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16:50    |    06/10/2011

A draft against lies

Conservative honorary leader Dan Voiculescu, together with liberal Ioan Ghise and Vlad Nistor, submitted to the Senate a draft law. The initiators’ past is not a clean one. Voiculescu is a former Securitate collaborator (as proven by the justice), Ioan Ghise is former Brasov mayor (allegedly involved in several ‘grey’ businesses). In this case it seems these issues are less important. What is important is the draft law addresses the issue of false information delivered to the public. It was high time for this initiative.

The current law says dignitaries are responsible for false or erroneous information, presented in ill-faith to the Parliament or to the President of Romania. The draft law is trying to change this so that dignitaries should be responsible for false information about the economic evolutions presented to the public. Penalties could be 2 to 12 years of prison.

‘Romanian citizens take decisions for themselves and their families based on the information presented by the governance. If this information is inexact, deliberately presented in this way, people take wrong decisions that might influence the state’s stability and the families’ prosperity. As well as citizens’ trust in state institutions and democratic mechanisms,’ the initiators say.

Looking at the draft law I say it is absolutely necessary in order to avoid past mistakes. Or, better said, past manipulations. It is a draft law against politicians’ lies, abundant on the Romanian political scene.

Should we recall again year 2008? General elections were due in November. By September the crisis had already hit the US. Europe was not feeling well. In fact, the signs of the coming crisis were obvious. Like an oasis if sun in a sea of ice, Romania was ignoring the world. Political leaders and other officials were very optimistic regarding the near future. The then opposition leader Emil Boc was speaking about 2009 in terms of economic growth. So was the central bank governor, ignoring the external signs.

But the politicians did it intentionally, as elections were approaching fast. The opposition’s democrat-liberals header by Boc had the loudest voice. A legislative initiative was proposing a 50 per cent salary increase for teachers. The then PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu (liberal) repeatedly stressed the budget could not support such an increase. When the draft law reached parliament, it got a 100 per cent approval – from all political parties! Boc was saying at the time the first decision to be taken by him after winning the elections is to implement the law. More than that, president Traian Basescu was accusing Tariceanu of obstructing the decision to increase teachers’ salaries, telling the citizens Tariceanu is the one to blame for postponing the decision.

PDL won the elections. Immediately after 2009 New Year’s Eve, the president and the new Premier warned Romanians of the coming crisis. The above mentioned law has never been implemented. On the contrary, in 2010 salaries of all civil servants were cut by 25 per cent.

As I see things, that was one big and stinking lie. According to the new draft law it seems to me some of the above mentioned characters should be have been responsible.

Such lies should never be used again by politicians. I don’t know if the parliament will give the go-ahead to the draft law. For certainly it should. Romanian politicians need to learn what real responsibility is.



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cu George Grigoriu
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