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POLITICSThe Basescu styleThe President of Romania Traian Basescu has changed the Tariceanu Cabinet by force, meaning by destroying ministers' credibility. His main instruments have been the Prosecutor's Office and the National Anti-Corruption Department.
The ex defense minister Teodor Atanasiu was the first on the list. The President managed to get him suspended due to a criminal complaint against him, authored by presidency adviser Adriana Saftoiu. Even if the court proved the President wrong, Atanasiu was never appointed back.
There followed the ministers involved in the privatization case, implying intelligence charges: Codrut Seres, from the Conservative Party the President called "the immoral solution", and Zsolt Nagy from the Democrat Union of Magyars in Romania. Decebal Traian Remes, the ex Liberal minister of agriculture, was executed live on TV by a recording showing him taking bribe. But the President denied having anything to do with it.
The last dispute President Basescu won involved the ex justice minister Tudor Chiuariu. "The young and naughty mafia man", as Traian Basescu would call him, had to quit after learning he was under criminal investigations himself. And there has followed the scandal emerging because of the President's refusal to appoint Liberal senator Norica Nicolai a minister of justice, whose credibility has now been harmed, although she hasn't been appointed.
The fight has got the interim minister of justice Teodor Melescanu involved too and in the end he surrendered to the threats from Cotroceni Palace.
The Romanian finance minister Varujan Vosganian was a victim too, because of ungrounded accusations claiming he had collaborated with the Communist Secret Service, which is why he had to quit his candidacy to a European commissioner job.
Humiliation reached as high as possible in the case of foreign minister Adrian Cioroianu, also a Liberal. He was appointed a minister only after the Constitutional Court reached decision that the President's conduct was wrong. (D.I.)