duminică, 30 iunie 2013

Dle. Tolontan, dati-ne voie sa nu fim toti chiar atat de respectuosi!

N-am fost un fan al reformelor PDL. Multe mi s-au parut fortate, grabite si fara aplecare catre profunzime. Domeniul educatiei n-a fost o exceptie. Avem o lege noua, admirabila spun unii.  Mie mi se pare insa o mantie colorata care acopera mizeria stransa  in sistemul de invatamant atat din cauza politicienilor, cat si a cetatenilor care au dat dovada de la fel de multa nepasare. Asa e, dl. Funeriu a fost laudat in special pentru maniera exigenta in care s-au facut examinarile. Dar oare aceasta era prioritatea? L-as fi respectat mult mai mult pe dl. Funeriu daca lasa in urma sa o programa modernizata, modalitati precise de evaluare a corpului profesoral si batalii crancene duse pentru fondurile necesare stimularii dascalilor merituosi din intreaga tara. Mi-as permite sa observ ca dl. Funeriu, alaturi de altii, s-a grabit sa ridice stacheta pentru “exterior”. E mai usor decat sa faci asta in “interior”. Am scris putinele  randuri cu gandul la copii. Ii vad cum se manifesta pe afara la joaca si ma ingrijoreaza. Oricine oberva de la posta ca au nevoie in primul rand  sa primeasca in materie de educatie. Abia apoi vom putea sa si cerem de la ei.

P.S. M-am uitat pe subiectele din ultimii ani, iar cele din 2013 imi par doar ceva mai usoare, insa comparabile. Nu fac parte din categoria specialisti, dar cred ca am dreptul la opinie. Si de la actuala guvernare astept schimbari solide in invatamant pe care inca nu le simt indeajuns de aproape.

duminică, 31 martie 2013

A different way of seeing Romania's justice III

8. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate, the Public Ministry and the National Integrity Agency should be “the ultimate example” for solid correctness. Someone is puzzled if it cares to look at the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the Public Ministry websites in search of prosecutors asset declarations. There are two versions the old one (the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and Public Ministry lead to it) and another that is so updated and without mistakes that you can read someone’s future declaration submitted in year 7209 or 2209 or 2019. Typing error might be, but not at such a level. Shouldn’t their attitude about the matter be considered dissuasive? Of course Romania has the National Integrity Agency whose work was highly appreciated by Brussels. If the National Integrity Agency considers judges and prosecutors asset declarations an imperative goal and priority nobody knows. Certainly media and not the National Integrity Agency or the National Anti-Corruption Directorate or the Public Ministry dared to ask Mr. Horia Georgescu (president of the National Integrity Agency) about his loan of 300 000 euro took in 2007 from some family friends. At first, he had to give back that impressive amount in just five years. In 2010 the lending conditions were changed and Mr. Horia Georgescu agreed with his friends to pay them in twenty years (his family annual income peak only five figures sums and the lender is a businessman who’ s profits aren’t so high, official data says).

9. Being rushed to built laws and institutions and to fight high level corruption some mistakes in accomplishing that might have occur. Romania has an incompatibility law that forbids anyone occupying two state functions even if arts, education or health are involved. Senator Mircea Diaconu is a famous Romanian actor whose talents earned him a manager position in a Bucharest State Theatre. He was also elected senator and asked the Senate if he has to resign. The answer was no, a mistake made by Senate’s functionaries. Mircea Diaconu had to take the responsibility for someone else’s error when the National Agency of Integrity considered such a case a priority in fighting corruption. Senator Mircea Diaconu is that “infamous” member of the Parliament defended by his colleagues in last December after he was sentenced by a judiciary who had also to recognize that he was a honest man, victim of other’s mistakes. But don’t worry! He is now inquired by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate accused of nepotism because of hiring his long time wife Diana Lupescu (59) as a director. Some are amazed of state’s institution perseverance regarding Mircea Diaconu and wonder why is he a priority while so many controversial politicians aren’t disturbed.   

10. Only recently after he stepped out of office Sorin Blejnar (now an ex-chief of the National Agency of Fiscal Administration) was indicted by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the Directorate of Organized Crime (DIICOT) for tax evasion. He was designated in office by prime-minister Boc about whom president Basescu said that he was the best political fellow he worked with and a close party colleague of him. In Romania a trend of transcripts leaked out from various institutions that realize legal investigations is emerging. Nobody knows if there is a selection and intention but it’s the way Romanians find out some of the things that happened behind political and institutional curtains. In this case interesting information came out. Sorin Blejnar’s phone talk revealed that he was quite familiar with president Basescu and reacted surprisingly after a certain incident involving the same president Basescu took place. Sometime in late summer 2010 president Basescu had a quarrel with an unknown to him Romanian voter, lawyer Daniel Chitic who dared to say that he has the regret of casting the ballot in his favor. One or two days later Sorin Blejnar (at that time chief of the National Agency of Fiscal Administration) launched by phone several inquiries regarding Daniel Chitic tax payments. He didn’t found anything and this is quite an example of “well-functioning” of various Romanian institutions. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate didn’t consider such a situation important enough to react.

Romania might be in danger to develop a “showcase justice” with some peak-results that hide what is the invisible part of an iceberg. There were waves of institutional action and then long periods of silence although media was teaming with corruption dossiers. It seems that a wizard is in command and makes things happened at his will and needs.  Because of pursuing mostly the objective “high-level corruption” that could’ve been demonstrated only by top politicians imprisoned the peril of justice used as a political weapon wasn’t considered. Judges can sentence only those who get to courts filtered by prosecutors. When you are asked to solely present a certain type of outcome and nobody searches how correctly was obtained and what is beneath it….  The European Commission would have been right to set other goals also. Let’s give few examples: every case should be treated in the same manner no matter how high or low a person is, either corruption is the subject or not, to ask not only top level politicians to be brought to justice but to emphasize that they have to represent at the same level ALL Romanian parties. Everybody was happy when Adrian Nastase an ex-prime-minister (PSD) was convicted and imprisoned because of the “external pressure”, rightfully or not.  The statute of limitations was avoided. Nobody cared to see what happened with some other cases, those of president Basescu’s that have unknown status (one is about money laundry and the European Commission highlights a need for fighting phenomena of that kind).

The European Commission report extended it’s domain to other institutions then previously analyzed.  The more the better some might say. Is that really true? Doesn’t look like changing the rules during the game? There are examples of the Constitutional Court and the Ombudsman on which the Commission spoke only recently. Shouldn’t have been more appropriate that such concerns were manifested even when those officials that are now equaled to an institution were elected just to see if there was something wrong in the first place?  

The judiciary system must pursue it’s independence but with one absolute condition: to be more and more clean, professional and trying to earn citizen respect. Ask for the rule of law as well as for the real and more profound reform of judiciary system. Politicians fear now justice not only because their wrongdoings but because know they might be sitting targets for a judicial system that doesn’t work quite properly. Indeed one of the three powers of a state governs and corrects itself in Romania. But there is a proverb that says: crows do not pick crow’s eyes. The prosecutors and judges are also human beings that can make mistakes deliberately or not. Some will say that even they were inquired in recent years but many others will respond that the cases don’t match what is really inside the system. In other countries long years and decades of liberty and democracy sifted value in various domains including law applying. Institutions in Romania (either state managed or inside trade associations) aren’t the same as somewhere else in Europe. Now is hard to be sure that the system expells bad elements constantly and without bias. In a young democracy like Romania’s it’s preferable that citizens and MEDIA watch closely how judiciary also is cleared both of political influence (it’s still there and mainly one-sided) and of self interests and ambitions of judges and prosecutors. Surveys say that in Romania justice is not yet trustworthy and it’s a long way before everyone show deep respect and obey justice doers without any comment.
It would be wrong to look down on Romania because her present state. A question must be asked, are so distant those ages when justice wasn’t available for poor persons and the rich and influential man were treated differently? Does anyone wonder where civilized and capitalist states would be if whole money and fortune gained when the system was not established in it’s present state were confiscated and not allowed to grow first for it’s not always honest owners and afterwards for the whole society? Don’t forget how much time Europe needed to reach present standards. Romanians are on the way but still no there yet.

Romania’s new government is asked to correct what was wrong for many years. At least two requests coming from Brussels appear to echo in president Basescu’s recent public address. One is the honorable resignation of indicted (but not judged yet) ministries.  For many Romanians fear that prosecuting is still a selective and tricky business in their homeland and awareness that such a demand is asked by president Basescu which as a mayor of Bucharest assigned himself a state owned house makes the whole situation a laughing matter. The other was an appeal that members of Parliament subdue themselves to institutions like the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, the Public Ministry and the National Integrity Agency quickly and without any doubt.  Would it be so much to demand that prosecutors prove their professionalism without taping MPs for years and without requesting detaining to put them under pressure? Do not forget that the National Integrity Agency inspectors are not yet so specialized and it’s better to check through Courts the accusations they produce. 

Romania needs advice in reforming her judiciary but identifying the proper and precise goals, actions and especially using the same standard for any party in power would be more helpful. A search on Internet reveals that corruption is still a problem in many ex-communist countries. Being left after war to live the trauma of lacking liberty people suffered mentality consequences. Unfortunately humankind has her vast experience of no-freedom, no rights, unfairness and other faults. Remember the state Europe was one hundred years ago.

At least one east-European that wrights this words is more afraid of a manipulated judiciary than of corruption, the childhood disease of democracy. Justice credited as independent might be utilized as a political weapon and a propaganda instrument aimed mostly against opposition and not against those in power in certain moments. The correct way of cleaning politics maybe the slow one that happened in older EU member states. It is  accompanied by civil awareness and the desire to deal with every citizen that does anything wrong. If someone is listening Romania’s lessons must be thorough learned so that not only Romania’s judiciary improves. Please don’t do the same to Croatia or other country.

A different way of seeing Romania's justice I I

4. Is right to ask how the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the Public Ministry work, why so large investigations take place not always, but at certain different moments seeming to follow a peculiar pattern and timing. For decades Romanian citizens had the bad habit to not purchase tickets when they usually travel by train. Unfortunately it’s a common practice very well known to all state officials (the railway company is a public one). Just before the last electoral campaign some two hundreds railway inspectors were inquired, roughly 80 detained by prosecutors (buses were used to carry them to the Court), but only 35 arrested with a judge’s approval. Previously there were similar massive prosecutors operations regarding customs staff and recently even “small” surprises appeared. After not supporting a prosecutor’s election as a president of the Superior Council of the Magistracy media informed that two of the judge members of the Superior Council of the Magistracy (Horatiu Dumbrava and Adrian Neacsu) are under scrutiny by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and the National Integrity Agency.

5. So, does anyone verify how prosecutors (the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, the Public Ministry) do their work? Yes, it seems. There is the Superior Council of the Magistracy and the Judicial Inspection. Those regulatory and integrity organisms do a proper job according to CVM reports wrote by specialists. But some matters must be solved before declaring that they fulfill in the right manner their role of self-regulators. Turmoil is the right word that describes the Superior Council of the Magistracy for months now. But media intervention can not be the scape-goat this time. Rumors said that last year management team, Alina Ghica president and Oana Schmidt-Haineala vice-president, had a wish of switching their places in 2013. Partly the plan worked and prosecutor Oana Haineala Schmidt was elected president despite an already established tradition that stated a rule: the president of the Superior Council of the Magistracy is a judge, the vice-president a prosecutor. Romanian courts reacted and hundreds of judges voted for revoking Alina Ghica (her and another controversial figure Cristian Danilet) out of the Superior Council of the Magistracy. Oana Haineala Schmidt was asked to resign honorable but she refused. Media reported that in the past Oana Haineala Schmidt acted as a head prosecutor that approved the paper work of a subordinate prosecutor which led to an innocent’s preventive custody for thirteen months. Recently one of the judge members of the Superior Council of the Magistracy, Adrian Neacsu who showed some stamina is currently investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate. Either guilty or not claims have been made that the inquest wasn’t conducted in the lawful and rightful manner. Meanwhile unofficial news said that the Judicial Inspection made an investigation regardind the National Anti-Corruption Directorate works. If the document exists it is not considered a public matter. The Judicial Inspection doesn’t communicate much. Although some other institutions (the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, the Public Ministry and the National Integrity Agency) use the names of judges and prosecutors for informative purposes, the Judicial Inspection utilizes anonymity for its controlling activities. A look at their site is convincing. For a young democracy and the whole judicial system wouldn’t be desirable also that dissuasion is applied to the judiciary members? Few days ago another scandal linked to the Superior Council of the Magistracy erupted. A phone used by several members of the Superior Council of the Magistracy and staff looks like a smoking gun that can prove the improper way of doing things inside the guiding institution of Romania’s justice. The phone appeared to be containing some vote directing short written messages sent by Oana Haineala Schmidt (then only vice-president) to a former owner, judge Bogdan Gabor. Till now neither the National Anti-Corruption Directorate or the Public Ministry or the Judicial Inspection reacted.

6. In 2011 Romania’s High Court of Justice sued the Superior Council of the Magistracy over the question of electing members of the High Court. What has to believe a Romanian citizen of that? Those “supreme” judges to whom ordinary citizen entrust their destinies cannot agree over some law questions. Soon after an ordinary instance admitted the complaint the Superior Council of the Magistracy withdraw it indeed, but uncertainties about the professionalism of judiciary remain in Romanian citizens minds.

7. In an interview broadcasted last summer president Basescu himself said that he knew the whereabouts of one of his political rivals. President Basescu gave details regarding senator Voiculescu discussions about president’s suspense that took place on a May holiday, somewhere in Greece before the event really happened. How can that be? It could have been a Romanian Watergate? A president has access to surveillance instruments and he uses those to spy on his adversaries? In September interesting news appeared. Some 165 mandates for taping suspects were issued by the Supreme Court in July-August 2012 at the same time that president Basescu was suspended and the referendum happened. For comparison purposes let’s mention that only two interceptions were approved in a similar period of 2011. In all, some 450 phone listening mandates were issued in the first half of 2012 (a time of political revolts in Romania) and merely 140 in Jan-July 2011. But let’s trust the judges of the Supreme Court. One of them, Miss. Rodica Aida Popa was generous enough to approve several interception warrants for “anyone who is involved” in a case regarding a corruption suspicion.

sâmbătă, 2 martie 2013

A different way of seeing Romania's justice I

                ”Here, in Romania, first they arrest you and only afterwards search for evidence.”

                                                                                  Marcel Tundrea (1950-2007)

Marcel Tundrea was in the nineties the victim of a judicial error. He spent twelve years in prison convicted for murder and rape and his release happened not long before his premature death. Nobody can predict how many such mistakes that their justice made in the last decade Romanians will discover sometime later. None seems to care also. An objective is clear anyway – Romania has to prove her justice reforms only with corrupt politicians imprisoned. CVM recent reports didn’t look beyond yet. The veil of fighting high – level corruption is quite blinding. Romanian  citizens need a justice that is a professional one not because gets politicians in prison but because various ordinary causes are solved properly and rightfully. The problems presented below are merely a short depiction of what silently happened in last years Romania. Not only the rich and famous persons involved in state affairs  made abuses of law but also those inside the law system not to forget politicians that appear to be “immaculate champions” of any anti-corruption struggle. Let analyze data published by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate. In 2011 they had to solve 6615 dossiers but failed to adopt a resolution in half of them (3302). Common sense says time is needed to gather evidence. But how can be sure a Romanian citizen that this is the only explanation. What if there are other reasons? Nobody knows how fervent and passionate prosecutors are about the files they have on their desks or drawers. Nobody knows if they use the right criteria to decide the list of priorities. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate was praised by Brussels although an additional question must be asked. In 2012 the National Anti-Corruption Directorate declared roughly 90 % rate of success (works validated by Courts). Checking their arithmetic using the available figures the result doesn’t seem so convincing.  But Romanian judiciary can also be described by other dossiers and events that allow a frightening thought that justice might have been used selectively as a political weapon. Taking those into account and finding solutions should become not only Romania’s judicial system imperative goal but EC’s as well.

1. Last autumn a young Japanese student Yurika Mauno, aged 20 was murdered near Bucharest. Because she was a foreigner and there were a lot of media reports everybody promptly found out who the killer was. His name is Vlad Nicolae and wasn’t prior arrested although there were suspicions that he committed before 4-5 other violent crimes. At least one prosecutor, Dunca Wilhelm asked for Vlad Nicolae only a thing that he has not to leave his domicile town for 30 days. A report was filled at the Superior Council of the Magistracy in this particular case but there is no decision yet. In Romania might be that many other non-prosecuted and therefore non-convicted felons are free on the streets because the state institutions praised or not in CVM reports don’t function well. Such situations seem to draw some attention in certain conditions, mainly if the victim is from another country. Because the focus on reforming Romanian judicial system was on corruption, a strange phenomenon is present here. White collar criminals must certainly be arrested to set and example for the rest of the society, to be questioned and not allowed to influence witnesses but violent felons don’t have to obey the same rule. But  a custom that is quite concerning settles quietly: first detain and then look for evidence. There may be some judicial errors in prosecuting and convicting in other countries but in Romania such a case appears to indicate another trend, that of a justice that is not professional yet.

2. Last summer in Romanian took place the referendum for president’s Basescu suspension. For some it looked like an unbearable surprise that so many Romanians voted for him to leave office (over seven million people). That thought might be the cause of some unprecedented huge actions organized by local prosecution offices under General Prosecutor’s coordination and by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’s prosecutors. It seemed they wanted to investigate wrongly cast ballots. But the way those were conducted is also an example of trespassing over legal procedures in last year’s Romania. No European guardian appeared to notice that as well, after reacting fiercely to other bending of the rules when denounced by Constitutional Court. What was illegal? People living in rural areas woke up seized one morning wherever they were in there houses, in the streets or attending religious services at their churches. Local prosecution offices didn’t present them summons as they should’ve had according to Civil Code Procedures and they didn’t know if they were considered witnesses or defendants although prosecutors showed them Holy Bibles which cannot be used in both situations. After media’s response the second wave of local prosecutor and the first of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate investigators begun to respect normal lawful proceedings and asked villagers to come to local Police Stations. In such cases when law enforcing officers do not respect the rules themselves is there a problem if media broadcasts reports? 

3. According to CVM recent reports the European Commission seemed to be pleased by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate evolution after Romania’s accession to the European Union. Daniel Morar was in office even before 2007. Unknown at that time in Brussels he begun to become a public figure in Romania soon after he was appointed as head-prosecutor because of the Fleet Dossier. In that particular case president Basescu (among others) was indicted for selling in some questionable conditions many Romanian ships. Soon after Daniel Morar was appointed an unexpected turn took place. Before Daniel Morar being in office experts found a prejudice of 300 million $, afterwards Daniel Morar asked for another appraisement of the damage and, surprise, the result that came in was zero. Nobody requested a third opinion about such a huge difference. Because of his new expert report and of an ill-signed document which Daniel Morar didn’t correct, the Fleet Dossier was quashed and all 79 suspects were considered free of any charges, except president Basescu. He had to wait to conclude his term because of his immunity. Anyway the case was getting closer to prescription.
There should have been another investigation regarding president Basescu about buying and selling some land with questionable prices. The specialized institution, National Agency for Money Laundry filed it with this number S/IV/1014/17.09.2004. Later at a journalist request they declared that such a case is classified information. Daniel Morar’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate didn’t seem to react to any newspaper article related. A mention must be made, if someone uses the search engine on the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’ s  official site doesn’t find any press release about President Basescu’s situation after 2003. Last summer when referendum was on course some rumor surfaced. The National Anti-Corruption Directorate which appeared to have investigated that money laundry case decided not to prosecute president Basescu but no official information came from them.

sâmbătă, 26 mai 2012

Euro-bondurile intr-un fel de varianta de compromis?

Au fost  considerate o posibila salvare, refuzata insa si pentru ca sunt destui care nu cred ca solidaritatea rezolva orice, in special solidaritatea fara limite ce poate incuraja abuzul. Cum probleme Greciei n-a disparut, ba s-a agravat se mai discuta inca despre euro-bonduri, insa fara sa existe angajamentul (ne)asteptat de piete. Pentru ca ma consider o pro-europeana care nu uita insa ca UE este si va fi un conglomerat de state cu variate caracteristici, nici mie nu mi se pare in regula ca ecomomiile puternice sa traga ponoasele pentru cele mai slabe. Suntem insa intr-un moment de criza cand ar cam fi nevoie de solidaritate. Insa, cu masura. Ma intrebam ce s-ar intampla daca Banca Centrala Europeana (ori un alt organism central) ar putea emite euro – bonduri pentru a atrage fonduri cu ajutorul carora sa rascumpere macar datoriile stringente ale Greciei. Pentru ca euro-bondurile sa nu devina toxice acestea ar trebui sa fie lansate in conditii speciale, fiind adica purtatoare de dobanda stimulativa, dar fixa. Reintoarcerea lor la organismul emitent ar trebui realizata la termenul prevazut (scadenta) la valoarea nominala + dobanda. Desigur ca n-ar putea fi puse pe piata cu o scadenta prea indepartata pentru a nu deveni inatractive (daca nu pot fi vandute pentru castiguri mult peste valoarea lor nominala va exista un interes moderat din partea marilor speculatori). Ar fi deci o solutie mutuala pe termen scurt. Grecia ar avea obligatia de a –si racumpara datoriile sub forma de euro-bonduri (valoare nominala +dobanda) de la BCE (ori un alt organism central) care ar actiona si ca un fel de „FMI” din interiorul Uniunii Europene ce pune si conditii pentru a se asigura ca-si va recupera banii.

duminică, 8 aprilie 2012

Dupa razboi multi viteji??? se arata

Zilele astea vanzarea Cuprumin a starnit o droaie de discutii. Pentru ca nu ma pricep la domeniul exploatarii cuprului si nu stiu care ar fi pretul corect, gandul mi-a zburat la altceva. Pare sa fi cauzat o legitima ingrijorare doar pentru acum, deoarece  e vorba de ceva rezerve pe care altii nu le au oricum, dar care nu sunt inepuizabile. Se vor consuma in niste ani, mai ales in cazul unei exploatari intensive. De asta nu stiam cata dreptate sa dau celor care au vandut sau cat sa-i invinovatesc? Intr-un fel, pentru ca mi se parea oarecum neimportanta valoarea zacamantului (oricat nu intra in activele companiei, e greu de crezut ca li s-ar fi retras licenta cu usurinta, poate doar sa fi renegociat vreodata redevente mai mari) si a tranzactiei recent incheiata m-am gandit la ceea ce ar putea sa fie semnificativ. Nu am fost o ecologista infocata, dar trebuie sa recunosc ca industriile de reciclare au luat avant. In aceste conditii nu mai e important doar un zacamant care e epuizabil ci recuperarea lui si dupa prima si dupa a nu stiu cata folosinta. De aceea mi-as fi dorit sa vad o altfel de politica economica inteleapta a statului care ar fi trebuit sa nu vanda in graba tocmai pentrut a-i conditiona pe exploatatoriii de cupru cu gandul la ce va fi mai tarziu. As fi vrut sa le ceara  sa construiasca in zona si o unitate de reciclare care ar putea aduna resurse si de la altii. Nici nu stiu daca in lume exista companii miniere care s-au orientat si catre re-prelucrarea cuprului. Simteam insa  nevoia sa facem ceva care sa “traga” un pic de viitor asupra noastra, iar daca acesta nu se prefigureaza inca, chiar sa-l intrezarim noi.

duminică, 6 noiembrie 2011

Tichete „Fabricat in Romania”

M-am bucurat auzind tot mai des in ultimul timp ca o crestere a consumului intern n-ar face rau economiei de pe la noi. In urma cu niste ani intelesesem doar intr-o oarecare masura temerile celor reticenti in aceasta privinta. Problema echilibrarii balantei comerciale nu e de ici, de colo cand tot romanul se vede cu bani in mana si e atras mai ales de ceea ce vine din import. Cum pentru 2012 „prudenta” e cuvantul de baza in privinta cresterilor salariale din sectorul bugetar ma gandeam ce bine ar fi sa se acorde plusuri de venituri care sa se cheltuie exclusiv pe marfuri fabricate in Romania. Nu e foarte usor sa institui un sistem de tichete destinate achizitionarii de produse romanesti, dar nici extraordinar de greu, daca ar fi sa ne gandim la tichetele de masa, cadou, etc.