Prosecutors who offer bribe should be arrested. Those who receive it may stay at large. At least this is the signal sent on Tuesday by the Superior Magistrature Council (CSM), much to the despair of Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi. An if some may think this is a typical gesture for Romania... well, they are wrong. What is typical is the Transport Ministry, where over 100 kilometers of highways got lost in the paperwork.
The prosecutors in the National Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA) attempted on Tuesday to detain three of the "corrupt prosecutors network" members, in the case of bribe offered to gain a chief-prosecutor seat. They were successful only in the case of the prosecutor who offered the 15,000 euro bribe, Dumitru Gheorghe, and the notary who made the transaction, Gheorghe Bucur, former CSM member. The prosecutor accused of receiving the bribe, Eugen Cojocaru, could not be placed under arrest because the CSM prosecutors didn't approve it, Evenimentul Zilei informs. Already, the Prosecutor General, Laura Codruta Kovesi, accused the CSM members of attempting to block the investigation.
Of course, this is just one of the everyday problems Romania faces. One might say that an even more peculiar situation may be found in the Transport Ministry. According to Gandul, the Ministry has received "on paper" 455 kilometers of highway in Romania. The fact is that, regardless how one adds, there are only 317 kilometers. A ministry official dug into the files and found out that the 455 kilometers were representing what Romania committed to the EU to build before the end of 2007, not what was truly accomplished. Not much fuss, just another forgotten promise.
International institutions have anyway other things to worry about. For example, the International Monetary Fund worries about the high inflation rate in Romania, Jurnalul National notes. "The lower pace of economic growth is not to worry, it is normal after an exceptional growth rate in 2006. But the significant inflation growth and the growing of the current account deficit are a problem", said Juan Jose Fernandez-Ansola, IMF representative in Bucharest.
It is not a problem of human resources, to say the least. Gandul discovered a study conducted by the European Foundation of the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, which clearly indicated that Romanians are the hardest working people in Europe, recording the most supplementary hours of labor per week between 2001 and 2005. With over 48 hours per week at the full time job, half of the men and 34% of the Romanian women work not only over the standard 40 hours, but also more then that maximum quantity of overtime in the European Labor Code.
Some do that. And some just take advantage on their position. According to Cotidianul, the recently resigned Justice Minister had one last "gift" for his friends. A "dedicated bid", as the Romanian media call it, was organized for the purchase of over 200 vehicles. The specs in the bid book were put up so that only Volkswagen and Skoda (imported by VW) would win. Ford Mondeo lost the bid for lacking one centimeter in length. And that, one might say without fearing he may be wrong, is typically Romanian.