Tuesday, September 05, 2006


A shocking news report on ITV last night once again exposed the horrific and appalling conditions that pervade orphanages in Romania, over 15 years after the first Western TV cameras were allowed in. Truly nothing changes without money, especially the unofficial policy of concealing the truth from the outside world.

However, the gist of the report seemed to be that Romania shouldn't be permitted to join the European Union while it still has this shameful secret lurking behind closed doors. I'm not sure that I agree. Doesn't it make more sense to let the benefits of EU cash go toward improving facilities and hiring trained child-minders? Isn't there a way that a certain proportion of EU funding could be guaranteed to reach these institutions?

The EU isn't a charity, I hear you say. And the value of the euro will plummet if we keep letting in poor countries like Romania. Well... quite. But doesn't it make long-term financial sense to invest in countries with bad economies and then build them up into growth economies? The EU has done it before, to great success.

I'm not an expert on EU spending policy by any means, so send me your thoughts.


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