Saturday, December 25, 2010

Romanian laments effects of capitalism

Romania: 21 years since the Revolution- We were free. And then?
Written by Diana-Adela Ionita
Wednesday, 22 December 2010

In December’89 thousands of Romanians struggled against the communist regime in the only violent revolution from an Eastern Bloc country that ended with the execution of the state leader. Nicolae Ceau┼čescu and his wife Elena were executed on Christmas day, after an extremely controversial trial. During the protests, many people died for refashioning the nation in accordance with their dreams of establishing a democracy. Yes, they’ve achieved to change the destiny of our society. After so many years of oppression, we were finally free. But what have we done with our liberty in 21 years?

Our democracy came with hungry eyes and starving soul, dreaming of oranges and bananas, of Coca-Cola and blue jeans, of good music and quality books: simple things that we were not allowed to have before. Although the tears for our heroes haven’t dried yet, our democracy learned how to smile and hope. It was our chance for a better life, wasn’t it? In 2004 (on March 29), Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, following the decision taken at the Prague Summit, in November 2002. At that time, our democracy was 15. Becoming a NATO partner during its teenage phase was one major step towards maturity, with decisive influence on the foreign and domestic policy of the country. In 2007 (on January 1), after 18 years since the Revolution, Romania joined the European Union. Our democracy was officially at the age of majority in most of the states, starting to achieve more rights, but also to assume bigger responsibilities. At the age of 21, it is beyond doubt in its adulthood, waiting to join the Schengen Area in March next year. But its future regarding this episode it is doubtful already and almost postponed.

If today someone would come in Romania and ask what we did with our liberty he would most probably find a lot of locked doors - abandoned homes and children for an unfulfilled American dream; one-way tickets abroad for poor quality jobs; closed national factories for the illusion advertising of imported products. The ones that still populate this almost deserted land would perhaps answer his question by talking about the credit agreements with the IMF and the economic austerity measures that they have to endure, the lack of employment opportunities, weak civil society, corruption, bureaucracy or citizen apathy. They will find themselves bored with the conversation, decide right on the spot that there’s noting left worth doing here and just leave. Anyway, they don’t seem to believe in miracles anymore, nor in fighting for making a difference. They will just enlarge the number of Romanians who have gone abroad, which has already increased three times in 2010 compared with last year. Is this the change for which our heroes died?

Diana-Adela Ionita/ LaSpecula.com

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 December 2010 )

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