“Bread and circuses” is a very old Latin expression which, as Juvenal said, “ is a simplistic motivation of common people”. The quote is very well applied to current Romanian politics. Many times in the last 20 years I have remembered what our ancestors, the Romans used to put in practice, especially in difficult times, for keeping in order that eclectic mix of nations which lived in their huge Empire or how the communist regime used it in a dogmatic and very “ideological” way. I’m one of many millions of Romanians who, in that sunny warm December ’89 hoped they would never again see the Circus instead of the bread, which in our minds were a characteristic of all tyrannical regimes. We were all wrong.
In last 20 years we saw many and new types of circus. In Ceausescu’s regime the circus was only stupid, but now this circus is even stupider, and much more vulgar and indecent. My aim is not to write a history of the post December political circus (which I think would be an interesting topic, anyway), but I only want to refer to the last episode which, was, in my opinion, one of the most vulgar, stupid and dirty ones so far. The so called privatization of Oltchim. What could have been the privatization of the year was transformed into one of the most circus-like performances from 2012, competing, in my opinion, with the unforgettable show earlier in the year, the Referendum. A brief analysis of these two events brings out many similarities.
Both events were speedily initiated, like tragic “blietzkriegs without any solid arguments and professional preparation.
Both were dictated only by strong wishes, but not deep analysis of the consequences.
Both were centered around politicians who (all) had only one purpose : to gain votes, whatever the means.
Both kept all media in a long “captivity” and thus kept the public away from any serious economic and social problems.
Both had zero effects for the initiators perspective, demonstrating lack of professionalism and even logical thought or a minimum political sense.
But, the Oltchim privatization show was even richer from my perspective because it involved economic, financial and political reasons. The decision to accept individuals as bidders. Who in their right mind could accept that an individual has the financial, economic, organizational, managerial force to solve the financial, economic, organizational, managerial, human and social problems of the Oltchim ? Nobody.
Then, there was the lack of any minimum requirements of expertise in the chemical and managerial fields for the participants.
And let’s not forget The TV show of the auction, accepting Dan Diaconescu as potential candidate to the auction. There was also the superficial way defining the specification, and actually naming Dan Diaconescu the winner.
Many of us probably watched the 10 days of everlasting debate about the proof the money actually existed. Money was rejected and then a TV match between the Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Dan Diaconescu started.
The Oltchim privatization TV show was a a political TV series, which had as a main character the creator of such series (for foreigners, Diaconescu’s TV station had a lot of viewers for months while covering the subject of Elodia, a Romanian lawyer who went missing and whose husband was suspected of having killed her. )
Government representatives had secondary roles in this recent show. Who was the director? Who knows? Maybe Basescu, his camarilla and the (too) secret services or only the stupidity and the low professionalism of the new Government?
To be continued… the circus is ongoing, but the unpaid Oltchim employees could ask where is the bread?.
By Mariana Ganea, Guest Writer