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A signal from Romania: the case of Adrian Nastase

June 28th, 2012

Observers draw gloomy conclusions from the arrest and attempted suicide of the former left-wing Romanian prime minister.

On Komment.hu, a Romanian commentator calls Mr Nastase a ‘famously corrupt’ ex leader, but his main focus is on the former prime minister as a representative of the former Communist élite still ruling Romania. Marius Cosmeanu contends that his country “is being led by those very people against whom people took to the streets in December 1989.” Nastase for one is the son in law of a one time Communist Minister of Agriculture. He suspects that the alleged attempted suicide was a sham organized with police connivance in order to avoid Nastase’s actual arrest. Cosmeanu believes that is possible because Romania is under the control of a hidden network “extending to the world of politics, the secret services, the orthodox church, dishonest businessmen, their press and fans.”

In Népszabadság, Endre Aczél takes a rather different view, and compares Nastase’s case to that of former Ukranian premier Yulia Timoshenko. He does not doubt that both were at least partly guilty of the charges leveled against them, but ascribes their condemnation to the will for revenge of their rivals (he mentions  presidents Basescu and Yanukovich by name). Aczél goes on to list further countries in the region where former prime ministers are under investigation, on trial or in jail, including Slovenia’s Janez Jansa, Croatia’s Ivo Sanader and Hungary’s Ferenc Gyurcsány (See BudaPost,October 5, 2011). Either all these countries have only been able to produce corrupt leaders, or the judiciary is becoming a tool at the service of political rivals, the left-wing analyst ruminates. „Both options are tragic,” he concludes.

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