertaining to the specificity of debates on the occasion of international meetings or reports. When in opposition, each Romanian party evaluates the respective warnings that refer to demographics or the economic and social situation as a whole, like consequences of the acting poor governance. Once it ascends to power, the same political party instates aberrant discriminations under the pretext that it fixes “the mistakes of the past.”In this situation, when no ruling factor takes into consideration the threats of the future that already became present, the warnings of experts are usually ignored. Thus, little interest was granted to a report of the European Parliament which warned, some time ago, that when the present young generation will reach retirement age, the dependency rate of the population aged above 65 (retirees) to the population aged from 16 to 64 (employees) will double, placing unsustainable pressure on public pension systems. Meanwhile, Romania already reached this situation and has all the conditions to register a tripling of the respective dependency rate of the public pension system in the near future.To stop the demographic collapse, one evokes sometimes the idea of prohibiting abortions, which reached one million a year, or divorces – also on continuous rise. But the effects of these interdictions would worsen the human quality deficit. Thus conceived, the eventual demographic revival would have no substantial contribution to the multilateral progress of Romania. The multilateral education, for example, would suffer, as it is known that its success decisively depends on a superior family ambient. This is why the main method of offensive against demographic involution and the deficit of human quality remains combating poverty. First, the chronic poverty which affects a very large part of Romania’s population. This poverty amplifies each year, although the present potential of our agriculture, if optimally used, could feed about 80 million inhabitants. Almost four times the current population of Romania.The best solution for redressing the demographics is, thus, to develop a complex, modern and efficient economic-social system, mainly relying on the national effort of creation. As we can see, birth rate is closely related to education. Our inter-war slogan ‘On our own!’ that referred precisely to the synthesis between economic-social and cultural development returns to stringent actuality. This is the essential test of competence for Romanian politicians.

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