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March 21, 2023

Anti-corruption boss: Change of mentality needed to get rid of graft

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) head Daniel Morar said in an interview to Agence France Presse, quoted by Mediafax yesterday, that Romania has not yet undergone a change of mentality required to eradicate corruption. Some politicians don’t offer a good example either, when they support people sentenced for influence peddling or bribery offences, Morar added.

“The fight against corruption is not limited to indictments and sentences. We need an awareness campaign, doubled by punitive measures, to determine a change in mentality. When people are less willing to receive or give bribes, the number of corruption deeds will drop,” Morar said.

The DNA chief however voiced hope that this issue will change in the future. “We must start from handing out final verdicts against important public officials and politicians [involved in acts of corruption]. This must give the feeling that nobody is above the law,” he said in the interview. His comments came as earlier this week, the European Commission issued its interim report on Romania’s legal system reform. The document is rather critical of Bucharest authorities, underlining that anti-corruption actions lost momentum in recent months. The commission however praised the DNA for its activity to solve high-level corruption cases. In the interview, Morar said EC’s monitoring on Romania was useful and necessary.

In a separate interview to the public television channel, Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu commented on the upcoming final EC report, saying that he did not think it possible for Romania to face a safeguard clause. “We are far from that possibility. We must have big ambitions for the summer report,” Predoiu said.

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