United States Embassy has issued Top Five of Romanian oligarchs
Monday, March 28, 2011
Since Sunday Afternoon Romania has its own WikiLeaks scandal, after the internet platform of Julian Assange has let the Romanian Center for Independent Journalism (CRJI) have a list of secret reports of the US diplomates in Bucharest.
About a dozen of diplomatic memos have been published by several Romanian media outlets on Sunday, which say not very complimentary things about the Romanian politicians - besides poor gossip of Romanian journalists and opposition politicians about the alleged alcohol problems of state president Basescu or about his suspected affair with the minister of development and tourism, Udrea, they also provide an alarming insight into the corrupt political system of this country.
Theodore Tanoue, political attaché of the US embassy, issued a ranking of Romanian oligarchs in a report of August 2007: This was relevant, as after the turnaround of 1989 "only a small group of people" with access to information of the former secret police Securitate could benefit from the privatizations of the country, Tanou explained to the State Department. The ranking of the US embassy is topped by the oligarch Dinu Patriciu, followed by Dan Voiculesu, Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, Ioan Neculaie and Gigi Becali. In parallel, the US diplomat issued a list of the most important "local barons" who likewise could widen their influence with the help of involvement with former Securitate officers - the mightiest baron of those being Senator Attila Verstoy of the Alliance of Hungarians.
Both Oligarchs and local barons gained influence in the same way: None of them is bound to one party only, even if most of them are member of a party", the former attaché says, they all maintain close relations to former Securitate officers or to current staff of the secret services in order to promote their own interests - including the media groups established by most of the oligarchs.