Controlling the past in Romania

Romania is a country whose political life has been profoundly afflicted by a lack of morals from the fall of communism to this day. In this de-facto a semi-presidential republic, it is only the government that gets always criticized by the EU, although the president Traian Basescu himself is a man with a dark past and a contestable present. Basescu has thus been an informer for the Communist secret services, the Securitate, and here we publish the proof.

This week again, in Brussels, the spokesman of the Commission Mark Gray had harsh words for the  Romanian ruling coalition of Socialists and Liberals, after the parliament voted on Tuesday to boost the deputies’ immunity from prosecution.

That law is indeed contestable and needs to be amended, but Basescu used it immediately to threaten the parliament with dissolution, a remark upon which Brussels, where Basescu is propped by the powerful EPP, turned a deaf ear.

The populist Basescu, caught in a scandal of abuse of power after the acquisition, through one of his daughters, of a huge swath of land in the south of the country, is now looking to every opportunity to distract the attention from himself.

With the secret services under his orders, Basescu keeps files and tabs on everybody. Beginning of 2012, he even had the chief of the secret service Razvan Ungureanu nominated as head of a short-lived government. Basescu personally nominated close aids in important positions in all the anti-corruption bodies, but he also placed devoted, incompetent people even in the Constitutional Court, the organism that has a last say in anything legal, and that was functional last year by invalidating the referendum in which a staggering 7,4 million majority of participants voted against Basescu.

With these weapons in hand, Basescu controls not only the present, but also the past of his country. Through doctored files that appear conveniently, as the recent trial of his arch-enemy, the media magnate Dan Voiculescu, showed, Basescu also manipulates the justice. Voiculescu was condemned to five years in jail on shaky evidence (he appealed), Basescu wanting thus to stifle all opposition.

Full article: Controlling the past in Romania (New Europe)

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