“I hear” that one of the positive changes in Romania in the last 6 years after we joined the European Union in 2007, is that every year it is getting more difficult to bribe a police officer on the streets.
Before this big change in the policemen’s attitude it was really common to be stopped in traffic and to pay a little money to get rid of any law enforcement.
They care so much, that they leave HRH alone to do “his” stuff in the beautiful Saxon villages. Of course, if there is nothing to win, you will not see Romanian decision makers getting involved in something for the country. Interfering or supporting him would mean that they have to be also transparent and accountable for their deeds.
HRH Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne and one of the world’s most influential personalities, is visiting Romania every year, being absolutely fascinated about the simple life in the villages, where time stands still. He owns some properties and he is making efforts to conserve buildings and nature.
I understand that most of his visits are private, which he is clearly entitled to. But apart from making some short clips with Prince Charles to attract some “tourists” , to whom no tourist infrastructure is offered (for example highways, roads!), the ministry of tourism and the authorities in our country had no other idea how to benefit and to learn from his interest. The conservation of the Saxon villages and of their fortified churches, this national treasure, is not a priority and so they are falling apart.
There is no national program to save this history of Romania and this valued heritage.
If you want to do businesses in Romania, you usually need to have or to find quickly a strong link to some politicians. Preferably from the government parties, but also somebody from the opposition will do fine. Locally, any mayor is a good “catch”. Behind the scenes, these politicians are more united than anybody can imagine. It almost does not matter anymore which party wins the elections, they just all know how to be a good contortionist when it will be about “financial opportunities” . And they know how to share.
The link to a politician will offer you a wide range of advantages.
Let’s name some:
- Public orders (recently the law has changed and any mayor can just pay any invoice up to 30.000 Euros to his consideration without any auction or offers contest)
- Less or no fiscal department visits
- More space for being late to pay the taxes than mere mortals
- Easier access to fundings and I definitely include EU-fundings in this (we will have time to analyse this at some point on this blog…)
- And many more!
As a small business owner, you actually almost do not have a chance to survive in these shark cage of financial regulations and regulators, taxes, fiscal controls and a bad market. So you need to get yourself a good link to a Romanian politician! But they learned their lesson very well and they just prefer bigger business owners…
Romania needs investors and needs entrepreneurs. But it needs those who are not willing to play the game along anymore.
And it needs politics and politicians staying away from the business sector!