Romania's industrialization



  In the near future we can expect decisions that can launch unsustainable industrial activities in Romania. In the past, similar decisions have been already taken. Those decisions were based on political and economical concepts considered correct in that time. By them, the independence of the country and the welfare of its inhabitants were promised. Often the industrial facilities were built and operated on the cost of sacrificing landscapes, communities and lives. Unfortunatelly, now, from the perspective of several decades it seems that in most of the cases, their costs overweight the benefits they brought.


  With the photographs below I try to present what remained from all that was expected from Romania's  industrialisation.



In 1947, at the date of proclamation of the People's Republic of Romania the country was predominantly agrarian with an underdeveloped industry and with many citizens making a living from agriculture.


One of the main goals of the new country leaders was to create an economical system based on the nationalization of the agriculture and the development of the heavy industry. Most of the agricultural land was nationalized. The heavy industry was presented as the key to the independence and development of the nation. Thermal and hydroelectric power plants, new factories and mines were built in a forced pace. The existing, previously nationalized industrial facilities were developed. Many farmers who lost their land moved to cities and became workers. The rhythm of development was truly exceptional: during the years of communism, the romanian industry multiplied itself in size.


But this wasn't for free. Traditional communities fell apart, the industry caused severe pollution and the amount of loans taken from western countries was constantly rising. Moreover, during the years of the Ceaușescu era became obvious that the industry is so inefficient that that the loans taken for the development cannot be repaid. Finally, the loans were repaid after a nationwide saving campaign. As a byproduct, the population's standard of living was deteriorated and less and less money was available for the modernisation of the industrial facilities.
After 1990, as the political and economical systems of the communist bloc countries were changed and the extremely centralized management system of the Romanian industry collapsed, the mere existence of numerous industrial companies become meaningless. The communism left behind a society and an economy adapted to stability and permanent central control. It was hard for both of them to adapt to the long awaited freedom. Some successful companies were privatised, but many were closed and left behind masses of unemployed. A part of them created new methods to earn a living, but many of them still could not find their places.


Six decades after the launch of the industrialisation, the country, where the material demand of the inhabitants has grown to a previously unseen level, is more dependent from foreign money sources than ever.
The place of the demolished or collapsed industrial buildings will be covered by new buildings or the nature will slowly reconquer them. But the poisoned soils, disintegrated communities and the disoriented masses will remind us for a long time to the forced industrialization of this country.