Populist Fears and Corruption Woes Put the Spotlight on Romania’s Elections

Romanian Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis arrives at the EU summit, Brussels, Oct. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).
Romanian Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis arrives at the EU summit, Brussels, Oct. 21, 2016 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).
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Wedged between Central Europe, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, Romania’s strategic importance is too often overlooked, given its legacy of poverty, corruption and government incompetence. A staunch U.S. ally with a relatively large population of 20 million, a diversified manufacturing economy, and a competent military and intelligence apparatus, some see Romania as the “new Poland”—at least before Poland’s rightward turn and falling-out with Brussels. Romania’s parliamentary election on Dec. 11 should not change its pro-U.S. alignment, but there are fears that the likely triumph of a party with communist roots, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), could erode the […]

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