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September 15, 2019

2004 cable: Basescu, a ‘candid and reliable interlocutor’

A cable from the US embassy sent after Basescu won the presidential election makes a praising portrait of the new leader, described as a “candid and reliable interlocutor” with the embassy. The document, released by ‘Kamikaze,’ notes that Basescu “is little known outside of Romania, as his entire political career has focused on internal politics until now.”

Moreover, the president is described as being in “stark contrast to many of Romania’s political elite, whose lavish lifestyle occasionally is featured on tabloid front pages,” as he had a reputation for dwelling with his wife “in a relatively modest home decorated with model ships he has assembled.” As for accusations that he was involved in the illegal sale of Romanian merchant ships, the embassy notes that he “did not appear to have financially benefited from the fleet sale.”

Another appreciated interlocutor with the embassy was ex Justice Minister Monica Macovei, cables released by ‘Jurnalul National’ reveal. Macovei was described as one of the most popular officials in Romania with the US embassy, although highly unpopular among other Romanian officials. The cable also mentions that Macovei had several meetings with US officials, in which she detailed the problems she faced in her efforts to efficiently fight corruption.

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