I guess that like most people I knew very little about Romania until they hit the headlines this week for their appalling behaviour towards their stray animals.
Let me be very clear at the outset that I have no doubt whatsoever that there are some genuinely heroic people in Romania who are putting their own safety at risk to help these unfortunate animals, and no way should anybody think for one moment that the whole of Romania are uncaring towards the plight of the strays.
That said, and understandably, there are a lot of people talking about ‘making Romania pay’, or ‘boycotting’ the country. Of course this is tempting, although I am not sure how practical, but the inevitable outcome would also be to make it even harder for the strays and the people striving to help them.
That to one side I was intrigued to find out what Romania actually does that people could consider in terms of making their feelings felt.
Rather ironically the Romanians like to refer to their economy as the ‘Tiger of the East’, although this strength is based more on potential than current performance.
Romania’s main exports are agricultural and food products, wines and alcoholic drinks, wood products, textiles and leather, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic products, cars, software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals.
I doubt many of us have that many Romanian products in our possession: a quick look around today proved that we have none, although they have exported just under 16€ billion in the first half of 2013.
Romania is the ninth largest country of the Euroepan Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union with more than 19 million people, living in its 238,400 square kilometeres.
I suspect one reason that Romania wont feel too much pain over its recent actions is that it’s main trade partners aren’t really going to be that bothered. Its main exports are too: Germany (17%), Italy (12%), France (8%), Turkey (7%), Hungary (4%) while its main imports are from: Germany (17%), Italy (12%), Hungary (9%), China (6%), France (6%)
So however tempting it is for individuals to ‘make Romania pay’ it will be very difficult. Tourism isn’t a huge factor. They product hardly anything that we consume on a day to day basis.