The National Integrity Agency (ANI) has found a new target, namely interim Education Minister Liviu Pop, Mediafax informs. The minister stated yesterday that ANI officials contacted him by phone on Tuesday in order to notify him that investigations have started into a conflict of interests situation he finds himself in. The minister pointed out that he was summoned on Monday, July 2, at the ANI headquarters, in order to present his point of view. He also added that for the time being he has not been asked for documents and that he is not in a conflict of interests. Judicial sources stated for HotNews.ro that investigations into the interim Education Minister’s case started several weeks ago and are based on a possible infringement of Article 253 of the Penal Code, which states that “one cannot from the patrimonial point of view favor a person with which one had employment relations in the last five years.” Coincidence or not, investigations into Liviu Pop’s case come several days after the interim Education Minister notified the Labour Inspectorate (IM) about the situation of former Education Minister and current Presidential aide Daniel Funeriu, pointing out that the latter did not have a Baccalaureate diploma nor a B.A. diploma validated in Romania at the time he was appointed minister.Liviu Pop was secretary general of the Federation of Free Trade Unions within the Education System (FSLI) since 2007 until he was appointed minister (May 15 this year – editor’s note). FSLI sued the Education Ministry after the Official Gazette published in November 2011 a joint order signed by the Education, Finance and Internal Affairs ministers, an order that put an end to the automatic system through which trade union membership fees were collected directly from the teachers’ salaries. In April this year the Bucharest Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Education Ministry. On May 29, two weeks after he was appointed interim Education Minister, Liviu Pop issued a joint order signed by him and by the Finance and Internal Affairs ministers, an order that pointed out that membership fees will be paid as they were prior to November 2011.