Romania's economy could no longer afford another total lockdown in the event of a second wave of coronavirus infections, president of the Romanian - German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK) Dragos Anastasiu said on Thursday.
"Everyone has understood that a total lockdown cannot be the best solution. I think the people have understood what both personal and trade responsibility mean, and I think that if a second wave were to come and we don't have vaccine by then - which is highly likely - the measures to take will be different from two months ago. I don't think the Romanian economy can afford this anymore. I understand the significance of the health risk, of the epidemiological risk, we don't underestimate it, we don't believe in a conspiracy theory, but I think a balance will have to be found between the mandatory measures for slowing the spread of a disease - no matter what this might be - and the effects of these measures. Economy-wise, I don't think we can afford a second set of such measures," Dragos Anastasiu told broadcaster Digi 24.
The AHK president emphasized that the total lockdown has generated a huge bill that has to be paid.
"Economically, we have all understood what a lockdown means and what its effects are, and that there's huge bill someone has to pay. By isolating at home we can avoid any kind of disease, by banning tobacco we can prevent a lot of cardiovascular and lung diseases, so there are measures by which we can prevent any disease in this world, the question is at what cost," Anastasiu argued.
The AHK head pointed out that unlike their German counterparts, the Romanian government cannot do much to help the economy because of the massive budget deficit.
"We have been running budget deficits for years and now, when faced with such problems, there is no money to help the economy. Overall, we will have to manage our national budget differently, we will have to overhaul the state apparatus, we, the entrepreneurs, will have to steer clear of everything tax evasion, the state budget revenues must increase and expenses must go down, we will have to seek surplus, not deficits, and then we'll have money in the coffer for a different approach to helping the economy," Dragos Anastasiu said.