Nasty foreigners to blame

Remember the second half of 2013? When the lunatic fringes of the British press (the Daily Mail and Daily Express in particular) were whipping up a panic over the imminent arrival of zillions of Romanians and Bulgarians on January 1st 2014?

It was all tosh of course (the numbers of those who arrived were minimal), but the panic was great enough to give a huge boost to UKIP, Britain’s far-right, racist anti-immigration party.

Yet since taking 27.5 per cent in European elections last year, UKIP’s support has predictably tanked. In last week’s general election just 12 per cent voted for the party, and its leader Nigel Farage suffered personal humiliation, taking just third place in his constituency. Voters sent just one UKIP MP to Westminster: Duncan Carswell, a former Tory elected more for his personal popularity than that of his party. Indeed, Carswell is now expected to go crawling back to the Tories with his tail between his legs as soon as he can politely get away with it. UKIP is now on its death bed, and the UK’s in/out EU referendum (to be held in 2017, probably) will kill it off for good.

Anyway, back when UKIP was a thing, we well remember Romanians claiming with great pride that they had no comparable anti-EU, anti-foreigner parties.

It is increasingly clear that they do have such a party, and that it has been running the country for some time: the PSD.

Indeed, the PSD is just one of a number of anti-EU, anti-foreigner, anti-enlightenment parties and NGOs in Romania: there are almost certainly as many anti-immigration loons here as there are in Britain. These organisations can be found on both the far-right and far-left of Romanian politics. They oppose the modern world, globalisation and general well-being on the grounds that such things are not ‘traditional’. The idea that Romania is an increasingly rich, modern and tolerant country which looks west and not east terrifies and deeply offends them. And while there is often Russian money behind these groups, many are daft enough to do Russia’s bidding for free. The world is as full today of useful idiots as ever it was.

The latest target of these groups is the president, Klaus Iohannis, very much seen by the PSD and by the traditionalists as a nasty foreigner who does not put Romania’s interests first.

The rather large stick that the nationalists have tried to beat ‘the German’ with is a wooden one: a tree trunk, in fact. They accuse the president – who last month sent a new logging law back to parliament for revision – of siding with an Austrian logging company instead of ‘saving Romania’s forests.’ To show how much they care about the environment the PSD – through various agencies – organised an anti-Iohannis protest on Sunday, poorly disguised as a march against the deforestation of Romania. Many well-meaning yet naive Romanians were taken in and took part: after all, saving Romania’s forests is a worthy cause. It’s certainly a cause we support.

There is a huge problem with illegal logging in Romania, and there has been ever since 1990. Much of this is driven by poverty: peasants with land not fit for agriculture and with no hope of gainful employment have often been forced to sell their forested land without asking too many questions as to what the buyer intends to do with it. Yet to suggest that Romania’s forests will best be served by adopting the PSD’s new logging law is ridiculous: the law has been written almost to order for the PSD’s clientele and would in all likeliness increase the amount of Romanian trees being chopped down each year. Iohannis was right in sending it back to parliament.

If you read Romanian, this article explains what’s going on very well. In brief, while the PSD is pointing the finger at Iohannis for taking the side of the Austrian logging company Schweighofer (there is no proof that Iohannis – who has no direct control over Romania’s forests – did), prime minister Victor Ponta’s father-in-law, Ilie Sarbu, is currently under investigation for his role in a multi-million euro fraud centred on… illegal logging. What’s more, one of Sarbu’s conspirators (and himself under investigation) is the boss of the state logging company Romsilva, Adam Craciunescu. Amazingly, Ponta – who likes us to think he cares about Romania’s forests – has not yet seen fit to remove Craciunescu (a member – shock! – of the PSD) from his post.

What’s more, in 2003 the Romanian government of convicted fraudster Adrian Nastase (also, quelle surprise, from the PSD) passed an emergency ordinance all but ordering Romsilva to sign long-term contracts with large international logging companies, including Schweighofer. It was also Nastase’s government which sold the Romanian state oil company Petrom (and its reserves) to the Austrian oil group OMV for a price often said to be way below the real market value.

Still, let’s blame everything on those nasty foreigners, eh?

If the Schweighofer case were a one-off it would not be so troubling. Yet it is not. Ponta’s war on supermarkets (owned by nasty foreigners, of course) is another troubling case. It is clear that the PSD and its agencies are increasingly trying to place the blame for all that goes wrong in Romania at the door of the EU and of us nasty foreigners, what with our commitment to market economics and enlightenment values.

Should we, as foreign immigrants, be worried? Probably not. The target is Iohannis. The PSD’s tactic is to portray him as a foreigner (easily done in the PSD heartlands of Northern Moldova and Muntenia, where Iohannis will always be viewed as suspicious, not least because he is not Orthodox) and then fall back on the last resort of desperate nationalists: blame foreign influence for Romania’s woes. Iohannis is immediately guilty by association. Foreign = Bad, Iohannis = Foreign, Iohannis = Bad.

And you thought such chauvinism was the preserve of UKIP? Think again: Romania is not immune.

34 thoughts on “Nasty foreigners to blame

  1. The illegal deforestation is having negative impacts with regards to flooding and landslides and the like. It would be a shame to lose Europe’s largest wild carnivore population and see people lose their homes due to flooding because a bunch of assholes fancy a bit more cash.

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  2. Mostly right but:
    -the whole “Iohanis is selling our forests” thing has started when Doina PanΔƒ,ex minister of Forests and Water has sent a public letter to Iohanis in which she informed him that one of the reasons for which he sent the law back to the parliment was similar to one invocked by Holz.After this,the brilliant romanian “journalists” started coverring the subjects,trying to find relationships between Holz and him.Iohannis is a good friend of the austrian consul in Sibiu,which in turn knows the Holz representant in Romania,a thing which the jurnalists have found evidence that Iohanis is helping Holz.This is very illogic because it is not Iohanis that has written why the law is sent to parliment,but an adviser.Anyway,the subject was covered by most channels and newspaper and their conclusion was obvious:Iohanis is selling our forests to a bunch of fellow evil germans.Anyway,Iohanis,in a speech,denied that he knew Holz and that he was helping them.But the ball had already been thrown in the crowd.Last week some people made some marches in various romanian cities,notably Bucharest.Most of them were actually well intentioned but a bunch of dudes weatring black Tshirts infiltrated among them.When the crowd started saying bad things about Ponta(Jos Ponta!),the blackies started singing the romanian anthem,thous making the crowd stop from ranting.Then,they went to the Cotroceni palace(this time mostly blackies) and started chanting against Iohanis.The whole thing is well described in an article by Ondine GherguΘ›,which I advise reading.
    -regarding the supermarket bussines,there is a lot of truth in this thing.Many prices were faised artificially in some supermarkets for some products and thous the probleme exists.
    -another story which has not been very discussed is that with the Healthcards.The gouvernment has obviousely put into practice the card rather deficitary,huge lines with people waiting to receive their cards appeared.Weirdly,in the same perioud Antena 3 has spread a news story that thousands of people inserted their cards in ATM-s thous blocking the ATM-s.Other chanels and newspapers have republished the story without cheacking weather is true or not.If they cheacked they would have easilly discovered that you can’t insert the Healthcard in any ATM and thous it was all a big lie.Ponta when asked about the troubles with the cards has discussed about the fake problem with the ATM-s and not the true probloem with the the huge lines of people waiting hours to receive the cards.He even talked about the interests of some evil companies which did not want the card.Then Iohanis himself ,during a speech complained about what a bad job has the guvern done with giving the cards to the people.After that the spokewomen of PSD(which is the temporary replacement of Gabriela Firea) has talked about the evil interrests behinde the evil companies which did not want the card and even indirrectly accused Iohanis that he helps them,comparring this issue to the Holz one.

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      1. Absolutely no simillarity.Ponta has realised that his only chance in politics is to glue his image to Iohanis’s imagine.He can’t attack him dirrectly because he knows that his political life will end.He only attacks Iohanis in ways as indirect as possible.A good example is the Holz thing.Also Iohanis won’t attack Ponta seriouselly becaus it is against his way of beeing,and if he will he will be as diplomatic as possible(like when,last Week he made fun of Ponta’s unannced visit to The Arabian Countries).

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  3. I got as far as reading the line “Yet since taking 27.5 per cent in European elections last year, UKIP’s support has predictably tanked.”………………..Probably more than half the country voted for UKIP last week but the winning party was chosen way back in 1992. Last week was just a show for the sheeple conning them into believing that they live in a democratic police state…..sorry I meant cuntry, country!

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    1. Man,UKIP has received such a big score back then because the typical UKIP voters cared far more about the results of EU parliment elections than thous of The Labourists and Conservatives.Now,the horrible results(boath the percent of votes received and the number of elected members) were a result of a good mobilisation from the voters of the other parties,which understood that if they let UKIP win,it will be bad in every aspect possible.

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      1. “,which understood that if they let UKIP win,it will be bad in every aspect possible.”………………………..It is bad who ever wins because the Elite will still keep on murdering children for their blood.

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      2. I think people have to read between the lines and try and gain an understanding of why 4 million people voted for UKIP. Of course the childish and ignorant answer is to declare every single person who voted and is a member racist – but there’s a bigger picture than that.

        Oh but let’s be balanced and clear, elements of UKIP and its support have and is racist. So too Conservative, Labour and SNP, but this is just life, and doesn’t include everyone.

        It’s lazy and ignorant to just label any questioning of migrants and immigration as racism or xenophobia. I’ve yet to see a single person counter or offer balanced reasons why there shouldn’t be any form of control.

        However unless experiencing similar to the UK or because these people are benefiting from emigrating themselves, it’s no real suprise a forum like this, so many are ignorant. I’d love to see the opinion of your average Bucharester if overnight Bucharest suddenly became London.

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  4. Where do you start with the flaws and narrow minded agenda driven original article? Not the Romanian political opinion but the UK and European Union points.

    If an individual interested in politics can’t see the fundamental differences between a European election and a UK general election, then there really is no hope for them, and shows their mind is as narrow and ignorant as the people they are attacking.

    It still makes me smile that anyone who’s ever voted UKIP, in whatever election (4 million plus) is without doubt a 100% certified racist.

    It’s also funny that the mocking of 1 UKIP MP and yet the article writer Craig Turp, if PR was in place, his Green Party with also 1 MP, would have had more representation in parliament if a fairer voting mechanism was in place.

    As much as UKIP have rolled out various scaremongering thoughts, the loony side of the far left are just as bad, like the crackpot views of Craig Turp, in his declaration that everyone and anything to do with UKIP is without doubt racist.

    Anyway, makes for entertaining reading and amusement, I’m sure the attacks will now begin but if it gets a few hooked and wriggling on my every word, it’s been worth making them wriggle πŸ™‚

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      1. Ukip are not racists? No, absolutely not. They just hate foreigners.

        Also, you appear to have forgotten that I would welcome a change to the current voting system, but PR is not it. For starters, the results show would be very short and very dull.

        Finally, my donation to the Greens was driven by one thing: a plea they made in March to raise enough funds to be able to stand a candidate in every constituency in which Ukip was. I do not support every Green policy (some of their economic policies are plain daft) but they remain the most progressive force in UK politics and the only party committed to open borders. That is worth supporting.

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      2. Craig I too agree the voting system needs reform from the current unfair system in place but your constant attacks on UKIP and labelling 4 million people as racist is bordering on childish, and dilutes some of your well made points.

        The far left loonies will always roll out the racist card, but if you’re claiming 4 million people hate foreigners, then xenophobia is perhaps the word your looking for, and nor racist.

        You have declared you want borderless counties and everyone to have the right to enter whatever country they please, without any sensible regard for the potential flaws in your quite frankly insane desire. Now if you try as usual to make this a UK v Romania argument (which it isn’t) you’ll no doubt gain lots of support on here – but it’s not a debate confined to any two countries, it’s just plain common sense that migration and immigration needs some forms of reasonable control.

        Tearing down all borders is insane, isn’t it obvious that certain more desirable countries will suffer under the weight of population increase?

        What point would a country become full and the very things you as a liberal leftie desire like same opportunity for all, become diluted, because the amount of opportunity and benefits aren’t able to cope and be fairly distributed for all.

        There is no doubt UKIP does have racists attached to the party, as do Labour, Conservatives, SNP etc etc – but for you to label every single person who’s ever votes for them, in either election, is without doubt a racist, is quite frankly insane and the views of someone who’s so entrenched in their own agenda, they can’t apply logic and common sense to the debate.

        That being said, at least you’re consistent, as you’re now attacking a large proportion of Romanians, and labelling them racist too.

        I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree, but having countries without borders and a free for all is absolute bonkers, it really is. Thank God nobody like you is in any real position of power, although I reckon you’d go down well with the EU commission, I’d put forward a CV if I were you.

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      3. Of course Romanians are racist – or at least prejudiced – mainly against other Romanians: poorer ones. I even wrote about it here.

        As for making this about UK v Romania, was it not your delightful Mr. Farage who said ‘there is a difference between Germans and Romanians and we all know what it is’? That is racist, the purest form of: making one people out to be better or worse than any other.

        As for immigration, here is the problem:

        Right now, someone born in the UK is entitled to all sorts of benefits simply because they were born in the UK. I feel that birth should entitle you to nothing except a passport (for as long as they are still needed). What you get from a country should be directly linked to what you put in and your place of birth should have nothing to do with it. It’s about equal opportunity. Why give preference to a British waster who has not worked a day in his life over a Somali who wants to work?

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      4. Craig once again you fail to make a sane and balanced argument for you previous claims, nor can you debate rationally, or counter the points made. Your blinkered agenda is and pigeonholing of 4 million people who voted UKIP is truly bizarre?

        Yes Farage has made comments which could be deemed xenophobic, prejudice and indeed racist. I’m balanced enough to admit this – however he also does make some fair and balanced points regarding immigration/migration too (not that you’d ever concede or agree) as you’re too agenda driven and biased.

        You want all countries to abolish borders and I presume support the Union of Europe, so you want to see nation states abolished and removal of heritage, anthems, flags, national identity etc (not great for football eh?) I mean that is what you’re saying right? You did say you wanted borders abolished, so how would countries keep an identity if you did this?

        I’m not sure you liberal loonies quite think things through sometimes, but it’s amusing none the less. You won’t ever get your wish for borderless countries, not in your lifetime anyway, so deal with it.

        It’s also amusing you have no counter view for many of the balanced points made, I mean if we opened the borders where would the Somalians decided to go? (To use a nation you stated when mocking the British) is it sane to see 1, 2 maybe 3 million tip up in the UK overnight? Is that really a sane opinion?

        At the end of the day common sense needs applying to immigration/migration – not a shut door as you like to claim, just a sensible and balanced approach (like the Australian points system for example) I’m really not sure what your problem with that could be?

        Oh and as for British wasters on benefits I agree! It needs reform too, but don’t tell me migrants/immigrants don’t take advantage too, because they do (not all by the way before you rant on) The benefits of migrants/immigrants is good for the UK and they are very welcome in my opinion, but it needs control, and if you can’t see that there’s not much point in a rational debate with you.

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      5. The Australian points system discriminates against unqualified workers (poor people, and usually the most hard working, basically). That’s wrong.

        And yes, bring on the day when heritage, anthems, flags, national identity and – especially – international football no longer exist. Just gets in the way of proper, club football. The world is my country: to be a good person is my religion.

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      6. Geronimo rather than a childish comment, can you explain what’s racist about some form of control on immigration/migration.

        Preferably without losing your temper or resorting to abuse?

        Oh and don’t make this a UK v Romania debate either, because from my end it’s not.

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      7. He’s obsessed with me so couldn’t follow through. Instead he prefers to imitate other posters like when he was caught red handed impersonating Geronimo.

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      8. We’ve reeled in the same big whopper here I see πŸ™‚

        Don’t cry Woger, it’s not mine or anybody else’s fault you’re a sucker frustrated old man. How’s your impersonations of Geronimo going by the way, as bad your Roger ones?

        You’ve been sussed old bean πŸ˜‰

        Hey here’s a novelty for you though, why not try and add a mature counter to the points raised, and whilst you’re at it, calm yourself down πŸ™‚

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      9. Lol are you seriously accusing me of impersonating Geronimo after Craig caught you red handed?
        See you’re back into ‘convinced of his own sense of superiority while everyone else laughs at him mode’. It’s only a matter of time before you go full cycle and return to ‘full on meltdown mode’.
        Having fun sitting on the internet waiting to ‘reel in big fish’?

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      10. Woger I was caught doing nothing, where as you bullied PrisonerofYourEyes a lady from the forum, you also post abusive slurs almost daily, homophobic abuse and mock Romanian’s who you assume earn a lesser salary than yourself.

        All the above is fact based on your posts in your various guises as mainly Anon and now bizarrely Woger – almost as if you’ve been so annoyed and fixated with another poster you’ve adopted their name!

        You’re a perennial abuser of the forum rules and have impersonated many times. If you have any shred of evidence someone was caught red handed please enlighten us all?

        Or conversely why not stop crying like a child whose been told off and contribute to the debate, as Craig has politely asked of you – or are you going to continue with your angry obsessive attacks on anyone who makes a fool of you?

        Odds on you’ll continue crying and angrily post abuse.

        We’ll see whose right little fishy πŸ˜‰

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      11. ^^^
        Capital letter rage from Woger, still not an ounce of proof for his claims though and clearly not interested in adding to the debate surrounding the article.

        Perhaps he’s hoping for another women to bully or a Romanian to mock their salary.

        You’re a pleasant chap aren’t you Woger!

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      12. Forgive me if I am wrong but I am extrapolating racism from you constantly banging on about immigration and nation states, your UKIP support, your self regard and a general air of frustrated impotence

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      13. Geronimo you need to check your variables from your variables then. Rather than a frustrated rant, like most of my fans, why not provide a balanced and articulate counter argument to the fair and balanced points raised?

        I’d have thought discussing the actual article by Craig was the whole point of the comment sections?

        My replies have in the main been in relation to the article, but if you wish to stamp your feet and claim I’m banging on then that is your right – but surely such esteemed and self declared intellects would have a counter argument at least?

        If not, do carry on with your personal frustrations πŸ˜‰

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