Romania has a long history of corruption and of protests against corruption, and Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who himself faces trial for corruption, has just resigned after some 20,000 people took to the streets in protest against a Bucharest nightclub fire. But is this “same old, same old”?
Maybe not. The fresh face in national politics is president Klaus Iohannis, elected in November 2014. Previously mayor of Sibiu, he turned it into one of Romania´s most popular tourist destinations. His popular appeal is as outsider to the country´s corrupt and warring political elite, although he briefly became president of the National Liberal Party during June-December 2014. Highly critical of Ponta, he is vocal about the need to curb Romania´s endemic corruption.
“In my opinion, it is much more than a mere government change,” said Iohannis of Ponta´s resignation. “I believe we are talking about a paradigm change in the Romanian politics and I believe it is good…”
This potential sea-change in politics has coincided, largely by chance, with an economic upturn.
The Romanian economy is expected to grow 3.4% this year and by 3.9% in 2016, according to the IMF. Romania’s economy grew by 2.8% last year, after GDP growth of 3.4% in 2013. Citeste continuarea Romania’s housing market is heating up strongly, despite the political crisis