Editor’s note: This article first appeared on AVFM Romania.
Taxpayers’ money tends to be the main funding source for the feminist ideological program and Romania is no exception to this rule. So we tried to calculate just how much money the Romanian state spent on purely ideologically driven projects or on projects meant to help women and only women, even when there is no need for any help, as stated by the would-be helped women themselves. We will, at least at first, exclude the EU funds, although those amounts should also be included in a broader analysis since this country is a net contributor, at least according to some economists.
The greatest part of these useless and resource-wasting projects comes from the POSDRUnote 1 line of EU funding. Since the list of useless projects is very long, we won’t include them by name here, but we will provide the documents from where we gathered the numbers so readers can make the calculations themselves if one thinks that we messed up the numbers or we are exaggerating.
First, we’ll take the list of POSDRU contracts signed until July 31, 20141, and add the numbers from the column “buget național” (national budget) of all the projects that are finalized (see the last column in the table) and explicitly mention women or we have data to support that they’re feminist-oriented.
Also, please notice that there is no project dedicated to men and the word “men” appears exactly twice in all the 173 pages of the table: once in the name of the National Agency for Equality of Opportunity between Women and Men and once in the name of a suggestively named project “Interactive lesson for women and men. How are women like?” which by itself swallowed over 1 million Romanian lei (henceforth referred to simply as lei) from taxpayers’ pockets—1,057,986.21 lei, to be more precise (see p. 142).
Huge piles of cash were spent on various projects, one more asinine than the other, such as “The social inclusion of women,” which gives the impression to anyone reading the list that women here live somehow beneath the country and are not the sex that controls two major powers: the justice system and the press.
Going through all the lists is in and of itself funny. This is how you find out that the state spends half a million euros on a project called “The Woman—genesis, patriarchy, leadership” (p. 146).
From this table alone, we reach the amount of 80,187,334.26 lei, which is almost 18 million euros. And from this calculus, the projects that listed as 0 (zero) the amount received from the national budget but that still got money from city halls, county councils, and other state agencies are missing.
On December 16, 2014, the POSDRU organism published the list of projects to be financed this year2, and on this list there is only one project that fits what we’re looking for—and that is the project “Fidelis” (no. 11 in the table), which swallows from the state 3,704,501.21 lei, meaning a little over $1 million, or almost 830,000 euros. That’s not much, right?
We asserted earlier that some of these projects have actually consumed more from taxpayers’ money than what is stated in the “national budget” column in the POSDRU central documents. One such example is the project “Equality and access on the labour market,” whose beneficiary is the Alba County Council3, and when we look in the third column—the one called “contribuție beneficiar” (the beneficiary’s contribution)—we see that 43,200 lei from the taxpayers of Alba county were directed toward the little project about nothing implemented by the county council4.
Numerous other projects are in the same situation, with beneficiaries being state universities, various do-nothing state agencies, and other state institutions in which, by virtue of not being profitable, it is clear that they’ve covered the “beneficiary’s contribution” also using taxpayers’ money. Also in this situation are the projects initiated by pseudo-unions like Agrostar (who have a de facto subscription to money from the Ministry for Agriculture) or the National Syndicate Block, which exists and acts as anything but a private union or entity.
So we went again through the list, this time paying attention to the projects whose beneficiary is a state institution and adding the amounts in the third column from the “beneficiary’s contribution.” Through this process, we reached the amount of 9,296,644.19 lei, which is a little over 2 million euros. That’s nothing, right?
Identifying the obviously sexist projects from the POSDRU list is in and of itself quite complicated. For instance, the project called “Three generations for tomorrow,”5 which swallowed 230,941.47 lei from taxpayers, is presented in the press and its literature as being exclusively dedicated to the women of Bucharest. But nothing in the name or in the list suggests such a thing. So more research was needed.
The same goes for many of the projects initiated by the National Union of Public Servants (which despite its name is not a union but an institution subordinated to the Ministry of Finance), which is selling its sexist projects to the public as being “novel,”6 yet it adopts neutral names like “Solidarity through social dialogue,” which makes their identification as ideological projects more difficult.
In the same situation, we have the project called “CoRes,”7 which swallowed 229,606.69 lei from the national budget8, although nothing from its name suggests that it’s a gynocentric project. And examples like this go on and on. This is why we assert that the amounts we calculated do not represent the entire dimension of the taxpayer money hemorrhage that took place this year alone.
But EU-funded projects aren’t the only excuse that our government is using to waste public funds in a discriminatory fashion. “The multi-annual national programme for the development of entrepreneurial culture amongst women in managerial roles from the SMEnote 2 sector” (gee, that’s a long name!) is a local scheme9 that consumed this year 500,000 lei—because we all know that female managers are terribly oppressed by the patriarchy because that’s why they became managers in SMEs … oh … wait. Never mind.
You will probably tell me that half a million lei is not a big amount, but that doesn’t change the fact that the amount was entirely wasted. Besides, the maximum eligible amount for each applicant (41,500 lei) is enough to buy a small flat in a modest town in Romania or enough for a deposit for a highly advantageous bank loan to buy a nice flat in a city. Is it really that radical to suggest that managers of private companies (female or male) should not be eligible for state welfare of the equivalent of an apartment?
Also, from the series of taxpayer money spent in a gynocentric fashion, there is the Tecuci Town Hall, which spent 55,550 lei to award 1,111 women from the town for their fantastic accomplishment of breathing as women in the town of Tecuci10. Seriously! You can’t make this stuff up!
Is it really that radical to suggest that that amount of money would’ve been better invested in renting two more snowplowing machines? We’re just saying that with five machines instead of three, the citizens of the small town from Galați county wouldn’t be forced to swim through snow for longer periods of time, nor would they be at an increased risk of breaking limbs on the sidewalks in these December days11.
And now let’s do the math.
Without claiming to have identified all the amounts that taxpayers paid in this sector, let’s see at least a very conservative number regarding how much the feminist ideology did cost taxpayers this year.
|Total “contributions national budget”||80,187,334.26|
|The “Fidelis” project||3,704,501.21|
|“beneficiary’s contribution” when the beneficiary is the state||9,296,644.19|
|Money for lady SME managers||500,000.00|
|Tecuci, March 8||55,550.00|
That’s 21 million euros. Is that a lot? Or not really? Let’s put the number into perspective.
How much does this practically mean?
First of all, we shall mention once again that this is only money taken straight from taxpayers and given to feminist causes—without going through the terribly inefficient bureaucratic apparatus of the European Union. Considering that the difference between Romania’s contribution to the EU budget and that funds that come back to the country are minuscule (that much everyone agrees on, regardless of political persuasion), the real amount is far-far-far higher—somewhere around 200 million euros. But we’ll focus only on this smaller amount, which is more obvious, to avoid any arguments.
The state estimates that in order to build a school with eight classrooms, roughly 360,000 euros ought to be spent12. Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that when we add the corruption costs inherent to any bureaucracy, the costs go up to 500,000 euros. However, even with that, we’re still left with the fact that with only the money wasted this year on feminist projects, the state could’ve built 42 schools with eight classrooms that are ideal for the rural areas. Is that a lot? Or is it nothing?
On average, a Romanian pupil costs the state roughly 2,360 lei a year13. We won’t make value judgments on whether the amount is too big or too small. But by doing the math, we come up with the fact that with only the money wasted in 2014 on feminist projects, the state could’ve funded the education of 39,722 pupils, which is far-far more than the total number of pupils who abandon school because they can’t afford it.
In other words, the Romanian government could have permanently eradicated school abandonment, provided that it hadn’t wasted mountains of money on feminist projects and instead invested the funds into the future of our children, regardless of their sex.
The construction of a state-of-the-art emergency hospital with 462 beds costs roughly 90 million euros14. In other words, two such hospitals could’ve been built by now since we joined the EU if the state hadn’t co-funded feminist projects at all.
The rehabilitation of a policlinic to state-of-the-art standards costs 34.5 million lei (8.2 million euros)15—an investment that in Craiova (southwest) would help 270,000 people annually. With only the money wasted this year on feminist projects, three such units could’ve been rehabilitated and over half a million citizens (funny thing, most of them women!) would’ve been receiving far better medical care—without extra burdens placed on taxpayers.
And if the state really wanted to help primarily women, they should check this out: At Bistrița, a new lying-in hospital (or maternity unit) has been built that is the first state clinic to reasonably be a rival to the clinics in the private sector16. How much did it cost? 8.5 million lei, money that came from a governmental loan from the World Bank. With the money wasted on feminist projects, nine (yes, nine) such hospital units could’ve been built just this year alone without the state putting us all in debt with even one cent. Moreover, such an investment would have undeniably helped more women than all the feminist projects ever ran in this country combined.
The cost of a kilometer of county roadnote 3 built from scratch varies between 500,000 and 2.3 million lei17—so, an average cost of 1.4 million lei. Make no mistake! This is the cost for constructing a road from scratch, meaning from raw land until the last layer of pavement. With only the money spent on feminist projects this year, 67 kilometers of county road could’ve been built. That’s almost enough to connect the few remaining remote villages.
The average cost of rehabilitation of a kilometer of county road is somewhere around 975,000 lei18. With only the money wasted on feminist projects this year alone, 96 kilometers of county roads could’ve been rehabilitated. Just with the amount spent on feminist claptrap, the biggest road problems of, let’s say, Suceava county could’ve been entirely solved. Surely more citizens would’ve been better served by a rehabilitated county road than by the do-nothing projects with a feminist smell that the state has funded this year.
Recently, there was another accident involving a helicopter from SMURDnote 4—apparently due to the fact that the pilot wasn’t sufficiently trained, allegedly because there’s not enough funding for training. Such a helicopter costs 5.3 million euros19. With the money that the state used on feminist projects this year alone, three such choppers could’ve been bought and enough money would’ve still been left to fund more than enough training for the pilots, thus preventing tragedies such as the recent one from Siutghiol. Make no mistake: we’re talking only about the money wasted this year on feminism.
The rehabilitation of a school costs roughly 1 million lei20. In other words, at least 90 schools could’ve been rehabilitated just this year alone and several thousand pupils would’ve studied in conditions worthy of this century.
So, let’s recap how much feminism really cost us in 2014. With the money the state wasted this year, any of the following could’ve been accomplished:
- 42 brand-new schools with eight classrooms each
- Fully paid education for a year for 39,722 pupils
- A quarter of a state-of-the art emergency hospital
- Three state-of-the-art policlinics serving over half a million citizens
- Nine lying-in hospitals comparable with private clinics
- 67 kilometers of county road built from scratch
- 96 kilometers of county road rehabilitated
- Three brand-new SMURD choppers, plus extensive training for all the pilots
- At least 90 schools rehabilitated
Had any of these nine alternatives been chosen instead of the ideological feminist projects, the populace (including women) would’ve been far more well served than all the feminist claptrap combined that the state chose to fund.
If we also take into account the money that feminists have taken after it’s been shuffled through so many bureaucracies that it no longer seems to be taxpayers’ money, we reach over 200 million euros wasted just this year alone. So multiply by 10 all the things aforementioned and know how much could’ve been done if these corruption-generating projects would not have existed.
Also, when we talk about 200 million euros, we enter the big leagues, and a case could reasonably be made that some taxes could be shrunk or even axed—a move that undoubtedly would serve more women than all of the feminist projects combined.
Is it really that radical for us to suggest that female managers from SMEs would be better served by some lowered taxes or a reduction in the internal costs associated with the state bureaucracy?
The fact that the government allocated 20 million lei for churches21 in October22 is front-page news and a national scandal (and rightfully so, I’d say, although not everyone agrees). But the fact that the government spent almost five times that amount to fund the feminist religion doesn’t even get on the media’s radar.
It is a big scandal that the Catholic Diocese in Stau Mare gets 1 million lei per year from the state23 while Catholicism is a minority religion—with way under 10% of the populace adhering to this denomination. All right, but what about the state giving over 90 times more (!) to a cult—the feminist cult, that is—which surely has even fewer adherents than the Roman Catholic denomination in this country?
Large segments of society (including feminists) have condemned the fact that the state has funded through successive donations the construction of the People’s Salvation Cathedral—again, rightfully so, I’d say, even if many disagree.
But feminists are the last people who should be complaining about this, given that from the start of the fundraiser for the cathedral until now, the state has donated a little over 13 million euros—in seven years24. The secularists will argue that it’s 13 million too much.
But also as a secularist I will argue that 21 million euros this year alone for the feminist cult are 21 million too much!
An entire movement has rapidly been formed, shouting, “We want hospitals/Not cathedrals” for less money wasted in seven years than for the feminist cult in one year! Where is the “We want hospitals/Not feminism” movement? The irony is that “We want hospitals/Not feminism” would be a slogan much more favorable to women than all the feminist projects combined, given that 80% of the employees in health care are women.
note 1: POSDRU = Programul Operațional Sectorial—Dezvoltarea Resurselor Umane (The Sectoral Operational Programme—Human Resources Development).
note 2: The original term is “Întreprinderi Mici și Mijlocii/IMM,” which is the legal equivalent of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the EU jurisprudence.
note 3: A county road is the fourth type of road in Romania (there are five types). They are usually shorter than 100 kilometers and they connect remote towns and villages with a medium-sized town (or in some cases with a European road).
note 4: SMURD = Serviciul Mobil de Urgenţǎ, Reanimare şi Descarcerare (Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication) and is a part-public, part-private emergency service, mostly known for its spectacular and usually efficient helicopter interventions. Its reputation has been tainted recently by two accidents and a political scandal in which its founder was involved.
(1) List of contracts signed July 31, 2014—POSDRU: http://www.fonduri-ue.ro/posdru/images/doc2014/contractate31072014.pdf.
(2) List of projects admitted with over 80 points—POSDRU—published on December 16, 2014: http://www.fonduri-ue.ro/posdru/images/doc2014/cpp173.pdf.
(3) Bogdan Presecan—Studiu pe bani europeni privind respectarea egalităţii de şanse dintre femei și bărbați la nivelul județului Alba, Ziarul Unirea, published on August 3, 2014: http://www.ziarulunirea.ro/studiu-pe-bani-europeni-privind-respectarea-egalitatii-de-sanse-dintre-femei-si-barbati-la-nivelul-judetului-alba-278942.html.
(4) List July 31, op. cit., p. 146 (element 3012).
(5) ***Formarea profesională a femeilor, cu bani europeni, Ziarul Ring, published on October 1, 2014: http://www.ziarulring.ro/stiri/eveniment/245831/2014/Formarea-profesionala-a-femeilor-cu-bani-europeni.
(6) Constantin Mazilu—Finantele ofera bani femeilor care vor sa se recalifice, Bună Ziua Iași, published on September 2, 2014: http://www.bzi.ro/finantele-ofera-bani-femeilor-care-vor-sa-se-recalifice-453783.
(7) Artur Székely—O șansă in plus la angajare pentru femei, Graiul Sălajului, published on July 3, 2014: http://www.graiulsalajului.ro/o-ans-in-plus-la-angajare-pentru-femei-a-40731.
(8) List July 31, op. cit., p. 146 (element 3000).
(9) ***Bani de la stat pentru femeile manager 2014, Advisa, published on March 5, 2014: http://www.adivisa.com/bani-de-la-stat-pentru-femeile-manager-2014/.
(10) ***Primăria Tecuci a premiat cu câte 50 de lei 1.111 de femei cu ocazia zilei de 8 Martie, Tecuceni.ro, published on March 17, 2014: http://tecuceni.ro/primaria-tecuci-a-premiat-cu-cate-50-de-lei-1-111-de-femei-cu-ocazia-zilei-de-8-martie/.
(11) ***Tecuciul, deszăpezit cu trei utilaje, Digi24, published on December 4, 2014: http://www.digi24.ro/Stiri/Regional/Digi24+Galati/Stiri/Tecuciul+deszapezit+cu+trei+utilaje.
(12) ***Statul estimează la 360.000 euro costul unei şcoli cu opt săli de clasă, Money.ro, published on April 12, 2010: http://www.money.ro/statul-estimeaza-la-360-000-euro-costul-unei-scoli-cu-opt-sali-de-clasa_544201.html.
(13) R. Loznianu, M. Stoica—ŞCOALĂ NOUĂ. Cât de mult ne COSTĂ învăţământul de stat GRATUIT. De ani de zile, părinţii „creditează” Educaţia cu milioane de euro, Gândul, published on September 27, 2013: http://www.gandul.info/stiri/scoala-noua-cat-de-mult-ne-costa-invatamantul-de-stat-gratuit-de-ani-de-zile-parintii-crediteaza-educatia-cu-milioane-de-euro-11381167—the result is the arithmetic average between the six education forms financed by the state and described in the article for the school year 2013-2014.
(14) ***Construcţia unui spital judeţean de urgenţă costă 90 milioane de euro, anunţă Ministerul Sănătăţii, Realitatea, published on April 12, 2010: http://www.realitatea.net/constructia-unui-spital-judetean-de-urgenta-costa-90-milioane-de-euro-anunta-ministerul-sanatatii_708671.html.
(15) ***Ambulatoriul Spitalului de Urgenţă Craiova va fi reabilitat. Vezi cât costă proiectul de renovare, România TV, published at May 8, 2012: http://www.romaniatv.net/ambulatoriul-spitalului-de-urgenta-craiova-va-fi-reabilitat-vezi-cat-costa-proiectul-de-renovare_27697.html.
(16) Veronica Petruț—Vezi cum arată şi cum funcţionează noua maternitate de la Spitalul Judeţean. Va face concurenţă clinicilor private, Observator BN, published on June 13, 2014: http://www.observatorbn.ro/articol.php?categorie=2&articol=7414.
(17) ***Cât costă un km de autostradă şi unul de drum judeţean în Sibiu?, Tribuna, published on July 21, 2011: http://www.tribuna.ro/stiri/stirile-de-pe-strada-mea/cat-costa-un-km-de-autostrada-si-unul-de-drum-judetean-in-sibiu-67770.html.
(18) ibidem—the result of the arithmetic average between the minimal amount (700k) and the maximal amount (1.25 million).
(19) ***SMURD are un elicopter nou, care costă peste cinci milioane de euro, Adevărul, published on July 24, 2012: http://adevarul.ro/news/societate/smurd-elicopter-nou-costa-cinci-milioane-euro-1_50ae28527c42d5a6639a21df/index.html.
(20) V. Rotaru—Înghesuială de firme la reabilitarea unei școli speciale din județ, Bună Ziua Iași, published on April 10, 2012: http://www.bzi.ro/inghesuiala-de-firme-la-reabilitarea-unei-scoli-speciale-din-judet-281255.
(21) R.M.—Guvernul a alocat încă 14 milioane de lei pentru biserici, HotNews.ro, published on October 23, 2014: http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-esential-18364342-guvernul-alocat-inca-14-milioane-lei-pentru-biserici.htm.
(22) A. Vasilache—Guvernul Ponta a alocat din fonduri bugetare înca 6.000.000 lei pentru biserici din Madrid, Barcelona, Gorj și Cluj, HotNews.ro, published on October 21, 2014: http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-diaspora-18348519-guvernul-ponta-alocat-din-fonduri-bugetare-inca-6-000-000-lei-pentru-biserici-din-madrid-barcelona-gorj-cluj.htm.
(23) ***Șantajul bisericii catolice la adresa instituțiilor publice. Cum a blocat cultul maghiar conturile Spitalului Județean Satu Mare, Anchete Online, published on July 28, 2014: http://ancheteonline.ro/2014/07/santajul-bisericii-catolice-la-adresa-institutiilor-publice-cum-a-blocat-cultul-maghiar-conturile-spitalului-judetean-satu-mare/.
(24) Mihaela Stoica—Finalizarea Catedralei Mântuirii Neamului, amânată cu un an. Câţi bani a înghiţit până acum cea mai importantă construcţie a BOR, Gândul, published on March 24, 2014 and updated on July 15, 2014 (accessed on December 15, 2014): http://www.gandul.info/stiri/finalizarea-catedralei-mantuirii-neamului-amanata-cu-un-an-cati-bani-a-inghitit-pana-acum-cea-mai-importanta-constructie-a-bor-12299973.