Monday, January 08, 2007

Sibiu, Culture Capital (?)

Apparently getting into the European Union wasn't enough for some Romanians, for on January 1st Sibiu, a Transylvania city, was named a cultural capital of Europe. Each year the EU Parliament names a couple of cities cultural capitals. This year along with Sibiu, Luxembourg was named a capital.
While Sibiu is one of Romania's nicest cities, it is far from a culture capital. The Invasion was in Sibiu for a week in December 2005 and it was far from inspiring. In fact, the most inspiring thing was the American front court duo of Darnell Clavon and Brian Evans, players on the city basketball team. Next was some sweet bar that served cheap tequila. Other than that, Sibiu was far from impressive. Although the city was undergoing extensive construction in preparation for this year, the Invasion was far from impressed and we have absolutely no clue how EU officials were tricked into naming Sibiu a cultural capital.

Congratulations to Romania

For Romanians January 1st was not only the beginning of 2007 but it also marked Romania's entry into the European Union. It's an exciting time here of conflicting emotions. Like fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, Romanians are very wary of their success only because the following failures will hurt all the more. With the help of EU euros and increased foreign investment, Romania should be on the cusp of a period of great growth, but with the help of a fragile political landscape and still rampant corruption, Romania could easily squander their great chance. Twenty years ago, Romania was still a police state ruled by fiat, now it is a member of the European Union. Certainly the next twenty years will be rather interesting. Back in the present, the OMI hasn't seen any changes save for a passport stamp. Of course it would be the stamps.
Here are a few Romania+EU facts to ponder (thanks to The Economist)
GDP per head = $4,490, EU average = $29,330
EU cash might account for up to 2% of GDP 2007-13
current account deficit = 10.3%, Euro zone average = 0.1%
have any other facts to add? put 'em in the comments