President Traian Basescu said on Wednesday that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has attained very good performance thanks to being de-politicized, thus sending the politicians a message to remove the political influence from the institutions.
‘In those institutions where politicization no longer has a say – the SRI, the DNA (National Anti-Corruption Directorate), the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism and there are other institutions as well – performance has emerged. It would be extraordinary to understand that Romania, as a rule of law state has several well-performing institutions and this is thanks to de-politicization, first and foremost’, Basescu said on attending a meeting unveiling the SRI 2013 results.
“It is a service that no longer <enjoyed> the intervention of parties, like <let’s appoint X in a certain county, because he is a good guy >. Moreover, the Service severed its ties with the local power circles, the chief of SRI no longer went dining with the president of county council, the chief prosecutor, the local leaders of parties,” the head of state explained. Traian Basescu mentioned that he sees SRI now as “a club with serious people, with principles and the wish to serve the country,” which is among the things he enjoys most in his two mandates.
At the opposite end, the president warned that “we complain about not collecting the forecast incomes, although the economy grows.” “De-politicize the National Tax Administration Agency and you’ll have the revenues collected to the state in a few years. Leave the professionals do their job,” Basescu rhetorically advised the government, quoted by Agerpres.
In his speech, the president criticised the “selfishness” of institutions that do not want to couple their data bases, thus risking being victims of cyber-attacks, giving as example the coupling of the data bases of the Ministry of Finance with those of the Ministry of Labour.
“Why the Finance employee, who knows the incomes, fiscal rations of each citizen, could verify if the respective citizen also benefits from social aid, isn’t it? Because social aid is an electoral lever. And this is why we would like to keep it in separate data bases,” Basescu commented.
At the end of the meeting, the president assured the SRI officials that, although in his 10 years of mandate he received an impressive volume of information, after he leaves the office he will never use the information in the political fight. Basescu thanked SRI for the way it fulfilled its missions and the present leaders of SRI for their professionalism.
Romania influenced by the relocation of NATO resources
After the event, President Traian Basescu said that, following the recent regional events, Romania might benefit from a repositioning of the military resources of NATO in the European Union countries, which could also determine an intensification of espionage activities in our country. “Categorically, we need to adapt to the risks of intensified espionage operation on the Romanian territory, as consequence of the evolutions in the region,” the head of state said, adding that “Romania could be among the beneficiaries of the relocation of NATO forces (…), which will make it more attractive (…) for espionage.”
Maior: 2014 will be a complex year
The strategic interests of the state in the sector of national security have been well preserved, SRI head George Maior said yesterday, at the meeting for the release of the institution’s activity report for 2013.
“The main conclusions are that the national security of Romania was good this year, mainly because of the activity conducted by the service. We were not surprised by major events with negative effect in terms of national security,” he explained.
The SRI official said that the Service sent last year 9,000 briefings to the Presidency, Government, local authorities regarding corruption in administration and justice, tax evasion and cross-border organised crime. “As for the counter-terrorist dimension, we tried to avoid catastrophic events, also resorting to barring the access to the country of persons suspected of terrorism. We approached phenomena related to extremism, be it a certain form of social activism, which is actually legitimate, or ethnic extremism,” Maior stated. For 2014, the SRI chief announced that the Service will focus on “the construction of a good IT barrage aimed at protecting the strategic, geopolitical and economic interests of Romania, mainly the energy security,” adding that 2014 will be “a complex year in terms of political and social evolutions exterior to the Service.” Maior also referred to his name appearing in various political scenarios.
“Personally, I emphasise that this aspect also refers to the director of the service, it has always referred and I would like to be removed from these scenarios regarding various candidacies,” he pointed out.