Active Bucharest politicians engaged in transparency!?
“Shortly before the beginning of a council meeting the mayor of the Sector, Dan Tudorache (PSD) proposed a last minute amendment to the sector’s budget which would have seen 10 million lei (€2.2 million) handed over to the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) for the ongoing construction of the megalomaniac Cathedral of the Nation (Catedrala Neamului).
The USB’s councillors, led in Sector 1 by the increasingly combative and impressive Clotilde Armand (who would have been mayor herself had June’s election results been counted, ahem, more efficiently) managed to block the motion.
… for a local party which has nationwide ambitions for November’s general election its medium-term effects may be huge. It demonstrates that a small number of councillors committed to transparency and ensuring the best use of public money … can win.”
This, I believe, is a good summary of the political situation in Romania:
Sometimes I truly think that the Romanian Revolution began in December 1989 and ended in June 1990 with the Mineriad, a six-month gasp of freedom before collapsing right back into the way things always were.
Just consider the evidence:
- Iliescu is a free man and is not facing any indictments or prosecutions.
- The police are still running secret prisons where inmates are beaten, tortured, and killed.
- Incompetence in government isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.
- The secret police (now called SRI) is more powerful and active than ever, and still loves to spy on the common people.
- Looting the state for private gain is more often rewarded than punished.
- There’s a parliament/congress, but it damn sure isn’t representing the people.
- The solution to popular unrest is more propaganda instead of genuine reforms.
- The government is still manipulating and controlling the state-run media (while simultaneously running it into the ground).
- Nobody from the old regime has ever been punished, and most of the worst guys still hold positions of power.
- Prosecutors and the judicial system “magically” convict 90% or more of the people suspected of having committed a crime.
With one additional qualifier … the state as an institution is nowhere near as established and powerful as more modern western entities. Romania is a poor AND large country … meaning whatever centralized authority there is stretched thin and far. Corruption is a cultural norm (which is not unique to Romania) and though it is a challenge it is a far lesser challenge then when it gets deeply entangled with money. legislation and authoritarian power (police and military).
I believe Romania can be more receptive to deep political change then other more “developed” countries.