Given that the new head of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) Andrei Marga has promised to clamp down on journalists using ‘denigrating terms, cliches or any other form of tendentious comment about Romania and the Romanian people which diminish, minimilise or distort traditional Romanian values,’ the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf should expect the worse.
Here’s a video report from their website, covering the build-up to tonight’s World Cup qualifier between Romania and the Netherlands at Bucharest’s Arena Nationala:
That’s right: the opening shot is of a horse and cart passing in front of the Romanian football association’s modern and rather impressive training complex at Mogosoaia.
Some parts of the Romanian sporting press are already up in arms. Pro Sport declared hysterically that ‘The Dutch will not stop that nasty western habit [of being horrible to Romania].’
If that opening shot had been recorded 50 years ago in the Romanian countryside, and was now being used out of date and out of context, we would agree.
However, it was in fact clearly shot yesterday in front of the training camp on the outskirts of Bucharest. Any number of reports today around Europe will be similar: the opening frames will include a shot setting the scene.
The problem, therefore, is not Dutch malice towards Romania: a desire to show the country in a negative way. No, the problem is the Bucharest ‘scene’. For the fact is that horses and carts are still, in 2012, a common sight in and around Bucharest. Quite how that is the fault of the Dutch is beyond us.