Brexit Advice for UK Citizens in Romania

I regularly get emails about immigration issues in Romania, but lately, I’ve been hearing from British citizens worried about their future in Romania after Brexit. Literally, nobody knows what will happen with Brexit, so there’s no way for me to give any practical advice about what the future relations between Romania and the UK will…

Poking the Giant

In response to your letter on December 19, 2018, asking the Central Bank of Romania’s opinion on the emergency ordinance to raise taxes, we hereby send you a series of analyses that we have conducted. We would also like to mention that since we only had a limited amount of time to prepare this report, our conclusions must be considered merely preliminary in nature.

Comrade Teodorovich

Less than a year ago, the ruling coalition decided to replace their existing Minister of Finance with an old PSD party stalwart named Eugen Teodorovici. On the surface, it seemed to make sense. Eugen studied economics in Bucharest and had previously served as the Finance Minister under Ponta, although he was pretty forgettable in that…

I Can Now Predict the Future (in Moldova)

Over the weekend, I picked up this tiny little story (in Romanian) about an interview with Andrian Candu, the speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, that was printed in Latvijas Avize (in Latvian). I assume that the original interview was in Russian, but since it was printed in Latvian, I had to rely on the internet…

The 200 Lei Chisinau Challenge

Although the Republica of Moldova doesn’t draw too many tourists, there are still a non-trivial number of foreigners who manage to find their way to Chisinau for one reason or another. Therefore, if you’re reading this and you want to make some spending money while you’re in Chisinau, I hereby offer to pay you 200…

World Bank Romanian Cities Report

I realize that there are few texts as boring to read as a white paper, but if you’re not afraid of charts and a mountain of statistics, you can read a very informative World Bank report on Romania in English here and in Romanian aici. Entitled “Magnetic Cities” in some versions (oops!), it is, nonetheless,…

Veti mai trai pana la 9 ianuarie!

Over the past few months, a lot of people have been asking me exactly how much of what happened during the Romanian 1989 Revolution was orchestrated by the United States (or conversely, the Soviet Union). There’s a really persistent conspiracy theory that the Revolution was largely stage-managed by the USA, and I want to know…

Soros v. Romania

Word count: 1868 Oh lord, where to begin? Today, as I was working one of my three jobs (it’s complicated), I came across this story from Craig Turp of Bucharest Life and I simply had to respond. But first, a lot of necessary disclaimers! Disclaimer Time I have nothing but admiration for Bucharest Life. They…

Adventures in Legitimacy

The other day, an attractive young woman in a dress and heels handed me an envelope. When I looked inside, I saw it was stuffed full of euros and (Moldovan) lei. What’s this? Am I being paid by Russian gangsters, the CIA, or some other nefarious group? Nah. The truth is that I now have…

How A Few Bankers Fucked Romania

The other day, my wife and I watched The Big Short about the collapse of the American economy in 2007-2008 (known in Romanian as the criza financiara). She was having trouble following the plot, and so she fell asleep. I’d already read the book (it’s fantastic) and so I managed to stay awake. But afterwards,…

The Ballad of the Budget of Marisel

Word Count: 2348 You cannot even imagine how excited I was to read this: A programme launched by the finance ministry on Friday now makes available monthly budget execution data for the country’s roughly 17,720 state institutions, including parliament, ministries, city halls, schools and hospitals. . “Any citizen, company and taxpayer can now see how…

The Theft of the Century

The other day, after briefly mentioning how Kroll’s second report is now a month overdue (with no information about when it will ever be released), I remembered that somewhere in my archives I had a copy of the original Kroll report from April 2015. It’s a rather long and “boring” document but it is written…