By Dean Edgar
Just when we all thought spring was coming after the heavy snow and rain at the start of the month, more snow arrived and with it came the usual disruption, but spare a thought for the stork, a symbol of the coming of spring. The first ones arrived around the 7th March after flying thousands of miles. Many villagers in the Călărași region started to rescue these stranded birds and took them indoors to keep them warm and feed them. Running after them into fields, basically scaring them half to death which not what they needed after flying all this way! Well after the last two weeks, everything has warmed up and they have started to nest.
(Photo: Lucian Eugen Bolboacă)
He is back!!! Finally some credible opposition. Dacian Cioloș, who ran this country under a technocratic government in 2016 (and was universally acknowledged to have done a good job of running the country) announced he had set up a new party off the back of his Platform Romania 100 platform which he set up last year. His new party is called the Romania Together Movement and he stated that his political programme is shaped around “values like honesty, competence, common sense, transparency and is based on the principle that every human being is important, that a project must be built around people and their values and that all solutions must underlie these values.”
He then went on to say: “It will be an ambitious and risky attempt, especially since people have big expectations. We want to inspire people who think Romania deserves a new political class. A political class with zero tolerance for corruption, nepotism and insincerity.” I for one welcome he re-entry into politics. It will be a massive challenge to bring some sense back to this country’s political structure, and I wish him and all members of the new party every success for the future. I will be watching his progress intently.
The world’s largest tourism fair (ITB) was held in Berlin last month, and once again Romania has proved that they really don’t give a damn about attracting tourists to this beautiful country. After it has closed several tourism offices in various countries, it presented another lacklustre stand. It was way too small, misspelt German words, had poorly taken photos of Romania, including one of a rather large gentleman with his stomach hanging out (I know it happens all the time, but we shouldn’t be proud of it). Tourism can bring a great deal of money into a country, and this show was a chance to put Romania back on the map, especially after the top three German tourism companies have dropped Romania from their lists of destinations, blaming poor infrastructure and expensive but bad quality hotels. Several private companies that were also present on the stand struggled to get a cohesive message across as the state representatives hadn’t a clue. When will the government realise that investment is necessary to sell the beauty and charm of Romania to the outside world?
In yet another ridiculous and quite frankly, very sad move, the PSD government have announced that a referendum will be held in May to ask the country to decide to change the constitution’s definition of what a family is. The Coalition for Family gathered 3 million signatures in 2016 and they want the constitution changed to say that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Currently it states that is between “free-willed spouses”. If it is accepted then that will be the total ban on same sex marriages. Of course the church is in full support of this referendum, and as they “control” most villages it will probably be voted in. This is yet another move back to the dark ages. Burning witches coming soon.
You can’t make up the next two stories, the first being that of a man who is clearly alive, being declared dead, the second being that of a man who is clearly dead, getting his driving licence back so he can drive. Constantin Reliu left Romania in the 90s to go and work in Turkey, coming back to visit only once. He subsequently lost touch with his wife and family. His wife eventually went to court in 2016 to have him legally declared dead. He was then deported from Turkey after his papers had expired and he returned to Romania. He then discovered that he had been declared dead. Going to court to get the decision overturned he was told that since it had been more than 2 years the decision must stand. It’s not altogether clear what has happened to him since, but Romanian law has been laughed at the world over.
The second story involves a gentleman who had his licence taken away from him for 90 days for speeding. The driver then took the police to court to argue against the decision, and he eventually won, the police then appealed the decision, but during the appeal the driver died. The court then dismissed the appeal by the police and the dead man was given his licence back. Like I said, you can’t make this up. Curiouser and curiouser!
And finally, Lynn Howells, the manager of the Romanian rugby team, announced that he was leaving the position with immediate effect. Romania had just managed to qualify for next year’s World Cup, and the future was looking bright. Shame really, but there it is.
Until the next time..
Dean Edgar has been living the expat dream here in Romania for 11 years. He is General Manager of Moorcroft Services, a company dedicated to assisting foreigners to settle in Romania. They can help with visas, permits, company set-ups, car registration, house hunting, insurance, orientation tours and basically anything that a newcomer to Romania might need see www.moorcroft.ro for further details.
The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the writer, Dean Edgar, and not related to those of the publisher, OZB.