Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Ion Jinga’

Romania’s National Day

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 2nd December, 2013

Romania EUAmbassador Ion JingaBeing Romanian Ambassador to the Court of St James’s cannot have been easy in recent months, as the dreadful Daily Mail and even viler Daily Express have whipped up anti-Romanian feeling, cheered on by Nigel Farage and his UKIP nuts, as well as some Conservatives who ought to know better. However, H.E. Ion Jinga (who has been en poste for five years now) has handled the situation with dignity. This evening, during his customary short speech at the Romania National Day reception at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Belgravia he lamented the fact that the debate about freedom of movement in the European Union has got so skewed and pointed out that most Romanians here are working and of course paying taxes and national insurance. Indeed, all recent reputable surveys show that the nationals of other EU member states working here contribute far more to the UK economy than some of their compatriots receive in benefits. The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Romania Lord (Quentin) Davies of Stamford lambasted the media scaremongering about migration and it was pointed out that that before the First World War, people could move around Europe freely, but it has taken us nearly a century to get back to that situation. It would be a seriously retrograde step to go back on that progress now. And as Ambassador Jinga mentioned, there are one-and-a-half million Brits enjoying freedom of movement by living and in many cases working in other EU member states. But no country’s media vilifies them. Of course there must be adequate provision to deal with aggressive beggars, criminals and “benefit tourists”. But the vast majority of Romanians (and Bulgarians) in this country do not fit into that category nor will most of those who come later to work.

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Romania, the EU and the Euro

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 30th September, 2011

Despite all the woes the Eurozone has been going through, Romania is still keen on changing to the single currency and anticipates it will be ready by 2015. That point was made clear by Ambassador Ion Jinga at a Federal Trust seminar on the EU Economy: Lessons Learned by a Newcomer, held at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London’s Belgrave Square. The newest (along with Bulgaria) of the EU’s 27 member states, Romania has made giant strides since joining in 2007, as Radu Serban, one of the key speakers at the seminar, underlined. Wages are still low compared with the rest of the Union, but the country has rich resources, not least agriculture, which could become increasingly important if the world experiences a food crisis in a few years time, as some experts predict. A new EU member state has to be proactive, Mr Serban argued, explaining his country’s assertiveness. But he was advised by another speaker, the financial pundit David Marsh, that it might be prudent for Romania to wait a little longer before pressing its case to join the euro. ‘The euro is a type of seduction machine,’ David warned — though the Romanians present still seemed ready to be seduced.

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