Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Chains for a former Prime Minister of Romania [Lanţuri pentru un fost premier al României]

Former Romanian Prime Minister, Adrian Năstase, has just been sentenced to two years of imprisonment, by a definitive decision of the highest court in Romania (ÎCCJ).

He was found guilty for illegally obtaining electoral campaign funds, although he has been repeatedly claiming his innocence.

Not since the late 1940s and 1950s, when under USSR’s boots, or since Nicolae Ceauşescus execution in 1989, has Romania witnessed such a controversial decision.

Neither Năstase, nor his political allies would accept the decision, unless the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ever confirms it.

By that time, he will have most probably spend his two years in prison, while most of the world will be sure of his guilt.

The length of the trial (8 years!) serves as enough ‘evidence’ for most people, either his political enemies, voters or onlookers from the EU.  

Just like an imprisoned former PM in Ukraine has done nothing to improve the country’s image in Europe’s eyes, Năstases chains won’t bring dividends for Romania on the long term.

Symbolically, the sentence has huge significance. Chaining a demigod like Năstase appeared to be in the early 2000s is a huge blow to the perceived omnipotence of political leaders.

It’s long since the defendand’s arrogance has deprived him of any presumption of innocence, and not few would be those opening champagne bottles tonight.

One of these would surely be Năstase’s archenemy of 2004, Traian Băsescu – another character who lives under the spell of a presumption of guilt.

Irrespective of how many praises of the independent Romanian judiciary’ we read in foreign media for the next days,  it would be foolish to believe Băsescu has nothing to do with the decision.

In less than a year, Băsescu could be suspended by a hostile parliament, and later even put on trial just like Năstase.

Unless he manages to pulverize the former opposition – USL (= PSD + PNL + PC), already in power, before the next election (another Romanian bizarrery!).

Let us not forget that the now condemned Năstase was the PhD coordinating professor of Romania’s current Prime Minister, Victor Ponta.

Ponta had been accused of plagiarism two days before Năstase was sentenced. The courts decison comes two days before Năstases 62nd birthday.

Rather than destiny’s irony, it’s a masterstoke of Băsescu.

Will Băsescu be the one who laughs last, thus laugh better?! Too bad that there’s nothing to laugh at for most Romanians...

The ruling class is as unprepared for the cataclysmic times ahead of the world as those in power in the late 1930s.

[For all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Anonymous said...

Hi Bogdan,
I don't know very much about A.N.'s trial, but I have a question: what is your oppinion about his suicidal tentative - does it have a concern in his guilty or should be just a psychological weakness?
Please excuse my english :)

MunteanUK said...

@ Florinm

There's little doubt that, for many (enemies + foreign observers), a suicide attempt looks like the 'ultimate piece of evidence' for someone's guilt.

Just look how subtly this idea can be conveyed to the readers in a BBC article:

The article bears an appearance of impartiality, but it's nothing more than typical BBC propaganda.

Short sentences, no epithetes, just facts... Really?!

The article ends with the opinion of an "anti-corruption expert" from a think tank.


This is no victory for the Romanian judiciary. It's but a carefully orchestrated blow to Năstase and USL.

There was no other need to order the police to 'snatch' him from his home, unless someone (guess who?!) wanted to show him 'in chains', as a kind of 'trophy'...

I know that this seems unplausible, as long as the Ministry of Internal Affairs is run by a PSD minister, but I can't rule out this hypothesis.

So many 'big villains' manage to get out of the country, and now Năstase is taken into custody before the legal term of 24 hours would expire...

Năstase could not have run out of the country, while his house was surrounded by reporters.

Not that him and PSD were 'saints'; what I want to say it's that it all looks like political revenge than serious justice being done.

It's more likely that Victor Ponta is guilty of plagiarism than Năstase is guilty of the charges laid against him in this particular corruption case.


More than a psychological weakness, any suicide attempt is the result of a spiritual deficiency.

Năstase is considered to be a proud, distant man, and he once was one of the most powerful people in Romania, thus it's natural for his ego to react so violently.

For people who rely too much on themselves, it's hard to bear the blows of life, however, let this opinion be understood as a simple 'analysis', not as a judgement of his character.

He may not realize it now - under the pressure of the past months and years and now crushed by a shocking decision - but his 'fall' can be very useful for him, from a spiritual perspective.

If were allowed to make a little theological speculation, I'd say that the blow Năstase has suffered could ultimately turn out to be a great chance for him.

I wouldn't see it as a punishment from God (as his enemies see it), but as an opportunity to turn back to the Lord, and I hope that he will make the most of this chance.