Ready to fight back?
Cornel Ban 12 December Romania should be the ideal playground for right-populist parties, but in its recent election it was the Social Democrats who left everyone else in the dust. Liviu Dragnea, leader of the victorious Social Democrat Party.
Romanian citizens voted in parliamentary elections yesterday. The results are not what you would expect in eastern Europe these days: This is a multiethnic country whose interwar nationalism and fascism were strong.
Even its communism had a strong Should romania be in the eurozone flavour and its early post-communist politics saw the rise of the strongest ultranationalist parties in the region.
Too many of its politicians, civil servants and business elite are corrupt, its population has some of the most conservative and authoritarian social values in Europe, and local millionaires have funded TV stations and parties peddling the standard right-wing populist fare.
Several right-wing parties made a bid for entry into the Parliament using the familiar rhetoric seen elsewhere in the region.
In brief, Romania should be the ideal playground for right-populist parties. There are several reasons for this.
History matters… The first reason is political history. Far-right political formations in Romania were part of the government, or ran large municipalities, during the economic tragedy of early post-communism, before they could even begin to enter parliament in other east-central European countries.
As such, to many voters, the populist-right message is reminiscent of grim socio-economic failures and the mismanagement of resources associated with that period.
Critically, the institutional infrastructure of the PSD remains highly competitive: This comes with the usual pork barrel politics feeding the party-municipal government networks and their known neo-patrimonial pathologies, but a third of the country still lives and votes in villages and, come election time, it is a huge asset to have these local party institutions.
Saying that these party institutions and networks are simply means for personal enrichment is a cheap shot. Though there are many outrageous instances of graft and cronyism, the centre-right has learnt the hard way that it is misguided to ignore that PSD administrations have been actually quite effective at delivering improved healthcare, roads and education, not just discretionary rents for their constituencies.
The PSD may be riddled with major integrity issues, but it made a strong comeback in as an anti-austerity party and this remains their biggest message.
On policy, the PSD may be riddled with major integrity issues, but it made a strong comeback in as an anti-austerity party and this remains their biggest message. It was not just talk. This demand-side boost balanced with pro-export sector measures supported the sharpest economic recovery in the Eurozone.
Although in the present elections the PSD moved further to the right on economic issues to attract the urban middle class electorates not too keen on corruption issues, their Reaganesque tax cuts sit, implausibly, next to their staple left-leaning wage-led growth strategy.
There are other, more mainstream channels for this in Romania. One is a new party, Save Romania Union USRwhose chief identity marker is not a clear program or ideology, but the profile of its candidates. The party brings together a quite young motley crew of neoliberals, environmentalists, left-liberals, genuine social democrats, Christian Democrats, NGO supporters and minority rights activists.
One of their leaders is a French executive who speaks like an old fashioned Gaullist. For USR, a common ideology is hard to come by, but what makes it most appealing for the educated, middle class demographic in large cities is that none of its leaders and candidates are indicted or sentenced, and can make credible claims to meritocracy as bearers of prestigious degrees and respectable business, technology or activist careers that inspire credibility.
Live arrests and footage with the powerful being accommodated in jail cells helped destroy the sandbox of populist play. Moreover, the political economy of right-populism demands real or plausibly impending economic decline, with downward status and income mobility for a largely sedentary population, increasing competition with migrants over public services or jobs and the sense that mainstream parties are unwilling or unable to reverse socio-economic decline.
None of these conditions are in place in Romania. The country is the source of the largest emigration flows inside the EU. For most emigrants and their families, this means an improved socio-economic status. It is hard, then, for one to make political gains by blaming the EU for all kinds of local ills.
Finally and most importantly, Romania may not have a parliamentary far-right populist force, but some of the language, reflexes and themes associated with these parties have long been a part of the mainstream in any case.
Indeed, one does not have to wait for LGBT-bashing to come from right-wing populists — the Liberals and the Social Democrats have practiced it repeatedly, recently supporting a referendum for banning gay marriage in the constitution.
Classism that borders on explicit scorn for social benefit claimants, another hallmark of central European right-populism, has been a mainstay of the Romanian centre-right for years.
All this does not mean that the Social Democrats will go the way of the Slovak Smer, or that the Liberals will veer towards the populist right just like Fidesz did. After many years spent in the doghouse of the non-EU eligible periphery, once in power, the Social Democrats may act as a disciplined party of the European mainstream and serve as a dependable pro-EU party.
They are one of the actors that render the EU a positive force.The long-cherished dream of thousands of Hungarians to enter the eurozone seems to be within easier reach than any time before.
Although several years of hard work is still ahead of the country in order to meet all the requirements and criterion needed for the introduction of the common currency of. Today, the Schengen Area encompasses most EU States, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom.
However, Bulgaria and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area. The euro is the most tangible proof of European integration – the common currency in 19 out of 28 EU countries and used by some million people every day. The benefits of the common currency are immediately obvious to anyone travelling abroad or shopping online .
Sep 09, · Romania should be ready to give up its monetary autonomy, once it will accede to European Monetary Union (EMU) and be based solely on its fiscal and budgetary instruments, without jeopardising its fiscal requirements and stability imposed by the nominal convergence criteria. The eurozone (pronunciation (help · info)), officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states which have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal benjaminpohle.com monetary authority of the eurozone is the benjaminpohle.com other nine members of the European Union continue to use their own national currencies, although most of them.
The eurozone (pronunciation (help · info)), officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states which have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal benjaminpohle.com monetary authority of the eurozone is the benjaminpohle.com other nine members of the European Union continue to use their own national currencies, although most of.