In Basescu’s view, Romania is far from having the highest level of corruption since the Revolution.
President Traian Basescu stated on Friday during the Romanian Intelligence Service’s (SRI) review of 2011 that the balance is positive and Romanian citizens were completely safe. At the same time, he pointed out that the Service’s goals and priorities will remain unchanged in 2012, consisting of preventing and combating terrorism, drug trafficking and arms smuggling, preventing corruption and combating tax evasion. The President also talked about the need to protect strategic energy infrastructure, pointing out that cyber threats are another issue that has become pressing. Basescu also asked SRI to carefully focus on acts of corruption that involve EU funds, the Head of State pointing out two problem areas – that of consultants and of signing the contract after the winner is nominated. “I believe we’re talking about information on two areas – the period of signing the contract after the winner is nominated, which should be significantly lowered – 7, 10 days – and attention towards consultants. There are too many understaffed consultants. Hence keeping an eye on European funds becomes a priority for the intelligence structures. Not just for SRI but also for the Internal Affairs Ministry,” the President said, being quoted by Mediafax. According to the Head of State, SRI has a lot of work to do in preventing acts of corruption but warned that it is the political decision-makers’ responsibility to take measures when information is brought to their knowledge, stating that those that disregard timely warnings will eventually end up before court. Basescu pointed out that last year SRI offered approximately 6,500 reports to political decision-makers, half of which were for those at central level and the other half for the presidents of county councils, prefects and mayors. Overall, he stated that Romania is far from having the highest level of corruption since the Revolution, there being the assurance that high-level corruption will no longer go unpunished. “Nobody from politics, the justice system or any other line of work, even from the private sector, can sleep easy, because the Romanian state has developed information gathering capabilities that make it unlikely for important crimes to avoid ending up in court,” the he warned. Also on Friday, Traian Basescu promoted a group of generals from SRI’s leadership. General Florian Coldea was part of that group. Coldea’s name appeared in 2007 in two rows concerning the use of SRI in order to monitor judges and politicians. In his turn, SRI Director George Maior stated that 2012 is “special”, being an elections year, and in this context warned all officers to be neutral and independent. “I’ve warned all officers to maintain these values. There will be harsh sanctions against those that violate these values, although I’m sure there won’t be the need,” Maior said.