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Anti Government Protests in Romania against Healthcare Reforms Continues

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`A Romanian man holding the national flag with a hole,
Earlier there used to be a symbol on that place, which was later dropped.

Thousands of Romanians protesters marched through the streets and University Square in the capital, Bucharest. The protest against the government has now spread to over 40 cities in the country, demanding the resignation of the president for imposing harsh austerity measures in order to receive international loans for the nation’s slow economy.

Romania is seeing one of the largest protests in recent time. Last big revolution was in 1989 which brought down the communist regime in the country. The same University Square was the place where anti communist revolution took place, hence it keeps a great historical significant for the citizens of Romania.

Protesters hanged the dummies of President Basescu and other ministers (such as the Tourism and Regional Development Minister Elena Udrea) to demonstrate their anger towards his corrupt government and laws. So far most of the protesters and protest demonstrations have been really peaceful, except few incidences.

Protests in Romania

A Romanian reporter giving Rose to the policemen

The editor of Cadran Politic Review and a close friend of ours, Gabriela Ionita went through the depth of the event and analyzed the situation with her experience in journalism.

In her recent article Romania – a revolution for evolution? on her blog, she explains that the protests in the country are for various reason. The anger against the government was stacking up for years and was only sparked by the resignation of Deputy Health Minister, Raed Arafat. It all started with President Basescu calling him enemy of health reform on national TV.

Arafat, a Syrian who became Romanian citizen, is the founder of advanced state of the art emergency rescue system (SMURD). The system is so sound that even some West European countries like France want to implement it.

The protests don’t focus only on the health reforms but has now has widened against the corruption and the bad governance of Basescu’s government.

The Government, in a failed attempt, tried to appease the protesters and the situation in the country with some excuses that didn’t convince the people of Romania. The heads of the government, Prime Minister and President, are maintaining a low profile and in between have mimic the protests by calling it a political game by opposition, similar to what we have been observing in India, which is in the state of peaceful protest and demonstration of public demands since early 2011 (as the country saw protest against Black Money and Corruption).

Romanian kid giving heart balloon to police

A Romanian kid giving a heart shaped balloon to the police

A large number of Romanian protesters are demanding for early election and change in the government, a possibility which has been rooted out by the government saying it would create dangerous precedent and economic instability. The people of Romania seem unconvinced with this, as in 2011 the amount of foreign investments in Romania fell down by 36%, 18% of Romanians have fallen below the poverty line, a poor Romanian employee now earns 159 euros achieving the lowest minimum wage in EU countries, as compared to UK ~ 967 Euros, Bulgaria ~ 233 Euros, Poland ~ 326 Euros, says Gabriela.

As Romania became ally of western bloc joining NATO and EU, the country was supposed to be benefited but didn’t experience much change. Many Romanian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq unnecessarily in the name of NATO army, though the actual war was in America’s interest.

Romanian Protesters claim that the President and his close allies have sold their country resources for the benefit of himself and richer west European countries.

petarde

A similar blame was slapped on former government of Ukraine which was considered a puppet to US and West Europe, but Ukrainians were quick to realize the destiny of their country in the hands of Pro western government. The government changed in the next election, the process to join NATO was stopped and ties with Russia were fixed. (Read More: Europe or Russia? Whom will Ukraine Choose?).

Looking at the scenario in Romania, the theory of East Europe loosing confidence in Democracy, capitalism and western powers looks even stronger. In an article posted few weeks ago (Democracy, Capitalism Loosening in Former Soviet Union, Union is Being Missed) we took example of three East European countries, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia to show that the public confidence in their economy, democracy in their country and western powers is declining. Now Romania is joining the same league, showing that governance and economy culture enforced by western countries is not working out in this region as the current ruling politicians are not much enlightened on how to lead a democratic society.

US, which claims to support the voice of the people in the name of democracy, is currently quiet and is just following the protest incidents happening in the country. As the deal of Anti Ballistic missile with Romania is on the way, US wouldn’t like the government to fall down.

It is very much similar to what happened in Egypt. Mubarak was a dictator, but at the same time an ally of US. When people marched and organized rally in protest against their Egyptian leader, US was mere a spectator. But when people came out to protest against Libyan leader Gaddaffi, NATO and European force came up with full military, monetary and medical support.

Just like conventional media, this protest event in Romania has taken over the social media as well. While Romanians are posting the updates of the events, people living in different countries are getting the real picture which is sometimes purposely not covered by mainstream media.

top 50 images of Romania

Protesters on the streets being monitored by the Police

Facebook is full of pictures and videos from the University Square.

A commentator on our Facebook page (Join Now) says, “The generation of protest is the favorite and catchy scenario all over the world .No body is satisfied with anybody. Once the protestors are satisfied with their victory, next they start fighting amongst themselves to establish his/her (group) hegemony. This continues till a powerful group with support of Arms and Ammunition s from neighboring / interested greedy country, takes over through a massacre of human lives. This is NOT THE END. Vultures are available to exploit with slight provocation. The century of protest is on.”

Davis Wendy on RT says, “It’s a coincidence I guess that the entire globe’s developed nations are simply coming unglued. It’s funny how the collapse of economies simultaneously occurred just as a handful of “savvy businessmen” got richer than stink. Credits ruined, homes lost, jobs outsourced, medical care unattainable, currency crashes, the banks becoming consolidated into a mega corporation. All just a fluke, right? Do you think we are stupid? The party is OVER. It was devised, designed to end with them with everything and us with NOTHING. Pawn shops have never done so well. How dare men without regard for human suffering are now equipped with their very well-trained personal armies!”

Another commentator on Facebook says, “Americanism…Romanians you caught that one …part of the American bankster extortion or harvesting program…you too can now have mind numbing psychotropic drugs with little effort. Don’t stress about it and no need to protest about it….there is always Prozac. hahaha. (made in Taiwan)”

Aleahim said, “None of you know the truth about how hard is to live nowadays for the people in Romania. We have no industry, no doctors, the education system was crushed… everything is being sold to other countries for 50 cents… people can’t stand this anymore! First get informed and then comment! The protests will go on until some changes will be made, for better living conditions hopefully!”

An intellectual gentleman Dan Veliscu told RT, “In Romania – a country were almost nothing works as it should or as it’s claimed, we have one working emergency service – the SMURD. And now a good-for-nothing president tries to close it. People have sided with the SMURD, against the president who, on his second term, can’t show anything that he’s done for the country – not like he did anything tangible before being elected president when he held positions such as transports minister or mayor of Bucharest.

Now the intended closure of the SMURD is just the tip of the iceberg – the spark that ignited the masses – as there are countless reasons to protest and overthrow the regime.

WE ROMANIANS DON’T NEED THE IMF! We don’t want any money from the IMF, we don’t need to borrow and we don’t want any debts for us or for our children to pay. Previous money the IMF gave to Romania were ALL stolen, most of it by banks which sent billions outside the country just as soon as they got their bailouts, and the rest was stolen by politicians. We don’t need foreign money and foreign debt, we can make it on our own. Politicians which demand IMF money are all thieves and traitors, since they want that money for their own pockets, not for the country. Let them pay the debts, not us!”

All images are copyright of their respected owners, TWR doesn’t own the material unless notified.

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Europe

Brexit: Three Logistics Concerns for Businesses

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After the vote on 23rd June 2016, for many businesses, it seemed there was ample time to prepare for Brexit. However, the UK is now one year away from leaving the EU and naturally, many business owners are becoming increasingly concerned about its impact.

A recent study showed that 94% of UK SMEs feel that the government is failing to listen to their Brexit concerns. There are also fears that HMRC’s new customs system will not be ready by the Brexit deadline.

For businesses, it is clear that there remains a lot of uncertainty about Brexit, including what trades deals may be formed and how they will affect British businesses. This is particularly true for logistics, where these three concerns are growing.

Cost Implications

For many companies, their number one concern is cost. In order to offset, businesses facing an increase in operating and logistics costs may have to pass this onto their customers, resulting in higher product prices – this is especially worrying for logistics companies like Tuffnells. This could result in a lower sales volume, making a dent in their bottom line.

This additional spend could come from several areas, including:

  • Taxes and tariffs: after leaving the single market, exporting or importing goods may be subject to new charges and restrictions, which could result in higher logistics costs
  • Fuel: The exchange rate of the pound dropped after the Brexit vote and it could fluctuate further after the deadline, resulting in increased fuel and transport prices

Business Systems

Coming out of the EU’s single market – where British businesses currently trade tax-free – presents more issues than cost alone. This includes implementing new business systems.

While HMRC are putting their own customs systems in place, businesses also face the same challenge. Staff will require training on new tariffs and customs, logistics procedures will have to be revised, and businesses will have to find systems and methods to deal with these new processes. All of this will eat into business hours and cost companies further money.

Border Controls

The introduction of new border controls will have several affects on British businesses, including cost, delays and further administrative processes. But leaving the EU will limit companies in another way: freedom of movement.

Pre-Brexit, EU workers had the freedom to move and work in any member state, but this will no longer apply to the UK. This means hiring workers from within the EU could be more difficult, time-consuming and expensive. With many British companies hiring migrant drivers to cover the UK shortage, this could severely impact transport.

The announcement of Brexit brought about uncertainty among UK businesses. Unfortunately, only speculation is possible until all trade deals have been announced and Brexit takes effect in 2019. However, if businesses prepare in these areas, it could help to minimise impact.

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Business

The Future of the UK Used Car Market

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It is an intriguing time in the UK auto market in 2018 with a range of political, economic and social factors influencing the industry. New car sales continue to fall for the 11th consecutive month with diesel taking the brunt of the slide. It is thought that this decline is due to the uncertainty over the Government’s clean air plans (including the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel), but also the economic climate and uncertainty over Brexit.

Sale of AFVs

Although new car sales continue to fall overall, there is evidence that the 2040 ban is influencing consumers with the sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rising steadily over the last 11 months, including a 7.2% rise in February compared to last year. Although this is unable to offset the free-falling diesel sector, it does show that motorists are beginning to prepare for the green car revolution. Motorists are also aware that there are many incentives for making the switch, plus there is now a wide range of excellent electric cars on the market.

Used Car Market

So, what does all this mean for used car dealerships? Sales have managed to maintain stability amidst the turbulence in the industry with a drop of just 1.1% in 2017 compared to 2016. This was largely thanks to the sale of used electric cars, which saw an increase of a staggering 77.1% in 2017. Hybrids were also up 22.2%. This goes to show that motorists are preparing for the future and still have the need to change automobiles, with the used car market being a much safer place to do this as it is a much smaller investment.

The Future

It is easy to see reputable used car dealerships like Shelbourne Motors performing well in 2018 and beyond as more and more second-hand electric cars become available. An increasing number of cities are imposing their own bans ahead of the 2040 ban, plus it is expected that there will be more clarity on the ban and the electric vehicle infrastructure will continue to grow. Additionally, the landscape of a post-Brexit UK will be clearer soon and this could encourage motorists to shop in the used car market.

The future of the used car market in the UK looks healthy despite the fact that there has been a great deal of uncertainty in the UK over the past year. Provided that dealerships are able to provide motorists with a range of second-hand electric automobiles, it is easy to see motorists opting to buy used as opposed to new as this can allow for big savings which is important in the current economic climate. The green car revolution is fully underway and this is what has managed to keep the used car market afloat during a challenging period.

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Environment

All Steam Ahead as Europe Goes Green

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Red, amber, green: and Europe is off on its big green venture. Yep, it’s true, Europe is finally on the right track in regards to future-proofing against climate change. To see just how it is doing this and what it is doing in regards to this, make sure to read on.

The abolition of fossil fuels by 2050

Some of Europe’s biggest countries are seeking to go fossil fuel free by 2050, and it’s brilliant. Denmark, a country widely regarded as being a leader in the struggle for a green future, is one such country seeking to do this. Yes, it might be ambitious. And yes, Danish officials openly admit that it is an ambitious venture. But, this old Nordic country is going full steam ahead with its ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ enterprise anyway in the hopes that within 32 years the whole country will be completely dependant on things that do not hurt our world. In fact, Denmark is even seeking to go one step further and go completely cashless. Well done, Denmark!

Cities are building green infrastructures

It appears that many European cities have seen the light in regards to what they need to do to save our planet and are now building green infrastructures to hold themselves up in the future. Yep, many cities around this famous old continent are changing the habit of a lifetime and going against a grain that has been in place for thousands upon thousands of years by swapping out their old, harmful infrastructures and ushering in new, safer ones to replace them. Bratislava, Slovakia is one such example: it has had a complete overhaul of its transport system and only runs low-emission buses, tree planting has become a serious occupation, roofs around the city have been made green and rainwater retention facilities have popped up everywhere. Yep, the Slovakian capital really has built a green infrastructure, despite a tight budget, and many other European cities are following suit.

Many big cities are clambering for green funding

Speaking of tight budgets, there seemingly is one across the whole of Europe when it comes to going green because many cities within the continent are having to clamber for funding in regards to it. But, thankfully, having to do all of this isn’t stopping these cities from doing so and going as green as they can. Yep, cities across the European continent are using a combination of EEA grants, municipal funding, crowdfunding and green bonds in order to go green: Copenhagen has done so and used its funding to upgrade is floodwater management and lighting systems to make them more eco-friendly, Paris has done so and used its funding to plant in excess of 20,000 trees and Essen, Germany has done so and used its funding to be named European Green Capital for 2017.

So, as you can see, the historic old continent of Europe is more than willing to embrace the future and, more specifically, the future needs of our planet. Let’s just hope that the rest of the world and its leaders *cough* Trump *cough* follow suit before it’s all too late.

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