In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Romania
Update No: 157 -
crisis of neo-liberalism
Romania has not escaped the impact on the
Balkans of the global economic crisis,
although it is not in quite such a parlous
state as Greece.
The crisis was not unexpected by several
acute observers, notably George Soros and
John Gray, Professor of European thought
at London University. They both predicted
in books published many years ago that the
world economy, misguidedly pursuing a
neo-liberal agenda, was riding for a fall.
It is all to do with that massive event,
the collapse of communism, whose most
vivid events were the fall of Ceausescu in
December, 1989 and the failed coup of
August, 1991 in the USSR, which led
rapidly to its demise. Who did not think
then that the West, triumphant in the Cold
War, knew it all?
Western advisers came to town in the
capitals of former
Communist country after country, peddling
their neo-liberal ideology, that appeared
to have won the Cold War. But the
application of its shibboleths,
privatisation, the freeing of the market,
anti-etatisme and anti-regulation to the
fore, has induced a crisis in the
ex-communist world, and in the world
There is a parallel with the 1930s when
capitalism was sliding out of control.
Keynes is right after all - one needs a
measure of state control.
Narrowly surviving a vote of
Romania's centre-right Liberal Democratic
government is the heir to this troubled
legacy. It embraced the neo-liberal
ideology enthusiastically in the 1990s and
into the new millennium, but now realises
new ideas are necessary. But it does not
know quite what they are.
It is going through the motions of the
old-fashioned ones so far.
It narrowly survived a no-confidence vote
on June 15 against its proposed austerity
package. The censorship motion, "stop
social genocide," was put forward by 120
opposition members from the Social
Democratic and Conservative parties. It
failed before a full house in Parliament,
announced the senate secretary, Liberal
Democrat George David.
David said that between the two houses of
Parliament 425 votes were cast, 228 votes
in favour of the censorship motion and 197
votes against. Three votes were invalid.
The motion needed 236 votes to pass.
The austerity measures propose cutting
public sector salaries by 25 per cent and
pensions by 15 per cent, in addition to
imposing drastic cuts in the public
sector, including social benefits.
Approximately 5,000 people gathered on
June 15 outside the Romanian Parliament to
protest against the government's unpopular
austerity plan, say organizers. Romanian
police prevented protesters from entering
Trade Union Confederation Cartel Alfa says
it is ready to continue the protests over
the following days. Meanwhile, lawmakers
continue to accuse each other of being
unable to find viable solutions to the
country's economic woes other than cutting
employee wages and pensions.