For centuries, mining has been the backbone of Romanian life - a large proportion of the country has relied on this tradition as a vital source of income and employment since Roman times. It is therefore no surprise to hear that today almost two in every three Romanians are in favour of mining.
At the beginning of this year, with the UK economy stuck in stagnation and seemingly no end in sight to the Coalition government's controversial austerity programme, the chances of a Conservative majority after the 2015 general election looked slim. Fast forward, and a fundamentally altered story emerges.
The UK House of Lords EU Subcommittee on Economic and Financial Affairs this week came out railing against the financial transaction tax (FTT), which would place a 0.1% tax on trades in shares and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trades. George Osborne described it as "economic suicide". He is wrong. Not adopting an FTT would be economic suicide.
Free-market (neo-liberal) capitalism has been the dominant type of capitalism for the last three decades; it failed spectacularly to predict the 2008 global economic crash, the second largest economic crisis in history, after the great depression.
The only real winner under the current proposals would not be the consumers who need protecting, nor the government wishing to raise revenues, but instead the unscrupulous black market bookmakers capitalising on the misfortune of firms currently championed for their regulatory excellence.
The significantly increased talk in recent years about how small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy has surprised me. It is as if the recessionary years suddenly made this so and they were somehow not the very same lifeblood before.
In 130 pages of the Autumn Statement the Chancellor covered, as he was right to do, every major public sector programme: but there was one significant omission. A programme which now costs 8% of GDP - the National Health Service. Apart from the commitment to ring-fencing there was no single line in the whole report dedicated to the NHS.
UK businesses are entering 2014 brimming with confidence and with growth firmly placed high up the management agenda. However, while this transition from recession to recovery is encouraging for all, businesses must resist the urge to revert to their pre-crisis way of thinking and instead learn to adapt to the new normal.
A break-up of the eurozone may be where we are headed if spending cuts take precedence over debt defaults and if the financial crisis continues to be cynically portrayed as a morality play. What the continent needs is a debt jubilee and a halt to austerity. Oh, and some solidarity. Otherwise, a second Great Depression beckons.
Despite the obvious need, the clear demand and the huge economic benefits we still fail to invest in housing. We still have the hysterical reaction of the well-heeled and well housed to the idea of new homes being built.
One of the reasons we've got so used to our car tax discs is that it shows that we've paid our bill. It's evidence that we've paid our dues, and one of many day-to-day demonstrations of transparency that we can take for granted.
The knives are out for the shadow chancellor. Again. But to call for him to be sacked on the basis of a single, bad Commons performance is absurd. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is Ed Balls, not George Osborne, who has been vindicated on the economy.
We haven't, until now, designated a particular time of the year to celebrate all that small businesses give to our communities... We'll be using Saturday 7 December - one of the busiest shopping days in the calendar to encourage people to spend their Christmas shopping money locally, not only boosting the local economy but saving on transport costs too.
Thankfully the evidence is starting to show that Britain is turning a corner. We're now one of the fastest growing advanced economies in the world. Labour said this couldn't be done without growing the deficit too, but the British people have proved them wrong.
After several years of generally bad years, everyone will welcome the good news that the Statement contains. However we have good reasons to think that the medium term prospects are not as rosy as the Chancellor thinks...
After three wasted years, we have had another day of complacency from George Osborne. All we heard in a speech of nearly an hour was more evidence of the cost of living crisis and a few misplaced boasts about the state of the economy, despite the fact that this is no recovery at all for millions of families.