Romania: Paradise Lost

Romania, along with Bulgaria, tops the European charts of poverty so it’s no wonder we’re probably the biggest exporter of workforce to Western Europe among other destinations.

Every 9 minutes a Romanian decides to leave: for good, temporary, seasonally – we don’t know. Romania shrank from 23 million in the 1990s to 19 mil in 2018, and it’s spiraling out of control.

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Every 4 hours, a doctor leaves Romania, thereby explaining the ludicrous conditions most Romanians are facing in hospitals. This must be the reason most MPs and politicians choose private hospitals in Vienna, Austria, instead of the meager conditions the rest of us are facing at home.

I cannot help but remember a family who came back home, invested half a million $ in a hotel and returned to California because they had enough of the corrupt State. Rural areas are hit the hardest by poverty, lack of basic infrastructure and lack of jobs. Unemployment is low because millions of unemployed headed West so there’s no point in cheering for the tens of thousands of children left alone with their grandmas.

Bottom line, we’ve got a beautiful country and we have no idea what to do with it. And when we do, there are plenty of people willing to put us down. Don’t be mistaken, we’re still fighting for democracy 28 years after the pseudo-revolution. By the way, the Romanian revolution was assessed as a perfect media manipulation case study in my master’s class in Geneva. Which is just about right.

In terms of politics, Romania is a severely corrupt country confiscated by ex-communists going the wrong direction. The sheer amount of manipulation in the media is wiped out by statistics: we’re leaving in droves.

So, when foreigners consider moving here, we’re in for a shock. Forget the fact that Prince Charles owns several houses in Transylvania and regularly visits Romania. Forget a dynamic economy (only in some cities), a stimulating creative scene and some seriously acclaimed film festivals like TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival).

Romanians take pride in their country after they’ve left.

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