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June 26, 2022

Questions, questions…

A distinguished colleague who is a journalist ever since the years of faculty told me, these days, about the dialogue he had recently with several distinguished foreign diplomats on mission in Bucharest. Their dominant question, no matter if they come from far-away Asia, Latin America or even our continent, is one related to the present state of facts in Romania and especially its prospects. I tried to explain them, my colleague told me, that even we do not understand what is going on in Romania. Then, how can the foreigners understand?
What are the chances of survival of the alliance between social-democrats and liberals? Will PSD have, in its turn, a candidate in the presidential elections, or will it support Crin Antonescu until the end? What are the opposition’s chances to recover? Will it, too, have its own candidate for Cotroceni? And, of course, the questions do not stop here.
Naturally, if one takes the time to listen, each day, every evening, to the statements made by the leaders of the main political organisations or by some of their other representatives, which are aired by various television channels, one cannot find answers to the questions above. In theory, the interest of the two main parties is to maintain the present alliance USL until the presidential elections. On several occasions, Crin Antonescu said, recently, that he does not link his future existence to the presidential candidacy.
As for Victor Ponta, he did not directly hint that he might be interested to run for the highest office in the state. Some time ago, he even directly ruled out this hypothesis. Which he did not do, however, more recently and especially after the official visits he paid, these months, which culminated with the visit to Washington, where he was received by Vice-President Biden.
The only thing that seems to be clear, one way or another, is that USL will try to resist at least until the elections for the European Parliament, which will precede the presidential ballot. Of course, this does not mean that the dissensions or the criticism will be toned down, which actually is as obvious as it can be.
Many foreign observers find it hard to understand the phenomenon of the cohabitation between government and presidency, the criticism and answers which succeed between the Cotroceni Palace and the Victoria Palace. The question that is often asked refers to whether this “pact of cohabitation” stimulated the natural dialogue and collaboration between the two institutions that are so important, or – on the contrary – it made it even more complicate. Judging by the echoes registered abroad, the answer to this question does not seem so difficult.
As it is normal, nobody can overlook the economic evolutions as well. As pertinently said, these days, a well-known professor from the United Kingdom, Romania does not need Dracula, it needs infrastructure. When we look behind to how many kilometres of motorway have been constructed in 23 years and what is the present state of railways, let alone the current situation of the national airline – “Tarom,” we cannot stop being concerned. How can increase, in these conditions, the foreign investments or the number of foreign tourists that visit our country, a country full of so many beautiful things?
An intense preoccupation also exists in relation to the situation existing in important sectors like health and education. During the rallies held in the Capital at the end of last week, several thousands of protesters demanded that 6 pc of the GDP is allocated to the health sector, this important domain which is essential for the future of the Romanian nation. They pronounced in favour of legislation that guarantees the professional independence of those who work in the public system and a wage law specific to the health system.
In their turn, the personnel of the education sector also demanded 6 pc of the GDP, while picketing the session of the Parliament at the beginning of the week, as they threatened to block the school year if the Ministry of Education will not comply with their demands. “We kept hoping that the promises made before elections will materialise, but this did not happen” a trade union leader said. “This proves that the acting government is not interested by what happens with the more than 3.5 million pupils and over 350,000 employees of the education sector,” he added.
The aforementioned facts demonstrate, without any doubt, how hard it is to make predictions about the future evolutions on the political stage or in the economic and social life of our own country. Naturally, this does not imply, by any means, that we should lose our optimism.

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