American military personnel in missions to Romania have started to get used to the practices of one of the most corrupt countries in the European Union, paying 9,000 US dollars for two wood observation towers on a training field, reads the American daily Stars&Stripes in its online edition.
American journalists remind its readers that, according to the Transparency International 2007 report, Romania is perceived as being the most corrupt country in the European Union.
Likewise, a World Bank report shows that the Romanian citizens gave bribes amounting to 360 million US dollars in the last couple of years, in exchange for medical services that should have been free of charge.
Stars&Stripes reads that, according to the Transparency International rankings, Romania is less corrupt than Kyrgyzstan where Americans also have bases, Afghanistan and Iraq where Washington authorities invested billions of US dollars.
The military daily notes that the huge amount of money paid for the construction of the two wood observation towers is just an illustration of the existent corruption in Romania.
USA is increasingly concerned with Romania’s realities, as more and more American military use the Kogalniceanu base in Constanta. In order to renovate the facility, the Americans prepared a 35 million budget plus another 28 million dollars. However, another 30 million dollars were invested in modernizing the surroundings.
American Army spokesperson in Europe, Bruce Anderson said that Americans are vigilant in what concerns corruption indexes.
He added that American authorities have instituted precaution measures to assure that they do not facilitate corruption acts.
American personnel at Kogalniceanu air base in SE ROmania face strict schedules when outside the camp. Plus, they are forbidden to use their credit cards outside their base.
Stars&Stripes adds that Romania, even if one of the poorest countries in Europe, has proved to be an exemplary ally in the fight against terrorism. Its efforts have been answered with the Washington agreement to use two bases for the next 10 years, which may attract investments of over 100 million dollars.
Romania was one of the main countries that agreed in 2002 not to send American citizens at the International Court of Justice under war crimes charges.