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June 29, 2022

Dura Lex, Sed Lex

In the 70s, when extreme left terrorism exploded in Italy, Justice was put to a very difficult test. Magistrates were shot in front of their own house, in buses, in the halls of the universities. The pressure was huge, so terrorists who were already caught couldn’t be judged.

Fulvio Croce, the President of the Council of the Lawyers’ Order from Torino, was killed only because he dared to accept to be appointed as a court-appointed lawyer in a trial of some members of the Red Brigades. The Criminology professor Guido Galli was shot by Prima Linea (Front Line), a competitor terrorist group, in a break from his classes in a university in Milano.

Professor Galli was concerned about reformation plans of the prison system, advocating for the social recovery of the detainees, but at the same time he was firm regarding the application of the law. This difficult balance between exigency and tolerance corresponds to a judiciary that aims to limit criminality as much as possible, offering at the same time rehabilitation to people who risk to stay in a vicious circle when they are imprisoned. Any criminal philosophy faces this dilemma: to be harsh to reduce social violence, but also to be human to save the one who was wrong.

But how can you be human with prisoners? First of all, by enhancing the conditions of detention – an investment that doesn’t bring votes, but indicates the level humanity of the society. Also, applying cuts of punishment for good behavior – an adequate system that deserves to be improved, in order to favor those who are really willing to reintegrate in the society, and not the wise guys who put others write their books to help them go out earlier.

Clemency should rather not be differentiated, but correspond to real efforts of those who are targeted. Crimes can also be discussed again, since mentalities change and the criminal code must correspond to the values corresponding to the time.

But there’s one thing to decriminalize homosexual relationships, and there’s a different thing to weaken control on abuse of office. Both of them have defenders and detractors, but the stakes are different. Some people don’t accept homosexuality – and they’re not few, since Liviu Dragnea is sure he would win the referendum against homosexual marriages -, but there are few people who would dare to ask today the punishment of those applying it. But in the case of the abuse of office, how many people would support it openly? It’s obvious for anyone that the purpose of punishing it is to protect state against corruption, nepotism or cronyism.

PSD started the new government in the wrong way, despite the comfortable parliamentary majority. It was rushed to secure its leaders threatened by trials – and they’re not few. But thus, they were forced to record a first defeat much too early. Even if it will succeed to make pass the “two elephants’ through the needle, the future room of maneuver is already significantly reduced. The leaders who defend now, in one way or another, the announced ordinances, are already losing a huge electoral pool – the absentees, the 60 percent who didn’t vote in December.

It’s true that their number decreased with the prompt electoral gifts: some of the state employees will prefer any amendments to the Criminal Code to remain with their salary increases. Pensioners voted anyway for the Social Democrats in a very large extent, in a country which is more and more biologically aging. Let’s suppose that approx. 50 percent people remained undecided in electoral terms. If only a half of them will be sensitive to the anti-corruption political campaign that starts now, not only the future elections can dethrone PSD, but the protest amplified in time could drastically shorten even the current government – let’s not forget that elections weren’t needed for significant political changes in the recent parliamentary legislatures.

What wasn’t taken into account by the Social Democrat leaders, is President Iohannis’s position. You could say anything, but who expected him to become a ‘playing president’ over the night? But unlike Traian Basescu, who was only a great puppeteer, Iohannis entered into the fight in a very dangerous moment – the amendments of the Criminal Code can compromise the only subject in which Romania has become, in the recent years, a leader in the region: the anti-corruption fight. Many Romanian people will understand the stake of this political war, even if the affluence at the referendum announced by the President is still uncertain. Without a smart campaign, the absenteeism risks to be fatal once again.

Many commenters appreciate that President’s attitude is at least risky, or maybe even inadequate. What is often forgotten is the status of the many ‘political commenters’ who come every evening in the studios of the various TV channels, which is a t least ambiguous. If we look behind, their careers have too many shadowy issues – or even deals that should have discredit them for a long time ago – to let us think only at their opportunism, instead of an active role of manipulation. Isn’t it strange, for instance, that the Russian Embassy promotes Bogdan Chireac? However, despite the opinions of this plenty of commenters, Klaus Iohannis has chosen a winning path. Perhaps he will not be able to stop the two ordinances from being adopted, but PSD will be wounded after this confrontation. This wound will weaken it more if it thought. There are plenty of Romanians who are tired of giving bribe. There are plenty of them who feel themselves humiliated by the politicians’ arrogance. There are plenty of them who hate being manipulated. There are plenty of them who are afraid of the European consequences of the country’s involution related to corruption. There are plenty of them who are concerned about releasing dangerous detainees. More than ever, all of them risk to deem PSD as responsible for too many day-to day dysfunctionalities, and to ask for the bill untimely. The more so as economic evolutions may lead to a decrease of the real purchasing power, despite the salary increases. President Iohannis played cleverly.

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