Europe’s been veiled by a cloud of volcanic ash, for about a month, some time in March-April. Romania’s still shrouded with a slime of corruption, for more than a decade, if not two, three, a Century… The European Commission’s progress report of 3 months ago wasn’t any better or worse than several other reports that’d been issued over the past few years. Yes, “some progress has been made,” some segments of the Cooperation & Verification Mechanism seem satisfactory, but the overall feeling is that Romania’s cheating on her EU partners. For the first time, however, there was no discussion about the safeguard clause! And I felt that was a significant turn–either for worse, in the sense that everybody now realizes that Romania will keep on cheating, regardless of how vigorously the Commission waves that safeguard clause; or for better, in the sense that Romania has actually and miraculously embarked on some irreversible path with respect to justice reform and anti-corruption.
Wrong! Around that time, the anti-corruption prosecution (DNA) allegedly unveiled an intricate web of corrupt decisions that connected a senator, a judge and two businessmen. Rather nilly than willy, the Senate agreed that senator Voicu should see his day in court, facing preventive detention in order not to tamper with evidence. Judge Costiniu, however, remained for quite some time on the bench, parting justice to others, while suspicions of his own impartiality inflamed not only the public at large, but also about 10% of his peers. Only 10% of his peers! Excuse me, but I don’t think this is a sign of reform 🙁 True, somehow, the judge ended up in another cell, in similar conditions of preventive detention, but not before he’d been shown on TV as a freak: An utterly demeaning image of a magistrate in handcuffs. Presumption of innocence broken down to pieces. Voluptuous innuendos about political partisanship in conjunction with a businessman closely related to President Băsescu. What is wrong with this country?!?
I’m telling you, Iceland just paid her dues for EU membership with that cloud of volcanic ash: If planes were able to fly during those days, a lot more Romanians would’ve fled the country for any European destination, regardless of how poor, remote or even unspeakable, like Eyjafjallajökull! But planes were grounded, and trains or buses ain’t comfortable enough… So we all stayed our ground, slimy as it may be, for our sight is clouded and we seem quite comfortable this way 🙁