AmCham Romania rejected in a statement the recent claims that multinationals in Romania supported the protests in response to the impact of the recent tax and legislative changes and called them “untrue and nonconstructive for the economy and society.”
“It is unhealthy for the Romanian society to disseminate such untrue statements. Romanian citizens working in both multinational and local companies have voluntarily expressed their point of view in public without any interference by their employer,” a statement from the AmCham reads.
The leader of Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, previously claimed that the protests that have been taking place in Bucharest and all over the country over the past week have been “professionally organized.” He also pointed the finger at multinationals for supporting the demonstrations against the government that his party named less than a month ago.
AmCham pointed out that human capital is “an important competitive advantage that has placed Romania on the global economy map” because of the “high technical, linguistic and creativity competences that especially young generations have brought on the labor market and that had a defining role in attracting investments in the local economy.” In the context of brain drain and demographic trends impacting this competitive edge, the organization argues that “stigmatizing employees due to the country of origin of the investment only builds up an unnecessary tension and a lack of confidence among employees and employers, while also sending a negative signal to investors.”
“In today’s Romania, values such as responsibility, integrity, and civic spirit cultivated at the workplace should be acknowledged and acquired by all employees in the public and private sector,” the statement from AmCham reads.
The organization also argued in favor of the collaboration between the local and foreign companies as a “prerequisite for a functional and competitive economy that will contribute to a better life for all Romanians.” At the same time, it said it remained committed to its mission “of facilitating an open and transparent public-private dialogue, a process that supports the shared objective of economic growth.”
AmCham, alongside other bilateral chambers of commerce, including the AHK, and organizations like the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), previously voiced concerns over the effects that the now repealed justice bills could have on the business environment.
Expat Steven van Groningen, the CEO of Raiffeisen Bank, was singled out for attending the protests by Romanian senator Daniel Zamfir, a member of the National Liberal Party (PNL). The latter posted a photo on his Facebook page showing van Groningen in Victoriei Square during the protests.