The Black Sea was rented out for five dollars per square kilometre. Elsewhere in the news, an officer working for the general Anti-Corruption Authority was caught stealing two car light bulbs. Last but not least, the World Bank teaches Romania how to gain a potential one billion euros using the Roma minority.
The Black Sea was rented out for five dollars per square kilometre, Romania Libera reads, raising the issue of illegal aspects contained in contracts sealed by the Romanian Mineral Resources Agency. Romania has rented Black Sea areas rich in oil for ridiculous prices. The state allowed these areas to be used for free at some stage.
According to a recently declassified document, the Accounts Court asked the Government to mandate Mineral Resources National Agency (ANRM) to reassess the Additional Act 11, which transforms the exploitation and sharing contract with Sterling Resources Ltd. into a concession contract for exploitation, development and oil exploitation. This allows Sterling to stop sharing the profit with the Romanian state, paying instead an obligation between 3.5 and 13.5%.
The Sterling scandal started in February 2009. Romania had just won the case against Ukraine and was thus given more continental platform around the Serpents Island. It was revealed that the region rich in hydrocarbon had been leased in advanced. Recent investigations led the Romanian Accounts Court to ask the Government to modify the Oil Law and its norms. Rompetrols SA, the company to represent Romania, sealed the first contract in the Black Sea in 1992, settling for 5 dollars/sqm for exploitation and sharing the production. The money went to Rompetrol SA.
A financial obligation would have sent the money straight to the state's budget. The law allowed having concession contracts, excluding exploitation. Plus, the constitution entailed that public goods could be let for administration to autonomous authorities or public institutions or could concession or lease. In 1992, Rompetrol SA was neither an autonomous authority, nor public institution. According to the publication, ANRM did not manage the state's patrimony according to the law.
An officer working for the general Anti-Corruption Authority (DGA) from Brasov (central) was caught stealing two car light bulbs from a hypermarket, Adevarul informs. On hearing about it, the Appeal Court in Brasov started an investigation. According to judiciary sources, the bulbs cost 120 lei and the event happened on January 29 2010.
The officer's luck was the fact that the prejudice was insignificant and so he ditched a penal prosecution, managing to get away with a mere fine, worth of 1,000 lei. If he had been accused of qualified theft, he would have risked 15 years in prison. Nevertheless, he was made redundant. He also saw his judiciary police mandate redrawn. The man stole from a store only a month after working for DGA Brasov.
The World Bank (WB) teaches Romania how to gain a potential one billion euros using Gypsies, Gandul reads. WB indicates in a study that by not integrating the Roma ethnic minority, Romania loses one billion euros every year. The study was carried out in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Serbia. According to the WB study, only one out of two Roma adults that could work actually earns a living and this leads to 887 million euros worth of losses in Romania. In Serbia, the productivity losses are around 231 million euros, in the Czech Republic – 367ml and in Bulgaria - 526 ml euros.
WB estimates the losses according to the Roma population. In Romania, this ethnic minority counts more individuals than in any other European country. Plus the productivity discrepancy between the Roma minority and the majority population is huge. And the losses are only to increase because the Roma population is younger and the families are more numerous. There is also the issues of low employment and income, which make the working Roma population pay less taxes or insurances. Here Romania loses 202 million euros, WB estimates.
The study appreciate that 60% of the population is employed in Romania, while only 13% of the Roma minority work, the lowest in the four analysed countries. Bulgaria employs the highest percentage of Roma people - 29%. According to the last census data, there are 535,000 Roma people living in Romania, 370,000 in Bulgaria, 108,000 in Serbia and 70,000 in the Czech Republic. Another source claims that figures are four times bigger and their percentage is to increase because Europe's population is aging constantly. The study concludes that it is essential for the Roma minority to participate in national costs contributions.