about us | newsletter | contact | archive | members area
Gabriel Pantelimon, Xerox
Romania has also become known for its high quality human resources»
  Features:      COUNTRY FOCUS   |   SECTOR ANALYSIS   |

Are we the authors of our own misfortune?

One of the hot topics of the last month has been the TV show featuring a group of French comedians, broadcast by a major TV station in the Hexagon, mocking Romanians whom it describes as dirty beggars

October 2011 - From the Print Edition

As Romanians, we are upset, of course, but the real question is why we are the subject of such programs? Is it better in such cases to put our heads down – as the Romanian foreign minister suggests – and not dignify such public slurs with a response?
In another slight on the country, we also saw the case of some young people who, besides the “misfortune” of being Romanians in France, had the incredible bad luck to own smart phones similar to one that had just been stolen from someone in the area.
Our compatriots tried to demonstrate – in the easiest way possible – that the phones were theirs by showing the personal data on their gadgets.
But it seems that they were too smart for the French policemen on the case who did not accept the common-sense proof of innocence. And one policeman gave his reasoning: “Shut your mouth! I can’t stand Romanians!” Perhaps we shouldn’t blame him, as he was just speaking his mind. But why should he feel that way?
There are more examples. Another unfortunate incident involved a young Romanian, who, despite being innocent of any crime, spent several months in a French prison. The French authorities had not done their job and threw him in jail because he was Romanian. Nor was he helped by his compatriots: it’s common knowledge that we Romanians are our own worst critics and lack solidarity.
It is clear that many foreigners do not like us – and curiously, especially Latinos, people who think and behave like us. So who is to blame for the way foreigners feel about us – them or us? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
It may be a coincidence, but Romanians do the most damage to their country’s image where the local authorities aren’t doing their job with much aplomb. How come in Austria or Germany one seldom hears of such issues involving Romanians? But it is not entirely the xenophobes’ fault. If we had maintained certain cultural standards as a nation, perhaps we would not have so many “incidents” abroad.
Unfortunately, in recent years our foreign affairs presence has been insignificant. In Europe, one must stand out to count. And with what have we stood out as a country? With 0.5 percent economic growth? How we accepted US missile defenses in our country when the Poles didn’t want them? When we said ‘yes’ to the positioning of the US defense shield in our country when the Czechs didn’t want it?
The impression is that instead of distinguishing ourselves among European countries by uprightness, morals and image, we stand out for negative things.
As to our foreign minister’s statement that we should ignore the French comics, I’d say yes, he is right, but he has to admit that such attacks are a direct consequence of the insipid image our country has in Europe.
Why do French journalists not fill their papers and websites with reports on the horrors the Hungarians, Czechs or Poles are committing abroad? Maybe because the Poles are among the only ones to have avoided the effects of the crisis in Europe, or because the Hungarians have perfectly integrated with European civilization or because the Czechs have found the winning formula to profit by highlighting their history.
But we have done something. We have a country brand! A leaf. It is true that it’s normal to have such a brand, but our frail little leaf in the wind is nowhere near enough...



COMMENTS
There is 1 comment:

J Brand: on 2012-02-10 01:24:46
I have always considered it a badge of honor when I find that the French do not like me. The last thing the world needs are the French. I was in Romania several years ago and I fell in love with your country and people. I really wanted to return for a longer period of time but my health has been failing and I may not be able to return. Do not worry about the French. They are inconsequential.

 
ADD A COMMENT
 
Name
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 

1 Comment  |  7132 View
Daily Info
President Iohannis: Interconnection projects revealed at Three Seas Initiative summit are a top level political signal

The list of priority interconnection projects presented within the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative is "a top level political signal", on Tuesday stated Klaus Iohannis, in ...

Vodafone to lay off 1,700 service center employees in Romania, India and Egypt

Vodafone, one of the biggest telecom groups in the world, will lay off 1,700 employees from its service centers in Romania, India and Egypt, in this financial year, the group'...

European Property Federation elects Liviu Tudor as new President

The European Property Federation Managing Committee elected Liviu Tudor, CEO of Genesis Property and President of the Romanian Association of Building Owners, as President of ...

Commisioner Cretu: Romania has a high level of women representation in the digital sector

Romania is one of the countries of the European Union with a high level of representation of women in the digital sector, said European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corin...

Romania gets 450 million Euro loan from EIB for rural development programme

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending 450 million Euro to Romania to finance its national contribution to the implementation of the Romanian Rural Development Programm...

 
 
   
advertising

advertising

advertising

advertising

advertising

More on Features
US calls for coherent, long-term strategy

As USA celebrates 4th of July, its eyes are wide open on the latest developments in Romania's ongoing struggle for the rule of law. Still, the country is one of the fastest...

French investments at a glance: Interest still high

France, Romania's fourth largest foreign direct investor, has been around since the early 1990s, with flagship names the likes of Societe Generale or Groupe Renault taking ...

Romanian energy industry: Challenges to Overcome

With a national strategy draft still to be approved, Romania faces many challenges, as the energy market is striving to find a way to attract major investments that are cri...

Rising potential for green developments

With GDP growth outperforming neighbouring CEE countries by a significant extent, 2017 was very good for the real estate market in Romania, especially for the office, inves...

EnergyPal: The market must invest in innovation and develop worker qualifications

Romania's facility management sector in 2017 has seen changes in terms of increased market dynamic due to new office developments and also logistic sector growth, according...

Romanian office market ripening, in both leasing and acquisition

From the investment standpoint, lower rates of return and increased liquidity lure the investors, Andreea Paun, Managing Partner, Griffes said in an interview for The Diplo...

ISS: External FM market volume will grow as more Western European FM companies open subsidiaries in Romania

In the last few years as well as in 2017, the Romanian FM market has been in the process of maturing, focusing more and more on quality, efficiency and added value, demandi...