Not getting hired in Romania is instead a socio-cultural stigma. It works as a rather interesting system.
Romanians lost almost all properties during communism. To compensate, the new generations wanted their homes and places. The trouble was their own homes were in the same cultural and economic environment. The new apartments built after the revolution could not match up in quantity what communism had achieved through cheap labor force, debt reduction, and population starving.
Therefore, the road to owning their own houses that was most accessed by young people starting their careers was through loans, which have significantly accelerated during the last decade. In most cases, you had to be hired to get a loan. It was easier to get a loan as an individual than as a business.
Another thing you might find surprising, but which I think had a significant contribution to all this, is that Ceauşescu [en, wiki] wanted people to listen very quickly to their neighbors, to report to the Securitate [en, wiki], so he created all the apartment buildings with thick walls. What does every adolescent want? To listen to music louder. Guess what. In Romania, you can’t do that. Because you’re bothering the neighbors, and they may call the police. At least, if they have their own home, at least there must be their rules, and nobody dares bother them!
Therefore, the one coping mechanism that every adolescent could use would become (at least, until the development of the headsets market) unavailable. Think of other loud things you would like to do in privacy. Those are also limited because… of course, the neighbors might hear you.
What is the favorite coping mechanism of young professionals in Romania? They get a vacation. Usually in another country, and not only because Romanian tourism sucks and it’s often more expensive than a foreign one, but also to prove something as an individual: “Ha, ha, I’ve been to the Canary Islands,” to other Romanians who don’t even know where The Canary Islands are.
All these, for Romanians, are redundant. Still, they are particular factors that were especially here and, from a historical perspective, explain much of what we currently see in the brave new Romanian world. Therefore, they might be handy to those who don’t understand society’s underlying mechanisms and especially those considering investing in Romania.
I could use some Romanian (research) numbers to prove my point, but there would be so many links that I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s like that joke: “After long and expensive research, the Romanian researchers have come to the conclusion the largest concentration of vitamins is to be found in pharmacies and naturist shops”, although that joke might become a bitter joke considering this [en, blog].
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