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I and the team at AppleSearch wish you a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

In 2013 we were steadily busy, recruiting lawyers for leading international law firms on the Romanian market and finance directors for international firms in Romania and Serbia, as well as assignments in various sectors. We worked on a number of sales positions and worked for three investment funds. Our impression is that things are picking up slowly in Romania. We do not expect a dramatic change next year but our clients are cautiously optimistic that things will continue to improve slowly and so are we.

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Admitting a million Poles, even though in good manners, industry, church attendance and many other ways they put many of the British to shame, was certainly a mistake on the part of the UK. We know this because ministers said they expected tens of thousands to come. Still, if Britain and other Western European countries have decided that they need immigrants, and they have, they should be very grateful that the EU has a supply on hand of Romanian immigrants who share a European culture and will fit in easily. Probably no immigrants in the world assimilate as quickly as Romanians who seem not to stay together in clusters like other immigrant groups.

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The word ‘psychopath’ instills a pleasurable ripple of fear into anyone who saw a conscienceless killer in a Hollywood film such as Basic Instinct or The Silence of the Lambs. But psychopaths exist outside the movies. Only a fairly small minority are violent criminals, more are confidence tricksters but most are not criminals at all. Many hold positions of power (think of Saddam Hussein or Slobodan ). Psychopaths are also known as sociopaths and the syndrome is also named Anti-Social Behaviour Disorder.

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I published this in 2004 in Vivid and very much has changed in Romanian companies since then but not everything. Some people were kind about it. The compliment I prized was from a Romanian friend who said, 'It's very good but I wish it hadn't been written by a foreigner.'

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