Romanians not only consume, they also collect: the electronics they buy never leave the house again and the cars... well, that's another story. Let's just say Romanians keep buying cars, but no one rushes to take it to the scrap yard and buy another. It may be one of the reasons why all parking lots in Bucharest are taken, day and night. Still, with all the cars they have, Romanians not only find the time to drink a lot of beer, but also remain the people that spends the most time in the office in all Europe. Explain that!
"Romania - the country where electronic waste is kept as gewgaws", is the headline in Gandul. After 16 months of "green tax" imposed on electronics and electric households, Romania is far from collecting the 80,000 tons of waste it promised. In fact, it collected in 16 months the amount that should have been collected in one month. In 2007, the record was 2,000 tons in 8 months, Gandul found out. Meanwhile, the green tax supposed to finance the collecting added up to a total of some 80 million RON (1 euro = 3.6 RON).
One possible explanation is that Romanians may have been too busy to take their trash out: during the first six months of the year, the beer and cigarettes consumption reached 1.1 billion Euros. The next best selling products are chocolate tablets, coffee and non-carbonated drinks, same Gandul reads, quoting a study conducted by Nielsen.
Cars are another hobby of Romanians, who would buy almost anything. Some contradictory news come from Cotidianul and Evenimentul Zilei. The first newspaper, Cotidianul, found that luxury berlins are the average cars Romanians buy, when it comes to paying installments. Out of 144,988 imported cars, 40,548 were bought on the leasing market, the most wanted cars being those around 26,000 Euros. Thus, the leasing market grew 35% during the first quarter, compared to Q1 2007, up to 2.94 billion Euros.
On the other hand, the import of second-hand cars reached an all-times high in August, the number of units surpassing for the first time the number of new cars sold. Over 44,000 second-hand cars imported mainly from EU states were registered in August only, 11,000 more than the previous month, Evenimentul Zilei reads.
At the same time, Romanians stay at work more than any other European: 41 hours and 42 minutes per week, as average, two hours more than the EU average and 4 hours more than the French, a study by the European Industrial Relations Observatory reveals, according to Evenimentul Zilei. And that's where no one understands when do Romanians still have the time to drink all that beer, smoke that much (in most offices, smoking is banned) and drive around their new and old cars (since the streets are jammed with traffic all day and most of the night).
In politics, just because it's all so Romanian, it may be worth mentioning that the scandal with the Democrat - Liberals - who made a political deal with the far-right Greater Romania - continues just as contradictory as the news above. In the same newspaper, Cotidianul, there are two articles that say it all. The first is about the TV intervention of the Democrat-Liberal vice president, Cezar Preda, who apologized to Romania president Traian Basescu (former president of the party) for destroying the image of the party through that move.
In the second article, sources in the party tell the journalists at Cotidianul that the deal with the Greater Romania party was decided in a closed session president Basescu had with the party leaders. Just another day in Romania.