In our film, a road movie from Teleorman, you can see why there are all the reasons to be afraid of the teleormanisation of Romania. On the roads of Teleorman, paved for millions by Tel Drum, you encounter beautifully situated villages, in which half of the houses are empty, left behind by their inhabitants who went on with their lives in other counties of Romania or abroad, because, as those who still resist say, the only one you can work for in Teleorman is Liviu Dragnea, impersonated either by Tel Drum, the construction company he controls, or by the public administration. Dragnea and his people virtually own Teleorman, here there is nothing changing from one hand to the other, without a third hand opening in between, firmly asking for the share.
After being in power in Teleorman for over 20 years, Liviu Dragnea is now holding the strings of power in Romania. He is president of the deputy chamber and the ruling party PSD – and the strongman behind the government. Dragnea is convicted for electoral fraud and serving a suspended jail sentence of two years. Recently he was convicted in first instance for another 3 and a half years in a case of abuse of office. To get away with it, since 2016 Dragnea and his allies are butchering fundamental laws of the country to subjugate the justice system and state institutions still preserving their independence.
If something doesn’t belong to Dragnea and his people, the business is with a political friend, as is the case with the whole garbage disposal system of the county, assigned to Polaris, so indirectly to Radu Mazare the fugitive former mayor of Constanta, sentenced for cases of corruption in abserntia to more than six years in jail. Polaris is a company that takes its share for many years, and that sues anyone who dares not to pay them, even if for years they don’t bother to come and take the garbage to the landfill; a landfill established on a plot that was bought by Liviu Dragnea right before the political decision to open it on the plot was taken. The minibuses taking you from one place to the other in Teleorman, the farms, the silos, the fishing grounds, shops, villas – all are with “la famiglia”.
The naive observer traveling through Teleorman might ask: “Well if they own so much, mustn’t they be succesful businessmen?” Anything but. The single success of people like Dragnea is to have taken legally and illegally what used to be state property. Once in political positions they took what belonged to the Romanians for little or no money and now let them pay, for lousy monopoly services. Or even for nothing, because they can. Under these conditions, sadly, in Teleorman you will not find succesful entrepeneurs as in the place of a market economy there is a mafia economy, discouraging any initiative by anyone coming from outside of “la famiglia”.
Dragnea moved on to Bucharest, to national politics and ever more power, leaving behind in Teleorman a diminished and depressed people, a people in need of a gleam of hope for the future, other than running away. Because people from Teleorman do not leave, they run away. As we know, it is difficult for those violated years on end to stand up against their violator. Where’s the police, you might ask. Well, everything is with “la famiglia”. But not all is lost, the positive, yes positive, is that you need only to spend one day on the streets of Teleorman with your eyes open, and you will see the house of cards that Dragnea built. This system cannot survive, it is too obvious, and it was constructed by greedy bandits without soul or imagination
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