Romania drops the leu and adopts kilometres of motorway as new currency

It’s official. All costs of all things in Romania will from today be measured not in the local currency – the leu – or any other currency (euros, pounds, dollars or North Korean luncheon vouchers) but instead in kilometres of motorway.

Local newspaper Gandul was the first to break the news this morning, leading on its website with the headline: ‘Moving all of the national library’s books into a new building will cost 7km of motorway.’

Supermarkets are expected to fall into line over the weekend, with a pint of milk being priced at one third of a millimetre of motorway (yes, we worked it out).

The only problem with the new currency is that the banking system could well run short very quickly.

Even though the Romanian Prime Minister Little Emil Boc opened another whopping 10 kilometres of motorway last week, Romania still has less than 320 kilometres of motorway to go around.

While we are no experts in money supply and the like, by our calculations Romania could well be forced into borrowing motorway from external markets by the end of the year.

For more on the building in question, which you may recall Romania’s parliamentarians have had their greedy eyes on, see here. Fortunately, it appears the MPs lost the argument, and the building, when completed next year, will indeed serve its original purpose as the Romanian National Library.

  • Good! I say the fewer “motorways” the better. Want to ruin a bucolic, idyllic traditional agricultural society super fast? Thread 10 million cars through it on high-paced roadways, including the attendant garbage retail shops that come along with it.


    p.s. what does a person have to do to get on the blogroll there, esp under Romania Links?

    • Geronimo

      Am I the only one who finds the word “bucolic” very patronising and irritating when applied to Romania?

    • Added. Didn’t know about you until yesterday!

    • Thing is, it is not idyllic, is it? Life for people in the Romanian countryside is crap. When tradition = poverty then I am all for getting rid of it. Bring on the motorways.

  • Radu

    Yes, I agree, great (and funny) article Craig!

  • Ton

    Great story. A pity that you can get Bucharest in your Pocket only for a pothole!