On A Scale From 1 – 10 How Would You Rate……

by Steven van Groningen on 28 May, 2010

the performance of the Romanian government in dealing with the crisis ? That was a question I was asked by a journalist this week at the Forum Invest conference in Bucharest.

Of course there is a certain attraction in the simplicity of condensing a level of achievement into a single number. For instance, it gives a good idea about someone’s academic results. At the same time it doesn’t tell the whole story.

When I interview candidates for a position in our bank I sometimes see persons that are a little too focused on making sure that I noticed in their CV that they graduated with, say, 9,98. In the interview I am interested more in other things like personality, interpersonal skills and values. When I say “Really, interesting, I graduated with a 6,5 average” they deflate a bit and we can have a normal conversation. Of course there is value in having high marks and nobody should take this as career advice. I am sure Nouriel Roubini, the main speaker a the Forum Invest conference this week had very high marks.

Has Government Passed The Test ?

Anyway, I was asked the question and it was interesting, because there is little room to maneuver.  I decided to answer it and gave it a “sub 6”, meaning to say they hadn’t passed the test in my view.  Afterwards I was asked by 2 television stations to explain my rating. Many people commented in private. I won’t say what the comments were because I don’t want to influence the outcome of what I propose below.

I thought it would be nice to do a little opinion survey. When more people vote, we will get a better picture.

How Do You Rate The Performance Of The Romanian Government ?

On the right hand side of this page you’ll find a short poll. Just click your answer, click “vote” and you are done. I promise I’ll comment on the outcome in a future post..

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert May 28, 2010 at 10:44

My vote was 4.
The Romanian Government failed.
That’s not because I am a “naysayer”.
That’s because, beyond the specific economic/financial/social aspect of their job, they failed at something basic that could have been the cornerstone of their (and ours) success: communication.
The Romanian Government hires almost 2000 men and women in communication departments, but they cannot have a meaningful, deliverable and defendable dialogue with their partners.
These times require openness to dialogue with purpose. This means not only to talk, but to listen. I would recommend to the Romanian Government to listen 80% of the time and talk only 20%.
So far, they didn’t do well both, talking and listening.


cloud May 28, 2010 at 18:51

Intr-adevar, este greu sa cuprinzi intr-o singura cifra valoarea a ceva, insa dand o dimensiune matematica si raportand-o la un interval exprimam pe scurt opinia despre ce evaluam.Nota are la baza perceptia mea formata de la instalarea guvernului pana in prezent Nota mea a fost: 2. De ce?
Actunile unei entitati de mare anvergura publica cum este guvernul sunt percepute o perioada prin prisma campaniilor de comunicare (ce se spune ca s-a facut) dar mai apoi, prin feedback-ul dat de cei asupra carora au actionat acele decizii (ce se simte ca s-a facut).

La amandoua, guvernul a esuat lamentabil:
1. faptuitori de decizii precare luate pe intuneric cu ochii inchisi
2. lipsa unei comunicari asertive a deciziilor luate
Cele doua ne-au “ajutat” sa ramanem emotional si rational neacordati la indemnurile abrupte de solidaritate sociala.
Si ca persoana dar si ca institutie, ai sansa sa iei decizii si sa lasi in urma fapte care pot sa “vorbeasca” despre tine mai mult decat o poti face tu vreodata. In ceea ce priveste guvernul, faptele lor vorbesc atat de tare despre ei incat nu mai putem auzi ce ne spun!


antiorice May 29, 2010 at 10:03

my rating : 1

here’s a nice example, renovation of a public school based on EU development funds, it included building a swimming pool and other buildings

the project started 6 years ago and until now it isn’t finished, why? subcontractors stole building materials and sold them to make a profit

the same happened with the funds, 90% of them got laundered, the rest of 10% were left for the subcontractors

same scheme is applied for the money that the government is managing


Catalin Nastasescu June 11, 2010 at 13:10

As far as my expectations from a government are concerned, I would definitively prefer to observe ‘a small government’ as opposed to ‘the strong government which is trying to get too much into the economy through either excessive regulations or even distortion of the free market mechanisms’. In terms of expected performance I would give our government a high mark when they will (ever) succeed in introducing the rule of law and be able to demonstrate law enforcement. This is a prerequisite to any modern and progressive society and to a healthy economy. The rest of doing business is left to the market participants. No more government!


Cata June 18, 2010 at 09:16

My rating is 2, because not only that the Government did a lousy job in controlling the crisis, but it keeps persisting in its mistake (or stupidity, to be more accurate). In fact, they shouldn’t receive ratings, simply because they have no business being in the Govern …


ellia June 20, 2010 at 16:59

I have vote 1, simply, because, there isn’t O (zero)


Paul June 21, 2010 at 22:09


How would you rate the government’s communication strategy throughout this crisis ?


SvG June 28, 2010 at 22:57

Haha, that is an easy one. I think that the fact that consumer confidence dropped more in Romania and also stayed lower tells the story. It dropped even more in May. I get a lot of questions from confused investors and people outside Romania. They expect me to explain what is happening …..
Where there is not communication, speculation, fear and uncertainty take over and that is exactly what we see happening


Victor June 21, 2010 at 22:47

So far it’s been all talk.
If they manage to fire at least 30% of the state employees and make sure not 1 cent of my money goes to people that didn’t work for it, I will give them a 10+.
Unfortunately that is highly unlikely, with the elections coming up in 2012 they won’t have the courage to fire any more people in 2011, nevermind 2012.
They will probably raise salaries again in 2011 and borrow even more money to do that.


emilmaga June 22, 2010 at 16:40

Financial crisis does not interest me , I just want to tell you that the owl pictures are grat , is the bird yours?


SvG June 22, 2010 at 22:21

Thanks Emil, the owl was just sitting in sight not far from our house. I took my longest lens and took the shots. In the evening it was gone and never saw it again. Some great pictures on your site too !


eu****** June 24, 2010 at 07:52

I put a mark and this was 6. I took into consideration that this government is trying to do something, this is what it is capable. The political forces are weak and without knowledge, not relating with making scandals, but instead in building and rebuilding a society and an economy.

For my opinion this is the first governmental body that realized that is a big responsibility being there. As I said, this is what it can do, but the others where are???Where are better proposals and rational positions. Even IMF put a mark on Romania: “Romania is like a DACIA car, nor a MERCEDES”. I may add that Romania is like a Dacia car even not Logan or Duster, you see what I mean…

Have a nice day!


Lavinia June 26, 2010 at 17:18

Until today i didn’t have so much reason to accuse the governmet, they did quite as other goverments around the world did, and anyway they didn;t have enough resources to do more. I understood their lack of funds and the situation in which they found themselfves. I hated more Tariceanu for comming at TV and saying happy that he gave historical subventions for agriculture, insead of coming and saying he repaired the irrigation channels for the agicultor companies to be able to irrigate their culture, and so to improve their productivity …, then Boc! But increasing the VAT in an emerging economy in order to pay for pensions and wages?! I’ve never thought I’d hear something so stupid. I think this country would be better govorned if it wouldn’t be goverened at all, as all the parties governning in the last 20 years prooved that this is a hat tooooo big or their small heads. My mark for Boc is minus infinite. I can’t understand why didn’t they fire some of the public employees already … I don’t know how these guyz, together with most of the Romanian people, imagine that it is possible not to have a very developed business environment and in the same time to be a social state, a state where solidarity should be the first on the agenda. Plus, by inceasing taxes just to cover this deficit is only a comunist reorientation of revenues. Practically the whole country will give up some of their money in order to sustain the pensions and salaries of the public sector, there is no exra value from this move. It’s completly stupid, they should fire people paid by the state and finish once and for all this circus. I understant to pay higher taxes as long as my money are invested, but not to sustain the salaries of a bunch of retarded teaceres that know less about the reality than we do.


SvG June 29, 2010 at 07:20

Lavinia, I understand your frustration, it is indeed very disappointing what is happening. It reminds me of a story someone told me about a hotel in a country further east. For some reason their occupancy started to drop. What did they do in order to try to make up for this ? They increased prices to compensate for lower occupancy.The idea of cutting costs and trying to increase productivity didn’t occur to them.
In Romania, the time it took to get to some sort of measure, the quality of the measures, the communication and the implementation are all disappointing and will all cost us more than necessary.


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