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What PDL should learn from Adrian Nastase

While the president of Romania was getting ready to attend the European People’s Party summit in Helsinki, to discuss the global package of measures towards financial stability and economic growth, bigger or smaller leaders of the sister-party in Romania, PDL, were focusing on their own ardent problem: end cut the right of the reformist group to say how they see the future of their own party. But, since Traian Basescu’s participation in the EPP summit has reminded us of this detail many PDL leaders seem to overlook – namely that they are members with full rights and obligations of a larger, reliable and respected political family, to which integrity criteria are now small talk – perhaps we should also remember the reason why not only PDL was admitted into Europe’s most important party, but Romania could also truly become an inherent part of the civilized and developed world.


Is there any PDL leader who still believes that all our shortcomings were accepted and we were allowed to become a member of the EU ahead of time just to be let carry on our provincial games we learnt at FSN’s time? Was that the purpose of Romania’s accession? No, the purpose was to make us play by the rules of the game. A game where politicians are not allowed to give at the voters, where the sate return to the public in the form of public projects most of he money it collects from tax-payers, where companies are allowed to make a profit but not to rob consumers, where judges actually take the law into account, where police forces truly fight crime, so on and so forth.


But all of the above contain a certain dose of relativism. Fortunately, the ideology that hypnotized armies of people by the delusion that we are entitled to expect and demand perfection while we were making absolutely no effort to be at least a little less imperfect came to dust in 1989. Also fortunately people have come to accept that a notable dose of respect and decency in the state/individual relation means a lot. It has become norm of good governance and this is what Romanians should expect. Nothing more, nothing less.


In a Europe that is very close to this standard, how long do the pillars of the Democrat-Liberal Party believe we can remain an illogical and immoral enclave? How long can we claim we want to do away with corruption while, with the lights off, bags full of stolen money are assed from petty criminals to their superiors and from those to the politicians who appointed them? The change has to start somewhere.
Of course, some would like to hear the gong announcing the end of authorities’ aggression towards the citizen as late as possible – after they have satisfied all their cravings, after their death or, even better, never.


It was as predictable as possible that the interests of our petty statesmen would sooner or later collide with the big interests of those who see Romania as a state belonging to a modern Europe, with its good and not so good parts, and that those who are less intellectually endowed and cannot master their gregarious instincts would lose. This clash has actually begun a long time ago, when the German chancellor was telling Adrian Nastase that Romania would not join the EU before a certain German businessman recovered the millions of euros he had invested in a Dolj agricultural project which had ended up in the hands of the Craiova criminal groups, supported by the Government itself. The dilemma of the PDL heads is similar to Adrian Nastase’s at that time: Sacrifice Ristea Priboi or Romania? Nastase chose the typical Romanian cunningness. He repaired the wrongdoing towards the German, but he didn’t touch Ristea Priboi. That choice, combined with thousands of other similar choices almost cost us the EU entry. It didn’t because Adrian Nastase never made it to Cotroceni. Will the Democrat-Liberals choose the way Nastase did: anti-corruption for the eyes of the European fools, as well as even more foolish Romanians? Are they going to brag about being the first party exterminating the state robbery in the morning just to say that their people are all honest and they can vouch for their innocence in the evening? Will they say they agree to suspend the corrupt in the party on Monday and take that back, saying that would be a Stalinist measure on Friday? The PDL people hoping they can save their skin by duplicity should remember how big and mighty Adrian Nastase seemed in 2004 and how fast he decreased to his current tiny size. Now as then what is seen is the inevitable being accomplished. The chronicle of the defeat of anachronic Romania by a historic trend could have only started with one thing: waves of civil servants and officials made say how much and with whom they have robbed. With lines of hand-cuffed people paraded in front of the cameras – poor conscience prisoners, victims of the mentality that, in this country, one can only have what they want by robbing. Yes, history is written by the victors. And, yes, history mounts on pedestals former sinners converted in the last minute, who helped shorten the war.


How long until the final capitulation? That’s quite irrelevant. The essential thing is that territories are being freed where the air will gradually become breathable again, and where you can hoist the flag of your country without being ashamed. (‘Romania libera’)

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