POLITICS

Blaga and Berceanu, accused of fostering public money mafia

MP Gelu Visan says Vasile Blaga controls Dolj-based company Tehnologica Radion that, in 2010, was awarded a public contract for ‘multi-annual winter-summer maintenance’, with an approximate value of EUR 40 M.

Wednesday night on Romania TV, MP Gelu Visan, a former PDL member, lunched an unprecedented attack on the Democrat-Liberal heavy weights, accusing PDL leader Vasile Blaga as well as ex-Transport Minister Radu Berceanu of fostering public money mafia. Visan made a demonstration if how election campaign are funded and how that ‘black money’ leads to corruption during an entire electoral cycle. ‘Romania has reached a line where it becomes politically and economically suffocated by corruption’, he said, making the following demonstration: ‘We have 2,000 candidates in the parliamentary election on December 9. About 1,000 of them truly count. The election campaign costs between EUR 200,000 and 500,000 per candidate. Let’s take an average of EUR 300,000, which means EUR 300 M spent in the election campaign on top of official spending, meaning black money. This money is not recorded in any act. It is private money, taken from major companies to which they must be quickly returned after election.’ He gave the example of very big companies going on a maximum profit of 7 per cent. ‘If it returns 3 per cent of its 7 per cent profit to you, who has helped it that leaves the company with 4 per cent. (…) A commission of 3 per cent means EUR 9 bn in works to cover the EUR 300,000 invested in the campaign. The owners of these companies also want to gain at least the double, but the politician also wants to make a profit, so this sum the least triples during an electoral cycle. The minimum value of a contract of this kind, in a market economy segment in Romania, reaches EUR 27 bn.’ Gelu Visan also gave a concrete example on that – the Dolj company Tehnologica Radion, that, in 2010 was awarded a contract for ‘multi-annual winter-summer maintenance (…) linked to the weather conditions between 2010 and 2014, for the Craiova Roads and Bridges Directorate’. The value of the contract is RON 148,362,224 (approximately EUR 40 M).‘Tehnologica Radion is the firm controlled, directed and guided to the public money by Vasile Blaga. The connection dates back some seven years. (…) When Vasile Blaga picks up the phone, calls a mayor and says to him <Look, this gentleman is coming to see you, with Tehnologica>, does it seem like enough proof to you to establish this link? Blaga acts via middlemen, he is not a child’, said the former PDL MP. He gave two more examples: the Straco and Strabag companies, saying that the first one is under Radu Berceanu’s control. Vasile Blaga replied through a release quoted by realitatea.net yesterday that he would sue MP Gelu Visan for libel, as he had released into the public space ‘a series of false and defamations accusations’ against the Democrat Liberals. ‘Vasile Blaga categorically denies the allegations brought by MP Gelu Visan, for which he will be held liable in court’, the release reads.

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