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The Law on "hiding dignitaries' wealth"
Lavinia GRIGORESenators convinced us, this late April, that they are not worthy of the confidence "bestowed" on them by voters. We should say that, considering the manner of approaching and finalising debates on the bill tabled by the Justice Minister, referring to the new wealth statement forms, they have proved they are worthy of our despise, not only of our distrust.
Amending the legislation on dignitaries' wealth and interests - in the sense of a perfectly transparent control on wealth and conflicts of interests - has been one of the objectives announced by Macovei on taking over the Minister of Justice mandate. The initial bill as proposed by the Government was quite well received by EU Member States and by the European Commission, as a step forward on the path to eliminating corruption. But the form passed by the Senate plenum was subject to modifications that affect the transparency of public offices, turning the draft law on wealth statements into a law on wealth hiding. With the same arrogance with which their colleagues in previous legislative terms slaughtered the bill on access to former political police files, Senators have eliminated from the forms proposed by the Minister of Justice several essential provisions, such as: tax value of land and real estate assets; estimated value of jewels and art collections; the commitment that: "This statement is a public act and I am liable, under criminal law provisions, for the inaccuracy or incompleteness of data"; the obligation to specify the name of the person to whom a dignitary transferred a real estate or security asset; the obligation for dignitaries' relatives to state their salary incomes; extending the threshold of art object, collection or jewellery statements from EUR 5,000 to EUR 15,000. Thanks to the votes cast by some of their colleagues, MPs in the ruling Coalition managed to play the game of PSD and PPRM. The modification which truly changed the nature of the bill was the elimination of the paragraph which made dignitaries criminally liable for their wealth statements. Senatorial pretexts The decision was taken on a proposal coming from PSD Senator Serban Nicolae, who put forth the pretext that the provision was "superfluous". So that Senators accepted the amendment, with 50 votes in favour and 46 against. According to the ballot list, voting in favour of the amendment were PD Senator Marius Marinescu and Radu Berceanu's card (as the latter was not in the hall during the voting), Radu Câmpeanu (PNL) and Ilie Stoica (PUR). Realising, after quite a long while, the blinder they had made, several Coalition Senators tried to amend things and urged that the procedure be resumed, claiming that admitting such an amendment eliminates the very substance matter of the normative act. Once this article eliminated, the nation's representatives can make public only those parts of their wealth that they choose to, and hide the less justifiable parts away from the voters' eyes. That parliamentarian insolence went beyond the limit was proved by the fact that, after having massacred the bill, Senators tried to convince Monica Macovei that their vote was a fair one. This is the farfetched argument used by PPRM Senator Gheorghe Funar to justify his support for eliminating the provision under which public dignitaries have to mention the name of the person to whom they sell an asset: "What if he simply goes broke and goes to the rag fair to sell everything he has?" Senate Speaker Nicolae Văcăroiu (PSD) in turn pointed out: "Stop blaming the European Union. It is the national Parliament that makes this decision! Nobody forces us to go all the way with this!" Senators vote against national interest As expected, modification of the draft law and the Senate's vote sparked Minister of Justice Monica Macovei's discontent. She said the new text was a back loop to the old wealth statement forms: "The law was passed with modifications which render it obscure", and added that Senators voted against national interests. "Senators have voted against the interest of this country, which needs effective mechanisms in the fight against corruption," Macovei told a press conference. Amending the laws on public dignitaries' wealth and interests, in the sense of perfectly transparent control over conflicts of interests and wealth was one of the objectives announced by Macovei on taking over the Minister of Justice mandate. It was also one of the main requirements of the European Union so as Romania to close the Justice and Home Affairs chapters. The initial Government bill was extremely well received by EU Member States and the European Commission, being seen as a step forward in the road to eliminating corruption. Monica Macovei points out that, through the form endorsed by the Senate plenum, changes have been operated which affect the transparency of the public office, in the sense that wealth statements are rendered obscure. "I have no comments on the proposals made by PPRM and PSD," Macovei stated. She also refused to comment on the fact that Senators for the PNL-PD Alliance voted in favour of eliminating the amendments on wealth statement transparency. The Minister still has one hope left: that the law will regain its initial form in the Chamber of Deputies. "I hope the bill will be corrected in the Chamber, and it will return to its initial form. The Justice Ministry will continue to support the law as it was passed in Government. The only concession we are willing to make is in the sense of passing even stricter provisions", the Minister added. Minister Macovei emphasised that as detailed wealth statements as possible should be filled in. This is not a fad of the Ministry's, but a necessary control tool and a weapon in the fight against corruption. According to the Minister, those who modified the law prove they have something to hide and they are afraid of transparency. In its modified form, Macovei explains, the law was turned from a measurement tool "into a joke," "into a law on wealth hiding." Premier Călin Popescu Tăriceanu promptly reacted to the Senate vote, stating that the option of President Traian Băsescu's sending the bill back to Parliament instead of promulgating it should not be ruled out. "I don't mean that I will urge the President to do this, because I know I don't need to. I know he has the necessary responsibility to take the most adequate attitude," the PM said. Senators' vote: defiance to their own status In case the ruling Coalition's Deputies, who have a much more reliable majority in the Chamber than in the Senate, also accept this "pact with the devil" and endorse the bill in the form forwarded by Senate, the only hope for Minister Macovei and all those who voted for the PNL-PD Alliance for its anti-corruption message lies with President Traian Băsescu. However, under the Constitution, the President may only once deny promulgation, and then he has to promulgate it within ten days, because, given the features of this law, it cannot be submitted to the attention of the
Publicat în : English de la numărul 25
Revolutia din decembrie 89: Pacatul originar, sacrificiul fondator este prima carte dintr-o serie de sapte volume dedicate ultimelor doua decenii din istoria României. Nu am pretentia ca sunt detinatorul unui adevar politic, juridic sau istoric incontestabil, si sunt gata sa discut si sa accept orice documente, fapte sau marturii care pot lumina mai bine sau chiar altfel realitatea. Educatia mea stiintifica si religioasa m-a ajutat sa cercetez faptele în mod obiectiv, eliberat de ura sau intoleranta. Recunosc însa o anume încrâncenare în ceea ce am scris venita din durerea unui om care a trait în miezul evenimentelor si se simte lovit de acceptarea cinica a crimelor, abuzurilor, coruptiei si minciunii, sau de indiferenta la fel de cinica cu care sunt înca privite de catre o mare parte a societatii românesti.... Am scris aceste carti de pe pozitia victimelor mintite sau speriate, care nu-si cunosc sau nu-si pot apara drepturile. Le-am scris de pe pozitia milioanelor de români cinstiti care cred în adevar, în dreptate si în demnitate. Emil Constantinescu (text preluat din Introducerea cartii).
MINTEA CEA SOCOTITOARE
de academician Mircea Malita, Editura Academiei Române, 2009 În volumul de eseuri Mintea cea socotitoare, aparut la Editura Academiei Române, acad. Mircea Malita formuleaza în crescendo o serie de întrebari grave ale timpului nostru: Daca omul este rational, de ce se fac atâtea greseli în economie
sau în politica?; Daca rationalitatea nu e de ajuns, care ar fi rolul întelepciunii?; Din viitorul imprevizibil putem smulge portiuni, daca nu certe, cel putin probabile?; Ce si cum învatam pregatindu-ne pentru viitorul nostru?; Este în stare omenirea sa îsi vindece crizele?; Ne asteapta oare un dezastru final? s.a. De-a lungul anilor, acad. Mircea Malita a staruit asupra acestor teme în lucrari recunoscute, însa acum o face raportându-se la dinamica realitatii imediate, inspirat de cuvintele lui Dimitrie Cantemir: socoteala mintii mele, lumina dinlauntrul capului. Eseurile sunt structurate pe patru parti - Mintea senina, Metaforele mintii, Mintea învolburata si Privind înainte. Finalul este de un optimism lucid care tine seama de potentialul de rationalitate si imaginatie al mintii umane si, fireste, de generatiile tinere care îl pot valoriza benefic.
Această carte de poezie este seismograful de mare sensibilitate care înregistrează cele două întâlniri ale sufletului, deopotrivă cu URÂTUL care ne schilodește ca ființă, ca neam, dar și cu FRUMUSEȚEA sufletească nepoluată ce stă ca o fântână cu apă curată pe un câmp plin cu peturi și gunoaie nedegradabile. Ce poate fi mai dureros decât să surprinzi această fibră distrusă de aluviunile istorice încărcate de lașități, inerții, apatii, compromisuri devenite congenitale ale românului? Vibrația versurilor, directețea lor, simplitatea dusă până în marginea cotidianului paradoxal n-au efect distructiv asupra tonusului moral al cititorului, ci produc neliniștea cea bună, cum ar spune Sfinții Părinți. Citești în revolta și durerea poetei un mănunchi admirabil de calități: o demnitate neînfrântă, o fiziologie a verticalității și, mai ales, o inimă creștină, o inimă din ceruri, cum ar spune poetul latin. Căci, în această inimă din ceruri, există lacrimi deopotrivă pentru românul umilit, distrus până și-n visele lui, dar și pentru copilul din Gaza, cu sufletul și trupul chircite sub șenilele tancurilor unui război ce tinde să devină mai lung decât viața lui, ale unui război-viață, lacrimi pentru copilul evreu ce nu a putut fi salvat de la deportarea bestială, lacrimi pentru Tibetul sfâșiat. Și toate acestea fără impostura unui ecumenism sentimental, ci izvorâte din acel suspin curat românesc ce face esența lacrimii creștine. (Dan Puric)
ISLAMUL SI SOARTA LUMII - Fundamentalismul islamic ca ideologie politica de Virginia Mircea "Islamul si soarta lumii - Fundamendamentalismul ca ideologie politca invita la o reflectie mai adanca asupra porceselor lumii contemporane. Judecata critica si independenta a autoarei a produs o lucrare de o veritabila investigatie stiintifica, exact la momentul in care tema tratata deseori fara solutii si perspective ocupa scena din fata a politicii si problemelor mondiale. Cititorii o pot aseza cu satisfactie in bliblioteca lor de referinta. Vor fi mult ajutati in intelegerea evenimentelor care ne sesizeaza in prezent si intr-un viitor in care tema nu se va desprinde de mersul lumii contemporane." (academician Mircea Malita)