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Sifting through the ashes of the state

Sifting through the ashes of the state

The Caracal murder, the radiography of the local mafia in Olt, the case of public indifference towards a distressed minor recently occurred on the streets of Galati, and a tumbling wave of high-level mishaps have exposed the Romanian state in all its decay after seven years of PSD – ALDE administration. Need we remind you this is the longest period in recent history with the great party at the helm of the country ?

The Caracal murder operated as a black swan event, an unforeseen occurrence, the turning point in the administrative disaster left behind by one of the most corrupt and incompetent governments Romania has had the misfortune of having in recent years.

The two girls were killed, raped and incinerated by Gheorghe Dincă ; it is very difficult to believe now that the horrors of Caracal could have another perpetrator. However, the conflagration consuming the Romanian State’s very foundations has been set by someone else. Today, we agonizingly try to feel our way through its smouldering ashes, looking for a beacon or two, to be able to go on.

One might think this comes as no surprise. After all, the Colectiv case had already revealed how defective the administration was, with its murderous effects, and we had understood that the real murderer was corruption which, like a cancer, had metastathised in the body collective.

We knew that yes, from this point of view, nothing was new under the sun, but now… now we all see how vital institutions, ranging from the police to the prosecutor’s offices, have been diluted down to extinction, their authority usurped by small local mafias, by small minded and self-interested partnerships between politicians in power and interlopers.

We knew, obviously, and much was written on this country which, ruled by criminals, where the supreme leader went to jail on the accusation that he stole the money destined to modernize the child protection system, would have no future.

All those who have chosen to leave the country in the past years also knew that and felt this was no place to stay. Nowadays, Romania is the largest provider of internal migration within the EU, a country plagued by depopulation dynamics, with large communities established in Spain, Italy, the UK or Germany.

We did not know, however, that almost nothing works anymore, that the whole system has been shattered to pieces, paralyzed, and that the country is on the verge of an institutional collapse. No, I didn’t know. Who would have thought that the infection has spread from the top, all over the body, to the lowest layers of society?

I did not know that officials, with the tiniest of official charges, had completely lost their humanity, from the puniest to the most important one, on a hierarchical scale up to the minister, and that two policemen could turn into wood and stare blankly at a 14 year old full of blood walking aimlessly in the street.

We could not imagine that there are policemen or 112 operators who deal with rape and kidnapping cases as if they were market place stories produced by over imaginative minds.

We would not have suspected that, in the end, it is still the dead victim who is to blame, and that the Minister of Education scolds Alexandra post mortem, reproaching her (the victim of a savage murder) for getting into the car of her kidnapper.

You would not have imagined that, according to the Galati chief of staff of the Child Protection Direction, a 14-year-old could have „a consensual sexual relationship”. How did such people come to become wardens of the destinies of children left in the care of the state?

We did not know that we all had sank so low, that it all got worse to such an extent because we were drawn in the mire of a dysfunctional state, by a gathering of criminals, thugs, fools and illiterates.

Dehumanization, lack of empathy, abyssal cynicism come first of all from poor education, from the absence of elementary education, I agree, but there is also another explanation: the counterselection operated during the past years in politics and institutions.

Counterselection, the reversal of values, all can be seen today working towards the demolition of the last shreds of confidence in the state’s ability to defend an elementary right: the right to life.

The feeling of insecurity has never been more common among ordinary people. Distrust of institutions has reached the red level. The dissolution of authority threatens the very existence of the democratic state.

The feeling of mistrust, legitimately felt in the given situation, was amplified to the maximum by local conspirators, useful idiots or the scoundrels of the profession. But this wasn’t just their hand at work.

I noticed on the news sites the total activation of trolls, boxes and postcards with a mission. Through targeted messages, formulated roughly along the same patterns, they stirred up confusion, mistrust, conspiracies in order to shatter trust in institutions: the girls were actually alive, victims of human trafficking, Alexandra could not be incinerated, the state wants to hide everything, etc.

I also witnessed a rude attempt to link the Caracal case to the American shield in Deveselu and to suggest that the two murdered girls would be victims of prostitution networks called on by US soldiers in the area.

Some even attempted to substantiate the idea that this would be the reason why Romanian prosecutors intended to seek the help of the FBI, to investigate American soldiers. It quickly became clear that we were witnessing a propaganda lie, but once released into the public space it propagated at an astonishing speed, and the truth became harder to find.

These are perhaps the most relevant indications that Romania’s enemies are exploiting, in their turn, the Caracal case to the maximum in order to finally get the population confused and vulnerable to any manipulation and fake news.

PSD and ALDE will be politically buried for a period by this black swan event, which will have a napalm effect for both parties. Yet, something else should worry us more. They will leave behind a destroyed state on its knees. The opposition has an impossible mission to rebuild it, if it can.

PSD and ALDE have already lost the elections, the Dancila Government is merely managing the transition.

With Dragnea in prison and Dăncilă a presidential candidate, almost invisible in opinion polls, with a government full of ministers who, as they open their mouths, must be dismissed as they spew nonsense, with a budget drowning in red and massive spending cuts around the corner, the big party has little chance of staying in power for long.

Only in extreme situations, of major crisis, can we really test the administrative capacity of a government. When there is peace and quiet and with a little propagandistic help from subservient TV stations of the big spenders, incompetence is not so bothersome, it does not hurt and does not exasperate anyone.

And now for a little counterfactual history. Let us suppose that after the May elections, PNL, USR and PLUS had taken over the government, together or separately. The Caracal murders would have occurred and all the local complicities, the impotence of the police and the entire failed state would have been laid at their door.

They also would have had to find solutions to patch up the holes in the budget, which had been created by populist measures. They should have undertaken painful cuts from the budgets of the ministries inflated by the PSD ALDE clientèle, from investments, education, highways, exactly as Teodorovici and Dăncilă do today.

In short, the disaster that the two parties are facing today would have exploded in the face of opposition if Dăncilă had chosen to resign and invite PNL, USR and PLUS to take over the government.

For this reason, PSD and ALDE must govern to the end, including Pro Romania, if they feel the need to recover Victor Ponta.

In a country that has been methodically destroyed for the past seven years, black swan events rear their heads more often. And the reconstruction can only begin if those who cause the disaster pay their political bill to the end.

Only then we may possibly arise from the ashes of the state.

Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu

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