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February 23, 2024
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Opinion Poll: Romanians Think They Live Worse than in Communism

Romanians think they live worse than during the communist regime. This is the surprising result of an opinion poll conducted by the INSCOP research institute.

The results were published a month before the anniversary of the so-called “Romanian Revolution” in December 1989.

57% of Romanians say they live worse than during the communist regime

The study is part of the “Romania Agenda 2050”, a project meant to offer a clear view of the country’s direction over the following decades. Among the partners in the project are universities, such as Bucharest University or “Babes Bolyai” University from Cluj, and other thinking groups and research entities.

Even more concerning is that the study, conducted in two different moments, May-June and September-October, shows that Romanians see the situation worsening in the country. If in May only 54% of those interviewed thought the situation during communism had been better than the current one, in September, this number raised to 57%.

Currently, 57% of the people think the country is worse than before the so-called “Romanian Revolution” in 1989 when Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian Communist Party’s Secretary General, was arrested and killed.

Thirty-three years after that event, Romania looked different, but Romanians had higher expectations than that.

Those of the mature generation, in one way or another, are disappointed by the gap between their expectations in 1989 and what has happened. On the other hand, there are young people who don’t know much about what was before 1989, about what society was like and people don’t think rationally. For example, no one thinks that almost everything was missing in Romanian society in 1989, you had no freedom of movement, the standard of living was extremely low, you did not have basic things, such as permanent access to electricity, fuel or food

Marin Preda, Bucharest University rector

Does anybody still wonder why Romanians are not happy with their current lives?

It’s funny how history repeats itself. In 1989 Romanians lacked food and lived in cold apartments, as the heating system was not running all the time, nor was the electricity. The reason was that the communist regime saved money to pay the external debt, and Romania became one of the countries with no external debts by that time.

On the contrary, in 2022, Romanians have plenty of food, but their purchasing power is dwindling because of inflation. Some apartments are still cold, as the heating system collapsed in many cities, including Bucharest. Mayors come and go, promise to fix the situation, but do little about it. Electricity is running all the time, and there are only a few technical blackouts, but Romanians are concerned about electricity bills as winter approaches.

Was communism better than democracy? We doubt that but it’s clear the expectations after communism fell in Romania were high, and they haven’t yet been met. From this perspective, the current energy crisis, the proximity of the war in Ukraine and the way Romania is treated by other nations within the “European family” are not going to help.

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