July 26, 2010 EU: Romania does not fight corruption
Bribe manual still effective
Corruption actually legalized
Concerning the fight against corruption Romania lags miles behind the standards of other European countries. Brussels misses the political intent to change that. Three years ago Romania has joined the European Union, but corruption and organized criminality have remained. While Bulgaria has taken important steps against corruption, the progress report of the European Commission sharply blames that there is no political intent for a reform process in Romania.
Corrupt laws against corruption
Romania even breaks its promise of the reform, as the Anti-Corruption-Agency (ANI) which is to unmask members of the government and the parliament has been considerably weakened respectively curtailed by a recently passed law. Thus the corruption mafia protects itself by corrupt laws. The EU continues: The right of the ANI to confiscate embezzled money is obstructed. Thus law suits are not completed. While gypsies who have stolen a bag of potatoes for their starving families with often 10 children have to undergo up to 7 years of inhuman imprisonment, defrauders of multi-billion Euro sums remain unpunished and do not even have to appear before the judge.
The president of the “League for the Renaissance of Moral Standing”, Father Don Demidoff ICCC, who also is the founder and head of the foundation for street children has been appointed honorary pastor for many Romanian prisons by the “National Administration of penitentiary” and really knows the misery of the tortured first-hand. These even could pay for their advantages, but what from…? For 20 years Demidoff has refused to pay any bribe money and therefore has been pursued, libeled, harassed and several times threatened with death.
Foundation for street children is to pay extortionate rates of interest
Even the foundation „Casa Don Bosco“ was subjected to this system. Against those who do not bribe there are established laws justifying corruption. As during the recent 20 years the foundation has literally been overrun by a raft of abandoned street children (sometimes there were up to 130 children in the home), many people had to be employed who in Romania of course do not work without payment (and are not able to). As the Romanian state was not ready to give support, but on the contrary due to a communist educational concept permanently tried to close the home, the foundation owes part of taxes and social security contributions. Thus the ministry of finance demands extortionate rates of interest from the foundation of 68,000 Euro with daily progression, calculated from an outstanding sum of 30,000 Euro. A request of release of these rates of interest due to 20 years of humanitarian work was refused by all levels of jurisdiction and the minister of finance and justified with the law.
If you do not bribe you are forced by law to pay heavily. Dr. Susanne Kastner, vice president of the German Bundestag and a renowned expert of Romania, showed understanding. She regrets and reproves this situation and expressed her hope for a solution. The German minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Guido Westerwelle, was asked by Don Demidoff to intervene on the occasion of his visit in Romania this month. He answered that Romania was a sovereign state and he therefore could not do anything. Not even intervene? Not even ask some questions? Of course, what does Mr. Westerwelle know about the awful misery of the street children?
It is well-known that companies which have been taken over by former communist comrades are released from their extortionate rates of interest by paying an appropriate baksheesh. The children of the foundation have lost their home by the end of last year due to Romanian despotism. The ministry of finance has initiated proceedings of the auction sale of the buildings of the home (present value 250,000 Euro). Without its basis the foundation now feeds more than 200 starving children with their families in five villages and has them looked after by a doctor. As a solution to the crisis their social welfare has been cut.
The bribe manual of the young Romanian Adina Popescu is still effective. Like in a school book you learn which sums you need to quite easy reach your target: in hospitals, doctor’s offices, public offices, at the police, justice and even at school and university. Nurses e. g. are paid with 2 – 3 Euro per day, an operation costs 400 – 1,000 Euro “hand money”. People who cannot afford this mostly have to leave the hospital without any treatment. Those who are poor have to die earlier anyway.
According to a study of the World Bank in the Romanian health system alone about one million dollars bribe money are paid every day. Like caries makes teeth rot, corruption erodes the private household funds, often about 10 % of the family income.
The bribe manual sarcastically says: „Pregnancy is that state of the female body which at least during the period before delivery requires high payments.
According to this report 42 % of the Romanian households have paid bribe money and so fed 38 % of the civil servants. When the state knocks at the door the Romanian reflexively digs into his pocket to survive. According to the World Bank every third official admits to be corrupt.
The former prime minister Nastase allegedly had inherited one million Euro from his aunt Tamara, although she was known to be poor. Adrian Nastase was the closest partner of the seriously criminally acting political and lobby organizations in Romania, he still is in business. Well, an Aunt Tamara many Romanians wish for themselves, as their wages are criminally low. Thereby the economic groups benefit. In 2006 5 billions of Euro flew to Romania from abroad, attracted by cheap work force and low standard taxes. Average wage of a Romanian amounts to 200 – 300 Euro. Also Nokia was attracted by these convenient conditions, so that they closed their plant in Bochum in 2008 and abruptly fired 2,300 employees. But even in Cluj 600 employees have been fired in the meantime. The author Mircea Cartarescu says that after 1989 all ex-communists should have been dismissed from their public offices. Others go so far as to say that in 1989 not only Ceaucescu and his wife should have been executed, but also the e The former head of the office of the „Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung“ in Bucharest is skeptical towards Romania’s development. He is afraid that the big disappointment will follow. In his opinion the commitment to Europe is opportunistic. As the standard of living has not increased a swing to the right is not unlikely.
Why does Brussels not exert more pressure?
Young Maria from a Transylvanian village tells how her parents struggle along. Her father works as a strawberry picker in Spain. She is not afraid of her future, but she fears for her family. She urgently wants Brussels to exert more pressure for true reforms.
Still particularly public funds are not protected against misuse and misappropriation. The corruption-cancer-virus continues to grow unhampered. The ANI actually is a marionette only.
Upright Romanians who actually exist are convinced: those who are dreaming of high flights should not depend on the power of their own wings, but better go abroad for toiling in the vineyards of Italy, the East German cucumber plants or the building lots in Spain. Meanwhile Romania lacks thousands of doctors who went abroad, particularly German-speaking doctors from the Sibiu district.
Romanian corruption is a system of corruption
The Romanian Newspaper “Adevarul” (the truth) reports how it is possible to steal with the help of legal papers in Romania, so that it is impossible to detect corruption which is therewith legalized. The newspaper continues: in Romania corruption is in the system of corruption itself. The Romanian newspaper “Gandul” (the thought) writes that Bucharest is treated preferentially by the EU-commission, proven by the fact that there are still no sanctions against Romania and the IMF money continues flowing, while there are massive obstacles to the entry of Turkey. But Romania has, as said before, the cheapest workforce, rich natural resources, excellent soils for agriculture and is the ideal outpost for a military basis.
The foundation and the LIGA of Don Demidoff can tell you a thing or two about the “soft hug” of Romania. All petitions and letters to the EU-commission or the president Barroso remain without reply. Claims to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg have a waiting period of 3 years, because most of the pending claims are against Romania. And Romania knows that it can expect an indulgent treatment, as obviously the interest in Romania is larger than the interest of Romania in Europe.
“Therefore”, the representative of the EU-commission says, “it is not the time to speak about sanctions.” And without any progress Romania will enter the Schengen Agreement in 2011 anyway and therewith become a full member of the EU, allowing the already now many Romanian gangs to act even more unimpeded not only in Germany.
The Norwegians have 30 different synonyms for snow, the Egyptians 30 for sand, the author Andrej Oisteanu says, in Romania however there are 30 different words for the payment of bribe money. Romania – the Balkan state and gate to the orient. Who wonders about the fantasy of bending laws?