ARC finds that 8 members of the new Ponta cabinet pose an integrity risk

The Alliance for Clean Romania (ACR) has evaluated the integrity of the newly selected ministers of the Ponta cabinet. According to the findings: 3 ministers are or have been under criminal investigation, 1 minister has been accused of Holocaust denial, 2 ministers have migrated to different political parties, and 2 have significant liabilities which can make them vulnerable:

  • Liviu Dragnea, Vice prime-minister – Is being investigated for possible electoral fraud during the July 2012 referendum for impeaching President Basescu. Mr. Dragnea has also been under previous investigation for other crimes, but this was closed due to lack of evidence.
  • Relu Fenechiu, Minister of Transportation, has been charged in June 2012 by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (NAD) with complicity to the abuse of office (continued and qualified form) and complicity to abuse of office against public interests. Fenechiu has been indicted along with three former directors of the Subsidiary Electrical Maintenance and Energy Services (SISEE) Moldova. Mr. Fenechiu has also previously been under investigation, but it was closed due to lack of evidence.
  • Dan Sova, Minister for Major Projects, has previously denied the Romanian Holocaust and theIasi pogrom, on Money Channel TV, but subsequently apologized. According to the National Agency for Administration of Public Finances (ANAF), between 2006 and 2009, the law firm Sova & Associates provided legal assistance to several public institutions and state-owned companies. These contracts earned Sova’s firm a total of 28,093,717 Ron. This amount represents approximately 90% of the firm’s revenues during that period.
  • Eugen Teodorovici, Minister of EU Funds, has liabilities to banks amounting to 812,000 euros (according to his own statement of assets).
  • Dan Constantin, Minister of Agriculture, has a debt of 295 000 euro to Conservative Party founder, Dan Voiculescu.
  • Gabriel Oprea, Vice prime-minister, has migrated from a the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to found his own party, the National Union for the Progress of Romania (NUPR) and then returned to the SDP when the coalition supporting the Boc government collapsed.
  • Varujan Vosganian, Minister of Trade and Industry, has already been a member of four political parties. One of his parties received financial help from the controversial businessman S.O. Vantu.
  • Daniel Barbu, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, has been accused of mismanagement of EU TEMPUS PHARE funds intended for training courses while being the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science,University ofBucharest. The case was officially investigated, but there were no criminal charges.

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