Comment: Let’s hear it for business
I am very excited by the news that the Popular Movement, recently launched by Mr Basescu’s advisers, will shortly be changing its status from that of a pure NGO to also being a political party. It is being described as a ‘centre-right’ party and, as such, I note that it will join all the other ‘centre-right’ parties in Romania – PDL, Forta Civica, the Conservative Party (whatever happened to them?) and even PNL – on the very busy centre-right.
We are told that Mr Basescu will not join the party but will, instead, remain a leading member of the Institute or NGO or whatever they call the part of the organization that is not a political party putting candidates forward for election. So we can assume that Mr Basescu will lead the Popular Movement, including its members who enter Parliament, without actually standing for election himself and therefore being accountable to anyone.
This is all very interesting but what excites me most is the sense of anticipation I feel at the publication of a new manifesto presenting innovative ideas and a powerful vision of Romania’s future. Of course being a ‘centre-right’ party, the Popular Movement’s first priority will be to develop policies that allow business to grow and sustain themselves throughout the country.
I’m talking about policies such as the establishment of a tax system that is simple for business people to understand and use and that helps them grow, especially in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups. Most Romanians that I know want to work for themselves and be their own boss and I’m very sure that the people at the Popular Movement understand this and will renovate the tax system accordingly.
How about effective policies that greatly reduce the number of forms that business people have to complete and the mass of authorizations that they must obtain from ministries and local authorities before they can start work? As we know, every authorization requires a little payment, some kind of commission and this can become a sizeable and prohibitive cost for a small business and can even be considered as an extra layer of taxation.
I’m very confident that the people at the Popular Movement have already thought of this and will publish their ideas on making official business easier for people while greatly reducing endemic petty corruption at the same time.
And everyone in business knows how difficult winning a contract can be. It often depends not on how good or how competitively priced you are; rather more important is who you know in the secret world of contract negotiation and awarding. I’m certain that the people at the Popular Movement realize that now is the time to make every aspect of contracting procedure fair, transparent and binding for the good of all business people in Romania. In fact I have no doubt that they are, at this very moment, considering a complete overhaul of the legal system, as it relates to business, as absolutely vital for the country's future.
I just can’t wait for this new force in Romanian politics to win power and start to turn things around for business. As I said, I’m very excited…
By Ronnie Smith, guest writer
(photo source: Miscarea Populara website)