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What the newspapers say: February 9, 2011

de A.C.
Miercuri, 9 februarie 2011, 10:28 English | Press Review

President Basescu threatened to break the bridge with the Democratic Liberal Party, after the lack of mobilization in the PDL deputy Pasat case. Corruptions at customs across Romania became a show on TV but no sentencing has been given yet. Nonetheless, bribe taking at the customs is profitable, as some paid their way to better positions with even 400,000 euro. Another newspaper wonders what the IMF leaves behind.  

President Traian Basescu threatened to break bridges with the Democratic Liberal Party after they voted against the request of anti-graft prosecutors to arrest PDL deputy Dan Pasat, Gandul reads. In an interview for the public television, Basescu criticized the party for the lack of mobilization, lack of negotiation in this case. 

In the same interview, Basescu accused Vasile Blaga, one of the presumed candidates for the PDL highest position, as being eager to be in power, ignoring other pressing matters like the tough economic measures and reforms that need to be continued for the benefit of the country.  

Basescu expressed his deep concern that despite his attempts to make PDL deputies aware of the importance of letting the justice system do its job, the Democratic Liberal Party failed to uphold the justice and preferred to protect Pasat. Basescu said that in the Summer report, Romania received a tough etiquette, of lack of political will in its fight against corruption which Basescu fears that the remark will be present in the upcoming EC report.  

Evenimentul zilei reads that the massive raids and arrests at Romania’s customs are just a show for the news televisions while sentences fail to be ruled. The newspaper reads about the big corruption cases at the customs which, as Romanian authorities hoped, would send a positive signal to European officials. However, none of the big corruption cases ended with a final sentencing. Most of them are still on the courts while others were acquitted. 

There was always information about corruption cases and anti-graft prosecutors made the arrests but for sentencing, a better cooperation between institutions involved were necessary, judicial sources explained for the newspaper. It remains to be seen whether these recent arrests will have a finality in the courts of justice. 

In the same vein, Romania libera reads about the money involved at the customs across the country. The newspaper reads that in a single shift, customs officers would gather over 5,000 euro. Another example, at the Moravita customs, sources said that a shift would gather 100,000 euro from bribe taking. 

Sources said that former Moravita customs chief bought his position with 400,000 euro. The investment can be considered profitable considering the sums collected each shift. Romania libera quotes the Romanian Business Association President Florin Pogonaru who says that the IMF agreement was not a good influence on the business environment, on the contrary: it increased VAT, massively increased the state’s debt to the private sector and destroyed the chain to create value and it drawn Romania in a lot of debt.

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