Press Review - June 19, 2017

06.19.2017 By Oana Gavrila

US Helsinki Commission: Intelligence Service Plays Major Role in Leading Anticorruption Prosecutors

David Clark, foreign policy commentator and consultant, said in a report for the  Commission on security and cooperation in Europe - U. S. Helsinki Commission, Romania's Intelligence Service plays a major role in leading anticorruption prosecutors.

The report was presented on June 14 in Washington.

Clark expressed concern regarding several areas of Romania’s anti-corruption measures, which he said had been tainted by the politicization of justice, collusion between prosecutors and the executive branch, intelligence agency influence over the process, lack of judicial independence and other abuses of the process.

“The Romanian Intelligence Service continues to play an aggressive, yet undisclosed, role in criminal investigations and has influence over the judiciary system – even infiltrating and influencing judicial outcomes,” he said.

“It carries out 20,000 telephone intercepts on behalf of the DNA every year, initiates DNA investigations and, in its own words, regards the judicial system as, quote, a 'tactical field' of operations. These activities have not been adequately scrutinized and the government has refused to respond to calls from organizations representing Romanian judges to investigate suspicions that the SRI has infiltrated the judiciary and the prosecution services.”


Craiova-Pitesti Expressway Project Sent to Public Procurement Agency for Validation

Paperwork for the design and execution of lots 3 and 4 of the Craiova-Pitesti expressway in southern Romania have been forwarded for validation to the national agency for public procurement, the national road company said.

The project, an expressway of 121. km, is estimated to cost RON3.77 billion  net of VAT.

The road is set to link the southwestern region to the Pan-European Transport Corridors 4 and 9.


Romania Has Fewest Cars per 1,000 Inhabitants in EU

Romania has the fewest cars per 1,000 inhabitants among European Union member states, with under 300 vehicles in 2015, Eurostat data showed.

The EU had an average of 497 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015.

Among EU members, Luxembourg has the most cars per 1,000 inhabitants, with 661 vehicles, followed by Malta (634 cars), Italy (610 cars), and Finland (590 cars).

At the opposite end, Romania had the fewest cars (261 per 1,000 inhabitants), followed by Hungary (325 cars), Latvia (345 cars), and Croatia (358 cars).


ANAF: Banks Sold NPLs Very Cheaply

Romania's tax agency ANAF recently inspected banks and found irregularities in the sale of non-performing loans and the deduction of expenses.

"We found non-performing loans had been sold for very low amounts, taking advantage of the fact that tax legislation allows the fill deduction of provisions,” ANAF said.

In April, central bank deputy governor Florin Georgescu said local banks sold non-performing corporate loans last year at an average price of 9% of the loan face value, while the average price for retail non-performing loans stood at 12%.

Corporate NPLs sold in 2016 totaled EUR437 million, and retail NPLs totaled EUR288 million, said Georgescu.

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