I passed this along to some Romanian (not Roma) friends of mine who live in Brașov. They laughed bitterly and wondered where this country described in the article is located.
One of them has cancer and other health issues and finds she has to spend most of her wages on each treatment, which she can’t afford to have very often; she tries to survive from one treatment to the next. (Because there is no social safety net, medical treatment is for cash on the line plus bribes, or you die.) She has to live with her parents, at age 34, because she can’t afford her treatments, food, and rent all at the same time. All of her friends are feeling the pinch to one degree or another. Wages are stagnant and prices are rising. Her ex-husband has been waiting for his army pay that was due 3 years ago. There was a major lawsuit by members of the armed forces 2 years ago, and they won, but the government simply refuses to pay. Now the talk is that people who were discharged may have to go back in.
It is virtually impossible to send money to Romania by wire transfer because the Romanian banks have so many weird rules and are so resistant to joining the rest of the world.
A nightclub fire in November 2015, which occurred because the owners had bought off the inspectors to allow substandard conditions, killed and injured dozens of people. This triggered mass resignations and investigations, because of the general outrage. Some went so far as to call it a revolution. The photos and videos I saw showed large demonstrations in the streets of Bucharest. Did you miss that somehow? It seems corruption is as rampant as ever.
One of my friends is trying to emigrate to the United States. The States will admit her, but she had to pay bribes that set her back years and made her situation worse, in order to get an exit visa — and they reneged.
She and her friends refuse to participate in national holiday celebrations, because they will not, as they say, celebrate poverty and corruption.
So again: where is this lovely Romania place you’re writing about?