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Korruptionsanklagat Romania takes over in the EU

In the days celebrating the many romanians that it was 29 years since the communist dictatorship fell. The christmas holidays in 1989, Bucharest was in the spotlight when the images from the execution of diktatorsparet Ceausescu was broadcast across the world.

the Country has come a long way since then. It became a member of Nato in 2004 and EU in 2007. In Bucharest, completed the world's largest orthodox cathedral.

of chaos and conflict at the very moment when Romania is about to for the first time take over the EU presidency from 1 January 2019.

In december, got Romania sharp criticism from the EUROPEAN commission, in a report, which stated that the country is not only behind in their reforms of the judiciary, but went backwards in development:

”the Trend at the later time means that the evolution goes backwards and makes the positive assessment made in January 2017 must be called into question”, called, inter alia, in the report adopted by a large majority in the EUROPEAN parliament.

What it's about is primarily the fight against corruption. A widespread system of bribery has been the country's major problems ever since the entry into the EU for more than ten years ago and is also the reason that the commission keeps Romania under special supervision.

vänsterpopulistiska party, the PSD, which controls two years ago, do not want a clampdown on corruption but on the contrary relieve the pressure against the accused politicians and senior officials. The thing is that the party leader, the country's strong man Liviu Dragnea, has a jail sentence for corruption on himself that prevents him from sitting in the government.

Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the PSD, sitting next to the prime minister of Romania Viorica Dancila. Photo: DANIEL MIHAILESCU

the PSD wants to raise the threshold for corruption offences, lower the penalties and release a variety of already convicted persons in an amnesty. Similar suggestions caused large demonstrations two years ago, but now they are back on the table.

– Why are the words ”amnesty” and pardon,” such blasphemies? said Dragnea – today, speaker of the parliament – recently at a convention.

– They are seen as a nuclear bomb that Romania is going to take over Europe or the world. But I am not afraid to express them.

have PSD kicked out Laura Codruta Kövesi, the nation's leading korruptionsåklagare which has been praised by the EU for its fearless investigations against the rulers. And in few days may be the head of the country's police, Augustin Lazar, leave his post. Also he was seen as a heavy independent lawyer.

Laura Codruta Kövesi, head of DNA, the Romanian antikorruptionsmyndigheten, is under fierce attack from the government. Photo: Anders Hansson

The ruling party justified its proposal to the congestion in the country's overcrowded prisons must reduce the. Now, there is talk instead about breaking an unhealthy cooperation between the intelligence services and the judicial apparatus.

All of this can be seen as a pretext by the opposition, who recently arranged a vote of confidence against the PSD government in parliament, with the justification that the country is violating the EU's democratic values. This fell, however, as the opposition only got 166 votes out of the 233 who had been needed.

President Klaus Iohannis belongs to the government's sharpest critics. He already explained in november that Romania ”is the total unprepared” for the presidency of the EU. Although he later softened that statement got the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, to require that the president be prosecuted for ”high treason”.

Klaus Iohannis. Photo: Kerstin Joensson/AP

in the EUROPEAN union-the president's table in the next six months is a Brexit, of course, the hottest, with the official british EU-exit, planned for 29 march. But it is also about the union's major long-term budget and on a probable settlement on the refugee and migration policy.

And, not least, how the union should deal with its ”problem child” Hungary and Poland, countries whose governments are accused to dismantle democratic institutions. The problem now is that the country which should control this itself more and more often counted to the same group of problematic countries.

Viorica Dancila, the prime minister who most believe is going in Liviu Dragneas ligaments, protested against such assertions during a visit in Brussels recently.

" I don't want to bring Poland, Hungary and Romania in the same boat. The situations are very different, " she said at a press conference together with EUROPEAN commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

the prime minister of Romania Viorica Dancila and EUROPEAN commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

variants of the populism leans more towards högernationalism, while the PSD's have their roots to the left and the cape more towards capitalism. In the same speech in which the party Dragnea spoke for a korruptionsamnesti he went to the furious attacks against the multinational banks and other large corporations. He accused, among other foreign companies in order to ”poison the Romanian children”.

But it Dragnea has in common with Hungary's Viktor Orban and Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski is the desire to take control of the media and the judiciary – institutions which, according to the EU's basic principles should be independent of the executive.

The present also like themselves as the protector of conservative values against a progressive Western europe. In Romania's case, it has inter alia been about a referendum on whether to ban gay marriage in the autumn – which, however, failed.

attacking Dragnea also like the EU and Brussels in order to interfere in Romania's internal affairs, to which he obviously expects amnesty for korruptionsanklagade leaders, including himself.

– Romania will no longer accept to be treated as a second-tier country, " he said in a speech earlier in december.

Counting with a tense atmosphere between Brussels and Bucharest after the new year. The voltage will not decrease if the government later in January – as rumors according to local media claim – clubs a nöddekret of an amnesty for korruptionsdömda.

Read more: Homosexuals are portrayed as threats before the referendum

Read more: Corruption is a matter of life and death in Romania

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