It is a final period of reflection in Romania ahead of Sunday’s run-off presidential ballot.
If the opinion polls are to be believed, voters may be about to dismiss their president of five years, Traian Basescu. He is said to be trailing in the polls by as much as eight percentage points. His rival is Mircea Geoana, the leader of the Social Democrats. Basecu is backed by the centrist Democrat-Liberal Party. The two men recently went head to head in a televised debate, with the economy and corruption two key topics. Some commentators say Basescu has undermined his own anti-graft effort by clashing too openly with opponents; but investors seem worried that Geoana may go soft on reform and ease off on fighting sleaze. Whoever wins is going to have the difficult task of kick-starting the economy.