the "monumental achievement of the Communist party and Comrade Ceausescu."
But the canal proved to be economically unsuccessful. Instead of the increase of trade expected, only a trickle of it came through the new waterway. This was partly the result of the collapse of the Soviet economy and the diminishing volume of Soviet trade. But the Balkan states, including Greece and Bulgaria, shipped their exports through the traditional routes leading through the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. The Iran-Iraq war did not help Romania either. The crude oil that was to be shipped through terminals in Turkey never materialized.
At the present time, the great Danube-Black sea canal is just another project that seems to have been unnecessary. It certainly contributed its share to the exhaustion of the Romanian economy in the 1980s. It is undoubtedly possible that the Danube- Black sea canal might eventually become a regular trade route. For that to happen, however, first the shattered Russian and other economics in the successor states of the former Soviet Union would have to be revived. There is a good possibility that this will happen but it will be in the future.
Goergescu Vlad, ed. Romania: 40 Years (1944-1984)( New York, 1985); Ionescu Ghita, Communism in Romania 1944-1962 ( New York, 1964); Jowitt Kenneth, Revolutionary Breakthroughs and National Development. The Case of Romania, 1945-1965. ( Berkeley, CA, 1971); Shafir Michael, Romania: Politics, Economics, and Society ( Boulder, CO, 1985); Zissu Iancu, The Regime of Forced Labor in Romania ( Washington, DC, 1952).
"Declaration of Independence" (1964). By the mid-1960s, Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviet leadership had become deeply concerned about the developing integration of the economies of the West European countries. The visibly growing gap between the Common Market and that of the Soviet Bloc countries was considered by the Soviet leaders a threat to their quest for world domination. This development also promised long-range consequences for Soviet military power on the European continent. The solution, as Khrushchev saw it, was the closer integration of the economies of Soviet Bloc nations with that of the Soviet Union. The vehicle for this integration was to be COMECON, the intended equivalent of the Soviet bloc with the Common Market. However, it was easier said than done.
When COMECON was originally established by Joseph Stalin, it was not intended to be an inter-bloc economic organization. Its members were bound together economically by a series of bilateral treaties, not by a general agreement on trade, tariffs, and production target-and distribution. Each country also had its own agreements with the Soviet Union. Khrushchev was not really interested in changing the guiding principles of the organization; he simply wanted the Soviet Union to be able to coordinate economic activities within the bloc.
Thus, the Soviet representatives in COMECON simply forced through a system for the division of labor among the states of the bloc. According to this division, the less developed Balkan countries, except Bulgaria, were to concentrate on developing