ASPES draws attention to negative long-term consequences
The Association for Economic and Social Studies and Forecasts (ASPES) expresses its concern at the seriousness of the current economic and social situation in Romania and draws the attention of current political decision-makers to the negative long-term consequences that this situation may to have not only on the state of the Romanian nation but also on the place that Romania will have in the European and world economic hierarchy.
ASPES considers that Romania is already in a process of economic slowdown and destructuring which, if it is not immediately stopped by effective and courageous economic measures and policies, will eventually place Romania in the category of European countries. underdeveloped, on the periphery of the market and the integrated economic complex of the European Union.
This process of economic decline and destructuring is generated by the disastrous effects of the energy crisis manifested by the exponential increase in energy costs and the absence of short, medium and long term policies to enhance Romania’s energy potential. .
The Romanian economy, characterized by an insufficiently modernized structure, belonging mainly to the manufacturing stage of the industrial revolution, still presents aspects of energy intensity that make the share of energy costs high in the total structure of production costs. , which makes it uncompetitive.
This situation explains the reduction in production or even its stoppage in a large number of industrial units, among which are units of the highest importance in Romanian industry such as Azomures and Alro Slatina. Announcements of downsizing or shutting down due to inability to meet energy costs have also been made recently in the baking, medical, meat and dairy processing industries. In November-December 2021 alone, more than 20,000 SMEs went out of business due to energy costs.
The social consequences are extremely dangerous due to the sudden and uncontrolled rise in unemployment as well as in terms of macro-structural balancing because the decrease in the competitiveness of the economy will greatly reduce the export attributes, accentuating the imbalance of the trade balance. The reduction or cessation of activity in important segments of the industry will negatively affect the ability to collect budgetary revenues, which will call into question the possibility of fulfilling the government coalition’s promises regarding the protection of disadvantaged groups by increasing their income and investment programs.
It is clear that the effect of such a large and sudden increase in energy costs cannot be borne by the current structure of the economy, which requires the immediate design and implementation by the government of a program of economic measures and policies to save the economy from an obvious process of decline and destruction.
In this regard, ASPES calls on the government:
- At the level of the Ministry of Energy, a crisis unit should be set up as a matter of urgency to develop, with the greatest specialists in the field, measures to correct the errors made in the so-called liberalization of the energy market. , in order to ensure reasonable conditions of competition and rationality at the level of producers, whether with foreign capital or majority Romanian capital. The central objective of this crisis unit is to find measures so that at the end of the period of cap and compensation, the invoices do not register an explosion in prices.
- Through a diplomatic and negotiating effort, the government must ask the European Union to authorize the application of subsidies to industrial units which, clearly and objectively, can no longer continue their work because of energy costs.
- In order to reduce the costs of SMEs, but also of households with energy bills, move urgently to the development of a financial support program from the State for the construction of photovoltaic installations, which make it possible to produce electricity. cheaper electricity.
- It is also necessary to negotiate the deadlines for the transition from coal to green energies in order to allow the continued use of coal in the production of electricity in order to increase the domestic supply and eliminate imports of electricity.
- In this context, ASPES appreciates that the process of dismantling the Mintia thermal power station must be stopped and must proceed with modernization by replacing coal fuel with natural gas.
- At the same time, the hydroelectric investment on Jiu is to be completed, the two energy goals – Mintia and the hydroelectric improvement on Jiu through their production will help reduce the import of electricity.
- Speed ââup the process of extracting gas from the Black Sea and complete the legal aspects of offshore law.
ASPES is able to seriously draw the attention of governments to short, medium and long term economic policies, as it recently completed a major economic analysis by publishing a book: âTHINK BEYOND TODAY. ROMANIAN ECONOMIC MODEL IN THE EU. ROMANIA-HORIZON 2040 ‘, to be presented in the next period in a NATIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM, as a contribution to the economic and social policy of the country provided for in the NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ROMANIA – A 2030 AGENDA.
The Association for Economic and Social Studies and Forecasts (ASPES) Romania is a private, non-profit and non-partisan professional association, dedicated to a better understanding of the economy and its problems and focuses its activity on supporting the national interest and the development of Romania. economy in the EU. ASPES is also editor of the magazine ECONOMISTUL.
ASPES focuses on:
- Analysis of the stage of development of the various sectors, but also of the national economy
- Evaluate different models of economic behavior and the effects of public policies
- Predict the effects of alternative economic and social policy proposals.
Research into economic and social issues and the communication of results – both to private actors and to the responsible public authorities – are essential axes of ASPES ‘activity.