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2004 | 2005
2004 | 2005


February - 2005

Looking for a cure

Romania's health system is in bad shape. It suffers from a lower percentage of GDPspent on its services by the state than any other new European accession country, a lack of accountability for medical malpractice and a failure to bring the mortality rates into line with eastern European norms.
Although the country has managed to contain a potential AIDS epidemic on the scale of Russia and Ukraine, tuberculosis is still a problem for thousands of those in poverty-stricken conditions.
Private health care is growing and new legislation is making it easier for new firms to offer alternative services. But this will probably only be available to the small middle class that has yet to reach the same proportions as otherEUnations.
However the biggest infirmity facing Romania is a 'de facto' private system that exists within state institutions, where patients routinely bribe medical staff for every service from changing beds to transplanting organs.
Through interviews with many of those affected by the difficulties, solutions and opportunities within the system, The Diplomat investigates how to make Romania better.

Feature >

Embracing the new European role

Looking to follow in the footsteps of Romania into the European Union, while hoping to avoid its pratfalls, new Turkish ambassador Ahmet Okcun talks to Michael Bird about Europe, business and the demands of the job

Profile >

Holding out for a stable future

Economic consistency and a fair level of customs duties in line with Europe would help stimulate Japanese investment
in Romania.
Although diplomatic ties between the two nations have always been tight, the bilateral trade that Japan and Romania have enjoyed has not yet reached a satisfying level.

Business >

Opening a new vista for business

Trade ties have always been close between Turkey and Romania, but the Government still needs to prove the nation is a free trade zone
Following the Revolution, Turkey saw a market opportunity in Romania and then the holding companies dived in. Since then the Anatolian nation established itself as a firm partner in business, often due to the entrepreneurial zeal of Turkish traders and a shared style of business practise.But a climate that still fails to consistently punish firms in debt to the state and restrictive legislation has meant that Romania's trading environment is far from fair, free and competitive enough for a developing country that wishes to attract and retain high-performing companies.

Business >

Local wine faces a dry period

Tough competition from the EU and the new world hreatens the domestic wine market, especially as Europe lacks a sweet tooth
Local wine producers could experience a bitter harvest in 2007, as the opening of the European Union borders means greater competition at home and further challenges abroad.
This is further troubled by the European palate's favour for young, dry and fruity wines, while the Romanian variety is, on the whole, sweet.


Reports >