The Romanian town of Aninoasa has become the country’s first to file for bankruptcy.
Despite having access to EU financial aid, officials have been unable to repay loans for investment projects and they have decided the spiral of debt must be stopped.
Deputy Mayor, Adrian Albescu says his boss likes to joke that there are only two important insolvent towns in the world, Detroit in America and now Aninoasa in Europe.”
Chronic poverty is nothing new in this part of the world and some locals say EU membership has not improved their lives.
“There aren’t any opportunities to work. You may be able to find a job in a shop or in a bar, but that’s it,” said Petrica Velovici.
With hundreds more Romanian towns unable to support themselves, Aninoasa may not be the last to declare itself bust.