Union for Reconstruction of Romania - URR
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Date: 07.31.2002


Procrastination becomes rule, alms becomes reward,
and poverty becomes the way of life

URR's View on Prime Minister Nicolae Ceausescu's Social Program, 2002-2003


Although the subtitle of this pres release may seem hilarious, it uncovers a sad and alarming truth. There is no difference between the salary raise of 100 lei, promised by Nicolae Ceausescu at his last rally in 1989, and the 30,000 lei child allowance bonus promised by Adrian Nastase in his 2002 Social Program. Both sums equally scorn work and life.

We understand that neither Mr. Nastase nor any other member of his government have held 30,000 lei in their hands in a long time; nor did they ever have to calculate what they could afford to buy for their children with 1,000 lei a day. This, however, does not excuse the cynicism and insolence of requiring millions of parents to make these calculations monthly, and yet be grateful towards the government for its extraordinary care for children.


The named document abounds in initiatives whose creators still yearn for the "glorious" times when state employees and party officials decided who will receive what through the munificence of "the most beloved and esteemed ruler".


Indiscriminate subsidization ("the continued heat subsidy for the entire population"), the creation of even more "leech" institutions (BIAL -- The Local Authority Investment Bank), offhand bungling experiments ("credits from the unemployment insurance fund, differentiated by the district unemployment rate"), the support given to feeble economic initiatives ("the promotion of a factory outlet system with non-profit prices"), these are only a few of the measures by which the Nastase government publicly acknowledges its failure to understand how a modern economy works and how it generates progress in other European countries.


In contrast to the doctrine that this latest government program claims to represent, the more the Romanian state gets involved, the worse Romanians will live. The more the State meddles in protecting individuals and economic agents who avoid paying their rent and state taxes, the more they will increase in numbers, while the dutiful will decrease. The more PSD (the Social-Democrat Party) clumsily interferes with the mechanisms of free trade, the more the healthy, free economy will be undermined. This in turn will undermine jobs and spread poverty and chaos.


Because the Nastase administration encourages, by its state politics, evasion, lack of responsibility and unlawfulness, Romania is becoming a state governed by arbitrary and subjectivity from the inside, and a less and less reliable partner for the outside world. What is worse, the program turns Romanian citizens into a socially assisted population with no incentive to solve their problems and difficulties through their own labor.


Free enterprise is strangled by this mob begging for charity. Instead of the pride of bringing home a decent salary after a month's labor in a position where labor is respected, we are offered the humiliation of accepting the alms that the State, through the governing party, is generously giving away each month. In exchange they demand our "keeping it quiet" (Serban Mihailescu - Government Secretary General), our gratitude and our votes every 4 years. There is absolutely no difference between this program and Ceausescu's programs, save that Ceausescu was not asking for our votes. And we do not owe thanks to the Nastase government for this freedom.


More and more supermarkets are being built in every former Communist country; instead, the Nastase administration wants to build more discount stores, and even, according to its program, "discount departments in normal stores". At this rate, it is highly probable that the government's social program for 2003-2004 will include a few normal departments in the majority discount stores.


In conclusion, from the Union for the Reconstruction of Romania's standpoint, the program that the Nastase government has presented is not "social", but profoundly anti-social. All it does is to institutionalize the PSD government's incapacity to create a decent living environment for the population, using healthy means adequate to a modern European economy. All our government understands is centralism, abuse, self-sufficiency and arrogance. Procrastination becomes rule, alms becomes reward, and poverty becomes the way of life. And this is not the kind of society that we want to live in.



Cosmin Alexandru
President, Union for the Reconstruction of Romania

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