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What the newspapers say: June 29, 2007

Vineri, 29 iunie 2007, 0:00

Believe it or not, Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu had an intervention in the report put up by the European Commission on the way Romania and Bulgaria evolved after their accession to the EU. Not in order to prove Romania did more than the report says, not to attempt a milder tone in the criticism, but to destroy the only things the report mentions as progress.

The Justice Minister asked the European Commission to eliminate from its report the praising statements about the activity of the National Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (DNA).
"The rhythm of the DNA works, the way the investigations are conducted and finished (...) prove a high level of professionalism in the multi-discipline teams", says the report, not altered by Chiuariu's demands.
"The sentence is redundant, given the fact that the previous paragraph has the same idea". "Romanian authorities have doubts about the level of professionalism in DNA". "How does the Commission know that all DNA investigations were conducted in a fair manner?" are just a few of Chiuariu's comments, an exclusive article in Cotidianul reads.

In the same Cotidianul, columnist Liviu Avram wonder whether Chiuariu is stupid, bastard or a genius. "If he's stupid, that's it... not much to do about it. (...) As a bastard, he moved his personal war with the DNA on the EC's table (...). But if he's a genius, I take a bow... I tried to see a mastermind plan, but I failed. He outsmarted me".

Meanwhile, the country goes as it always did - either broken promises of promises fulfilled on the populace's back.

Liberals promised not to collaborate with the Social Democrat Opposition, yet they make popular moves together, like increasing the pensions and subsidies for farmers. "Liberals and Social Democrats raced in giving more money to farmers", Evenimentul Zilei reads.

At the moment the Opposition tabled a simple motion demanding 400 lei (some 120 euros) for every cultivated hectare, the Government announced that a 650 lei sum was already approved.

Of course, it will be done by increasing the taxes. The Government announced that the social contributions will grow up to 9.5% and will apply on all income, not only the basic wage, but also the bonuses, supplementary hours, author rights and so on.
The decision is still foggy, with deputies still pretending that the 9.5% tax will only apply on the basic salary, as said the initiator of the law, Social Democrat deputy Ioan Cindrea, Cotidianul reads.

Under the title "The Anti-Corruption Industry", Jurnalul National publishes a wide interview with the Oxford professor Bryan Michael, who explains that the anti-graft campaigns are seen in Romania as "battles", while the Western countries see it as business.

The actors on the anti-corruption stage are the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but also the European Union, the national governments and others alike.
Former World Bank official, now expert in the EUBAM program (European Union's Border Assistance in Moldova and Ukraine), Bryane Michael explains why some states have no interest in solving their corruption issues, but only make it seem they are doing something to fight it.

Examples from Eastern Europe, but also Nicaragua, Bolivia and African states are pointed at. In the anti-corruption industry there is a labor force (national and international experts offering consultance), bilateral donors, governments and institutions.

The products of the market are usually evaluations, reports juridical projects, audit and juridical consultance, investigations or advertising campaigns.

Michael appreciates that some 30 large companies make a good living out of the corruption consultance, half of it being American - like Management Systems International, PADCO, Casals & Associates, DPK Consulting and ARD

According to Michael's studies, the anti-corruption industry is already at its second wave. Only this year, over one billion dollars were invested in anti-corruption campaigns, out of which 500 millions in the US only, Jurnalul National reads.

The third and last exclusive article on Friday is an interview Romania Libera managed to obtain from Dick Marty, author of the controversial report on CIA secret prisons in Romania and Bulgaria

"We don't want to accuse a state or say it is innocent. We just want to establish the truth. We know that the Romanian Government and Parliament didn't know what was going on in the US facilities on their soil", is the only step back Marty did, but it's still a progress from "Romania hosted secret CIA detention facilities".

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