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June 25, 2021

SRI head: Black economy down from 30 pc to 25 pc in the last year

The head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), George Maior, was stating in an interview run by Romania libera daily yesterday that espionage operations against Romania have multiplied in the last year. ‘here is a growing interest in this major strategic evolution’, Maior Said, referring to operations conducted by foreign agents in Romania after the signing of the Romania-US treaty on the deployment of the ballistic missile defence system.

George Maior anticipates no ‘classic war’ or a terrorist threat to Romania, but admits to the likelihood of aggressions of a different kind. He offered the example of two recent cyber attacks  – one on the national energy system and the other one on SRI, both being prevented by the Service. According to Maior, there are a few hundred thousands of cyber attacks every month. ‘However, these attacks are very difficult to trace back. On the other hand, the counteraction effect is very important’, Maior said. The official avoided to disclose the source of the attack on SRI.

The SRI head also says that, apart form all those cyber incidents, the bigger threats to national security come from within, via the underground economy and organised criminal clans. Maior says there is at least one organised criminal clan operating in each county. According to him, the black economy gross fast mainly in sectors such as oil, construction, farming or tourism and stands for about 15 per cent of the GDP (being worth approximately EUR 20 bn). Maior however reassures that the rate of tax evasion has dropped by 5-6 per cent in the last year. ‘In western states, the black economy represents about 19-20 per cent of the total economy, but here it was perhaps above 30 per cent (35 per cent according to some estimations) and now is 25-27 per cent, based on our estimations’, Maior noted.

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