Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2

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The Poverty Problem in Rural Romania

David Turnock

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 2, pp. 53-76

Abstract

A serious poverty problem arises from the fall in salaried employment combined with low wages and an inadequate social security system. But the situation is particularly difficult in rural ar-eas because the commuting workforce was laid-off disproportionately and while land restitution has provided smallholdings for most rural dwellers, coping strategies that focus quite narrowly on sub-sistence farming are unable to generate capital to launch new businesses. Since foreign investment goes almost entirely the larger towns, rural development is heavily dependent on programmes to improve infrastructure and encourage diversification. Although there are sharp regional contrasts, considerable progress has been made in identifying the problem areas.

Keywords: land restitution, poverty, Romania, rural areas, smallholdings, social security, subsist-ence farming, unemployment

David Turnock, Geography Department, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LEI 7RH,