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December 1, 2021

The crisis near us

Everything that happens from London to Warsaw and Sofia, and farther east, from Chisinau and Tbilisi to Erevan or Baku directly regards Romania, a member state of the European Union. The things that happen near us regard us and some of them could be even more important than those which directly refer to us. Just look to what happens somewhere else, from neighbour Hungary, where the political class goes along a path that often raises concern abroad to Armenia which feverishly seeks the solution to a very difficult geopolitical puzzle. Or, moving to a different dimension that of economy, have you noticed how difficult the evolution of the situation of neighbour Greece has been for the last three years? First there was a European bailout meant to save it from bankruptcy, followed by others, practically by times of unprecedented austerity, growing unemployment and substantial strengthening of the political right.

Furthermore, Athens entered a media confrontation with Germany, which it accuses of putting pressure in order to determine the economic austerity; this led to an intra-European crisis that brought back to surface, from the depths of history, old debts of military occupation and the fight of resistance against Hitler, along with accusations of lies in accounting books that would allow a consumption some western European countries never dreamt of, or the advice for Athens to sell its territorial patrimony in order to survive. Equally close to us are the economic-financial troubles of Italy, Spain, Portugal and other states. Especially as Italy or Spain, as well as other states have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Romanians that emigrated in search of a job, and the economic recovery of their new homeland is closely related to our welfare.
Recently, the British magazine ‘The Economist’ reported about another crises near us. Under the title ‘Great Britain or Little England,’ the article referred to the possibility that the referendum on the independence of Scotland, already set for next year will give birth to an England reduced by one third. Or, this possibility is not discussed in the terms of a sombre, apocalyptic future, as the result of an unpredictable and catastrophic evolution driven by traitor politicians from inside or by vile forces from outside, but as a realistic evaluation of the sides in conflict, with political solutions in line with the values of our time. According to the magazine article, following next year’s referendum, as well as a negative result of the national consultation over leaving the EU in 2017, which has been already scheduled too, “Britain could emerge /…/ smaller, more inward-looking and with less clout in the world (and, possibly, with its politics fractured). Or it could become more efficient, surer of its identity and its place in Europe and more outward-looking. Call them the Little England and Great Britain scenarios.” Or, in other words, Great Britain has to choose, for the coming years, between ‘comfortable isolation’ and ‘reinvigorating bracing.’
The most interesting feature of the aforementioned article is the realism of the approach granted to the situation, the relaxed attitude in evaluating each of the scenarios under analysis. If it is – and it is – an editorial policy (as it is known, articles in ‘The Economist’ are not signed), then we can only admire the old British democracy, the objective and independent media that comes with it, while also considering the comments posted after the article. As it is natural, the opinions are diverse. Here are just few of them: ”Britain in the EU is the right path. Little England is as lost cause/…/. United we stand and divided we fall.”; “The choice is an international Great Britain or a Britain which takes its place at the table, or one that is a province of an empire with its capital being Brussels /…/”; “If you read that article, you learn that Little England is already here.”;” An independent Scotland would be too small to absorb shocks” – like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland /…/”; “ The UK’s place is certainly in the EU.”; “This article may be a mixed blessing if it makes the international money markets think about the future of the UK. If the Scottish opinion polls move towards more support of independence in the next few months, watch for trouble with the pound resulting in inflation and more expensive imports. This will come whether or not Scotland decides to adopt the pound.” etc.
The conclusion is clear and unequivocal. The magazine is biased towards Great Britain, but for this scenario to materialise it invites politicians to fight for this result: “Britain once ran the world. /…/ Its brightest future is as an open, liberal, trading nation, engaged with the world. Politicians know that and sometimes say it: now they must fight for it, too.” etc.
There are many crises near us, some of them with tragic evolutions and consequences (let’s just look to what is going on in the Middle East now, as well as in many other places). Adequately controlling and managing them in the spirit and exigencies of the present time are expressions of the capacity of a political class that is responsible and visionary, which must identify the correct road and convince its public opinion about its choices.

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