Country Listing

Romania Table of Contents


Ownership of Economic Assets

When the Constitution of 1965 declared Romania a socialist republic, the country had already made substantial headway in socializing its economic assets. And judging by Ceausescu's words on the occasion of his sixty-ninth birthday in 1987, the campaign to eliminate private ownership appeared irreversible: "One cannot speak of a socialist economy and not assume the socialist ownership of the means of production as its basis." The state owned and controlled all natural resources except for a steadily declining amount of agriculturally marginal land still in private hands (see Land, this ch.). All of industry had been socialized, but for a small number of artisan workshops, which contributed less than 0.5 percent of total marketable output in the 1980s. Even cooperatives, categorized as socialist forms of ownership, had fallen into decline at the very time they were enjoying a renaissance in the Soviet Union and the other members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon, see Glossary). Cooperative farms, for example, were considered ideologically less acceptable than state farms, which had priority access to rich land, fertilizers, machinery, and other inputs. And cooperative industrial enterprises accounted for only 4.3 percent of national output in 1984.

Data as of July 1989