A candidate for the National Liberal Party (PNL) at the European Parliament elections due to take place in Romania this fall, reputed Romanian scholar, economist and politician Daniel Daianu told in an exclusive interview for HotNews.ro how and why he came to work for Romania’s communist-era foreign intelligence service DIE.

Daianu, who admitted as early as in 1990 his links to DIE but denied involvement in any political police or other abusive activities, also explained how he came to leave DIE in 1978 as General Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former head of the communist Romania’s espionage, flew to the United States.

Daianu is reputed as a scholar educated at Harvard and former visiting professor to high-profile universities in Europe and the US. He served as Romania’s Finance minister in 1998, as head economist of the National Bank and is now head of the supervision board of the Romanian Commercial Bank.

He explained that he was lured to work for DIE as an analyst, providing syntheses on Latin America affairs, as he was a diligent young man with a huge interest in the workings of the economy, all the more so in a communist state where he saw the flaws of state control but failed to consider them as such.

He said he never provided reports on people, that is, he was never involved in political police activities. And he argued that he didn’t feel comfortable at all with his working at DIE and that this made him leave the department after only three years serving there.

He said he profitted from the defection of espionage head Pacepa to the US, which was seen as a major blow to the regime of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. But he profitted in that he opted to leave DIE instead of growing in rank.

He insisted, however, that he would not find it easy to find a good job for a long time after his departure from the Department as his work papers listed him as an officer of DIE, which was a rare occurance at the time. But that also helped him argue that he could not be involved in political police activities given that everybody knew he was a DIE office.

General Pacepa told HotNews.ro, however, that Daianu’s leaving the foreign intelligence system raises a series of questions as it was not an institution one would leave just by request. Pacepa said, however, that it was hard for him to consider Daianu “a national threat” in this day and age.

In the interview for HotNews.ro Daianu also argues against turning ongoing procedures to limit the impact of top communist-era officials on the political life in Romania, suggesting that a witch-hunt would be no good. “Barroso [the EC President] had Maoist views in his youth, Jospin was a Trotskyst and Joshka Fischer was out in the streets.

Well, even Reagan was Left-wing when he was a young actor. Should we think this way, we’d be over with all of them. That’s why I plead for understanding”.