EDITORIAL

The draught of Romanian governments


Romania’s present drama, with widespread poverty, many chronic diseases, mortality on the rise, same as illiteracy, unemployment masked by massive emigration, poses a serious threat to our future. In this context, instating the Day of the Romanian National Anthem, on July 29, comes at a spiritual reinvigoration, at least. Heard for the first time on July 29, 1848 when the Revolution of Walachia was equivalent to our spiritual Renaissance, the anthem ‘Awaken Thee, Romanian!’ has today an even stronger significance because of the multiple crisis that caught the country in its grip. This crisis is illustrated, the most painful way, by the morbid and antinational attitude of our rulers, the same from one government to another, regardless of their so-called “doctrine” orientation.
Like any day with a national signification, July 29 is invoked, evoked, proclaimed in many ways, with various oaths and commitments that are promptly forgotten the next day, under the pressure of the selfish interests hostile to any national solidarity. As if they were upset by the – be it fragmentary – importance of such a celebration, all the professional acolytes who infringe the law – also the morale – and all the profiteers jump out from under their rocks and accuse.
They accuse the national state, which they see – in their deranged judgment – as guilty of all the mishaps provoked by themselves. They accuse the “excessive county-level centralisation” and demand a “regionalisation” that will make local take precedence over national. Then, when this regionalisation starts being designed, with the reappearance of the former Hungarian Autonomous Region that evokes Stalin’s moustache of 1950, they jump and protest about ignoring the administrative tradition through “our historic counties.” The 1st of December, as the National Day of Romania, proclaimed in honour of the creation of Greater Romania in 1918, is frantically acclaimed, also when tanks and armored vehicles pass under the Triumph Arch. After throwing flowers in the path of our brave soldiers, participants embrace and hug each other, while also spying on each other. But the next days, the dark shadow of pessimism is back: “why a National Day celebrated in the winter? Why not in the summer, when beer is norm?”
And this kind of pettiness continues incessantly in the present vile world of former, present and future makers of Romanian governments, in a country impoverished also by excess of small talk. The June 5 celebration of the World Day of the Environment also sparks great enthusiasm in Romania, followed by even greater sadness. The enthusiasm mostly belongs to the youths who volunteer to clean the waters and forests assaulted by trash, and the sadness also belongs to them. Why? Because such spontaneous interventions, isolated to pupils and students, cannot stop the environment disaster. We need a national strategy for preserving the environment endorsed by everybody, without exception. And no such strategy has appeared yet.
Meanwhile, temperatures keep increasing, with frequent adverse effects on agricultural crops. There was no draught this year, but draughty summers are predicted to increase in frequency next years. The irrigation system created in the ‘70s and ‘80s of last century on approximately 11 million hectares was destroyed immediately after 1989. In case on draught, only very limited areas can still use it, and these areas are not always to our benefit. In the Arad County, for example, the water of local rivers irrigates more fields in Hungary than in Romania. To the dishonor of Romanian rulers, also to the detriment of the Romanian bread. Any discussion about the irrigation strategy is useless in the absence of financing, causing much suffering to small farmers. They are partly saved not by the government, but by nature, like this year, when the predicted draught did not come in July.
Weather changes are experienced by all countries today, but in Romania they also gave birth to a paradox. Global warming is a slow process that can be predicted, analysed and alleviated with countermeasures. Thus, governmental strategies must be conceived long before draught comes, not when the draught is already here, as our rulers believe. Romania has 15 million hectares of farmland, which could feed over 50 million people, if they are well maintained and used. But Romania, today, with a population of 20 million, imports over 50 pc of the necessary food, also because of the “bonuses” paid by foreign companies to Romanian importers. It is no secret how we reached this “performance” of imports. After 1990, authorities restituted the agricultural properties merged in the ‘50s of last century. The principle was correct, but wrongly enforced, because it led to the destruction of the local agricultural structures and the huge investments also made in the land improvement sector. The optimal solution, successfully enforced by the other former socialist countries, was to transform the former collective agricultural associations in agricultural cooperatives. In fact, the ideas of agricultural cooperation that respects the right of property, but with a common management are applied on a large scale not just in the former socialist states, but also in the rest of the European Union.
The association of Romania’s more than 4 million small farmers could favor the revamping of the irrigation system which covered 4 million hectares 23 years ago. Returning this strategic objective to actuality sparked – as usually – much enthusiasm among politicians, but this was short-lived, also as usually. Regardless of the government, the interests of groups, clans and mafias prevailed over Romania’s fundamental interest.
Such big mistakes of the government continued and are likely to continue. The destruction of the forest is among these serious errors that have effects also in worsening the global warming and draught. In 1968, Romania had 6.5 million hectares of forest, a very big figure at European scale. Countries with more land than Romania had less forest, but this natural blessing also spelled Romania’s doom for the last 20 years. More than 2 million hectares of forest were barbarically destroyed and removed from the environment protection circuit. The savage deforestation reached a peak in 2012, and will be even worse in 2013.
This is how Romania is pushed into a terrible and painful imbalance in the environment, economic, social, education and medical sectors, which makes rejoice the “strategic investors” whose actions turn Romania into a quasi-colony.

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