Dysfunctional Romania

The Financial Times has a very accurate analysis of the state of politics in Romania:

One word probably best describes the political process in Romania, little more than a year after the country joined the European Union. It is dysfunctional.

A minority government is forced to scrape together a spendthrift budget with the erratic support of its sworn opponents. A venal parliament votes to protect its members from any investigation for corruption. Political parties baulk at obeying the orders of their elected leaders. A populist president blocks the prime minister’s decisions and appointments, but lacks the power to sack him. The bureaucracy itself is paralysed by fear of taking any initiative, lest it be accused of the very corruption its political masters refuse to acknowledge. All seem to conspire to undermine any hope of coherent decision-making.

“Who rules Romania?” is a perfectly valid question to ask. No one can give a clear answer. The government has been effectively hamstrung for the past year, ever since the ruling coalition fell apart bitterly in March last year just 90 days after the heady celebrations that marked EU accession.


It is unclear whether the real problem lies with the personalities, or the ambiguous constitution they inherited as part of the erratic post-Communist transition that Romania has pursued since the violent overthrow and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu, the country’s dictator, in 1989. (read the rest of the article here)

Unfortunately the article does not elaborate on the institutional shortcomings that are in my opinion the major underlying problem of the constant political crisis in Romania.

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