Flagxitgate, or Presidential Elimination  

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A recent “viral” video clip shows the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, moving the Union Jack (the UK flag), out of the way as he talks to reporters. This act of “elimination” is probably the least interesting of the ones discussed herein.

imageIn case you missed it, the Romanian president, answering questions after a EU high-level meeting on Brexit, is visibly unnerved by flags in-between himself and the reporters and decides to do something about it. In UK, where the fight between Remainers and Brexiters continues, the former seized the moment as symbolic.

I’m not terribly sensitive about moving flags. What I find more interesting is that Iohannis appears to be wearing a fake tan, Trump style.

It would be fun if this “field view obstacle” elimination would be the only one. The far more serious, in my view, is the elimination of the president (done by the Grindeanu government) from the process of naming the ANCOM leadership. This entity is similar to CRTC in Canada, in that it regulates the telecommunications market, valued in Romania at 4 billion Euros. This is the latest move in a long saga of governmental meddling in the activities of an organization that is supposed to be independent, and while the Government claims it to be, just like the #Rezist originating Ordnance, because of a European-level decision, it is actually contrary to what European officials have been requesting (hn-ancom).

An even more worrying development is the quasi-destruction of the law of conflict of interest (hn-conflictinterst). The Romanian Parliament added a few provisions to the existing articles and removed others from the penal code with the effect of neutering the existence of “conflict of interest” as a concept in the Romanian law. This was done, supposedly, due to Constitutional Court decisions dating back to 2015. Victor Ponta, former prime minister and current deputy, responded to a USR criticism stating the above by giving Trump’s daughter position in the White House as an example of nepotism / conflict of interest.

There are two problems here: first, Ivanka Trump works, supposedly, unpaid – she’s volunteering. But that’s a weak point, as the Trump administration is famously rich in conflicts on interest. The second, bigger problem is that corruption fighters in Romania have long relied on the “West” and “Europe” as examples to follow, and now, whenever something bad happens over there, Romanians are quick to follow and use the same “example” to nefarious ends (see the anti-abortion march, or prosecuting Anuntul for proxenetism, following Backpage’s case in USA, even though prostitution is not criminal in Romania – dollo). This is one of the reasons why, on this blog, I have repeatedly tried to warn against this trend and reveal instances of corruption, injustice and unethical practices in countries considered “example-worthy”. I would like Romania and Romanian politicians to have a stronger moral compass, and to pass laws and adopt measures because it’s the right thing to do, not because this or that higher authority demands it or prods it in whatever direction.

The final elimination is one I do not care much about, but, just in time for May 1, bound to affect the poorest of the poor in Romania. The millionaire President of the Romanian Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, wants to dismantle the poorly designed and gaps-prone Romanian safety net, by eliminating the so-called “guaranteed minimum income” (welfare). He even wants to keep an income tax at 16% rather than the 10% his coalition and governing partner, PSD, wants. Meanwhile, Ecuador’s experience (wef-*) – and even Canada’s – seem to contradict CPT.

And since we’re talking about May 1 and numbers, there’s also a detailed look at Romanian’s opposition and delay in adopting the 8h work day (hym-105). (Also, Plesu calls CPT to task for being an idiot – adv-plesucpt.)

While Romania is confronted with one of the largest labour crises in Europe, with a humongous number of vacancies, these jobs are almost all due to skills shortage. It is idiotic to believe that people living on welfare have the skills that are in demand. Additionally, as it happens, these people live in PSD strongholds – i.e., counties where the support for the governing party is strongest (hn-top).

Sources / More info: hn-ancom, hn-conflictinterst, hn-cpt, hn-top, hym-105, adv-plesucpt, wef-ec, wef-mincome, dollo

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Tuesday, May 02, 2017 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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