Impeachment Crisis Lays Bare Romania's Political Failings

By Andrew MacDowall, on , Briefing

Romania’s plunge into political crisis is the last thing the country needs. Still deeply scarred by Stalinist dictatorship, it is one of the European Union’s poorest member states and has been hit hard by a recent recession. Its rulers have long been criticized for corruption, remoteness and authoritarianism, and now they stand accused of tearing the country apart.

The EU is seriously considering sanctions on Romania this week as the new government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta appears reluctant to back down on the moves it has taken to gain control of key institutions of state. Meanwhile, the government’s attempt to impeach strongman President Traian Basescu, the most headline-grabbing of its several recent political gambits, hangs in the balance due to questions over the rules governing the popular referendum needed to do so. ...

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