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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 60,358 44,428 38,700 52
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 2,310 1,850 1,720 100
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 136 - (29/09/08)

Romanian politics is in for a make-over. There are parliamentary elections due on November 30. They will come after the US presidential elections on November 4. The outcome of the latter could well have a big impact on the former. An Obama victory would give a boost to the opposition in Romania, a left-wing or at least leftish affair.

Romania, however, is one place where being on the right is no disgrace. In times past, the left in the shape of Communism and Caeucescu did not exactly cover themselves in glory.

Indeed the infamous dictator was a public menace of the first order, who destroyed the centre of one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe, Bucharest, and kept a whole nation in bondage to his madcap schemes.

The number one problem
But what is politics about there now? The following news item is highly indicative of Romania's number one political problem. Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu is nominating the country's state pension chief as the new Labour Minister.

The nomination comes after Romania's President Traian Basescu had suspended the previous labour minister, Paul Pacuraru, who is under investigation for corruption.

The nomination of Mariana Campeanu, announced on September 19, was approved by the president.

Transparency International report: Romania and Bulgaria remain most corrupt EU countries 

Bulgaria has fallen sharply in the corruption perception index published by Transparency International on September 17, while Romania comes second among the most corrupt countries in the EU, followed by Poland, Lithuania, Greece and Italy.

A regional analysis of how corruption is perceived says that EU accession is not an automatic remedy for corruption, as shown by the sharp fall of Bulgaria from a 4.1 index in 2007 to 3.6 in 2008.

Romania's index is 3.8. From 2004 to 2007, Romania was named the most corrupted EU candidate/member country.
The world index covers 180 countries and puts Romania 70th, with Bulgaria on 72nd place.

The righteous right-wingers
Representatives of the governing National Liberal Party (PNL) convened in Bucharest on September 23 for a ceremony to launch the candidates of the party for the parliamentary elections on November 30. Party leader and prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu held the opening speech, saying that Romania will report the highest economic growth in its modern history this year, under the PNL government.

He used the occasion to point out that the Liberals are the only right-wing party in Romania. While lauding the merits of his government, he said a leftist government would ruin Romania.

He said that by Left he meant the Social Democratic Party (PSD). He did not name in the context the Democratic Liberals (PD-L), the main party backing President Traian Basescu, Tariceanu's archrival. 

The next two months are going to be of great interest in Romania.


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