Friday, March 25, 2011

Random News Generator- Romania

Sorry for nothing yesterday; a citywide circuit breaker tripped or something. The whole town seemed to lose power at once for a couple seconds, which was enough to eat yesterday's post.

That post was supposed to be a Random News Generator anyway, so we'll just spin again, and we land on Romania.

First off, if you're Romanian, don't forget to set your clocks forward. Daylight Savings starts on Sunday.

That established, the movie Periferic, about a prison inmate who gets released for 24 hours and decides to use it to flee the country, is to be released online in Romania, because there aren't enough theaters to make a theatrical release worth it. Only 182 screens exist in the country.

And alongside Bulgaria, Romania is, according to German foreign ministry state secretary Werner Hoyer, on pace to join Europe's Schengen area by the end of the year. That may sound nice, but this is a schedule slip. They were supposed to be in by this month, but corruption problems in both nations, and their failure to adequately punish the corrupt, have delayed their ascension, and several countries remain in opposition, including Germany.

What is the Schengen area? It is a region, encompassing most of Europe, in which there is no border patrol between countries (and strengthened border control with non-Schengen countries). They just pull up stakes on the border stations and let everyone move freely within the Schengen area. The only thing you'll often see at the border is a 'Welcome to (name)' sign. Of course, law enforcement works the same way, making it a situation something like that within the United States: a fugitive can cross the state line, but so can the cops, including in hot pursuit. That's what Romania and Bulgaria hope to get. But with the corruption problems, the other Schengen nations would be allowing Romanian and Bulgarian corruption to move freely into their countries as well, meaning they would have to take up Romania and Bulgaria's slack. As it stands, there's still just too much slack to pick up. The entire European-multistate-harmony concept teeters on the fact that the group is only as strong as its weakest link. One bad apple can drag down everybody.

They are under pressure to make it happen, though; Schengen compliance is something required of all EU nations aside from Ireland and the United Kingdom, and along with Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria are the only countries that are not yet in compliance.

Maybe it would help if they set their clocks forward.

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