Romania: new PM to pursue economic patriotism
As agreed when forming the coalition government in 2021, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă (PNL) has now vacated his post to make way for Marcel Ciolacu from the coalition partner PSD. In his inaugural speech Ciolacu proposed "economic patriotism" to get Romania out of its current economic crisis. Romanians should no longer be "the modern slaves" of Europe, he said. Commentators examine this change of course.
Protectionism is the wrong approach
Romania simply needs to become more competitive, Adevărul makes clear:
“’Economic patriotism’ may be an option for big countries like Japan or India, but not for Romania, which is a member of the EU (and intends to stay that way, Ciolacu assures us) and is therefore obliged to respect treaties and agreements. ... And Ciolacu’s complaints that Romanians have become the ‘modern slaves of the EU’ are in vain. Against a background of globalisation and mobility of labour, goods and services, Romanian compatriots are paid in EU countries according to their qualifications and performance. Some more, some less. Marcel Ciolacu would do well to focus on our education and training systems.”
Certainly an option
A careful dose of protectionism would do both Romania and the EU good, business paper Ziarul Financiar insists:
“The EU has been dealing with shortages of medicines, food, energy and weapons since 2020. And all because there was no ‘economic patriotism’. Romanian industrialists should support Ciolacu’s ‘economic patriotism’ and at the same time signal to the prime minister that a limit has been reached in terms of labour in view of the never-ending exodus of Romanians to other European countries, the frightening shortage of workers and engineers in factories, construction and agriculture, and the ageing of society.”