The two main secret services in Romania, SRI and SIE, will lose military status and their employees will become public servants, President Traian Basescu announced after a session of the Supreme Defense Council on Monday.
The President said a series of draft laws is prepared on the issue of national security, including the national defense law, one regulating the national crisis management system, one on the activity of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) and the new law of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the status of intelligence workers.
He failed to provide details on all these drafts, but said that turning the intelligence officers into public workers was "the solution I consider to conclude the process of modernization of intelligence services in Romania".
Basescu said the drafts say the Parliament should decide by vote on the President’s nominations as heads of SRI and SIE, in line with the Constitution, while the heads of other intelligence structures will remain political nominations.
The intelligence community retains an influential status on the Romanian political scene and the media has long been speculating that the heads of the services act as power brokers in scandals hitting the government regularly.
President Basescu also announced today that phone calls of 2373 people have been tapped in 2005. 80% of them were foreigners, but all eavesdropping operations were approved judicially.