Friday, March 04, 2005

Romania - corrupt American colony?

Markus Salzmann writes in about Romania

42 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Six of the ten regions in Europe with the lowest GDP are in Romania. This is the double the number recorded two years earlier.

Forty-two percent of the population works in agriculture. Only half of Romania’s roads are paved. One out of every three households lacks running water.

Unemployment is increasing. The official unemployment rate has continued to rise in recent years, reaching 9 percent in 2003. In some districts, one out of every two workers is jobless.

Recently, the Natase government issued a decree nullifying a 400 million euro debt owed by two private oil refineries in east Romania. The chief proprietor of the formerly nationalised refineries is Corneliu Iacobov.

According to Salzmann: "Managed by Iacobov, together with other party members and business associates, the refineries were deliberately driven to the verge of ruin, denationalised and sold at far below their worth. They were then turned into shelf companies from which Iacobov stood to benefit."

"Last year, Romania’s European Integration Minister Hildegard Puwak was forced to resign after channeling funds earmarked for the promotion of the EU into private companies run by her husband and son. According to one recent inquiry, 75 percent of Romanians consider that corruption has increased since the last years of the despised Ceausescu regime."

Markus Salzmann writes that Romania's new right-wing government has slashed taxes and fueled social tensions

Ten of the 24 cabinet members are owners of large enterprises.

The Prime Minister has an estimated private wealth of about $15 million. Vice Prime Minister George Copos is the wealthiest minister, with an estimated wealth of $160 million.

There is now a flat 16 percent tax on all income. Until that point, the tax rate was 40 percent.

The budget deficit is to be curbed by selling off state-run companies, doubling taxes on workers and consumers, and cutting subsidies to smaller companies.

A big decrease in taxes and privatisation threaten to bankrupt the domestic social system

The government is increasing the militarisation of the country.

Romania's government supports Bush in the Iraq war.

71 percent of the Romanian population disapprove of the war,

Romanian units are stationed in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan.

US military bases on the Black Sea coast will be expanded and more soldiers moved there.

The head of the Romanian secret service SRI, Radu Timofte, 'received $150,000 from American sources last year.'

1 comment:

permrev said...

im an american who currently lives in romania (and sometimes the country of moldova -- a former republic of the ussr where romanian and russian are spoken.)
anyways, i know the romanian language well and follow politics in the country (and in the states, and everywhere) a great deal. i get alot of my info from
romania -- a country where the majority of people are quite poor -- is dominated by ultra-reactionary politicians.
the country's government recently massively cut taxes for the rich minority in the country. in order for the country to have the "privilege" of joining the EU, the government is pushing through privatizations which are already leading to large price increases for basic goods and mass layoffs. the effects of these measures are just starting to be felt now.
in order to kiss the butt of their masters in washington, romania's political leaders are refusing to pull the country's troop contingent from iraq -- this in spite of the fact that a group in iraq has kidnapped some romanian journalists and has threatened to kill them if romania's troops aren't pulled out of iraq immediately.
the rich and upper-middle class minority in the country are fanatical anti-communists with a soft spot for fascism (and, of course, the bush administration.) the country's workers and poor generally are of the view that even the harsh stalinist dictatorship of ceasusescu was preferable to this new IMF-EU-NATO controlled capitalist regime. again and again, the country's workers have taken to the streets in order to protect their social position and democratic rights; i am sure that this will happen again as they realize that the attacks which the current government is preparing to launch against them are really serious.
jos regimul basescu-tariceanu!
victorie oamenilor de rand in lupta lor justificata impotriva acestui regim al milionarilor!!
pentru o revolutie adevarata, care va duce la egalitate, libertate si pace!

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