President Traian Basescu has just made fools of us. I don't mean the sensational article in the International Herald Tribune, describing him so colorfully that after reading it we get the feeling we live in Tanganiyka. I neither mean his ungrounded, tough offense to the Russian Federation, made out of populism only, in an attempt to attract the anti-Soviet electorate and turn them into an anti-Russian one. What I mean is the whole scandal on the privatization of Petrom, as Traian Basescu has kept on expressing opinions on it. He has made severe statements lacking any grounds. One of was published by two main dailies and claimed that Romania's energy policy risked becoming captive in hostile hands because half of the OMV shares were listed at the Stock Exchange. The Austrian company board made a simple statement and managed to do away with the opinion of the very man guiding a bulky intelligence service community in Bucharest. According to the law, no one may buy the entire share package. And the Viennese partner is still in control, because Austria is the main shareholder. The Romanian partner, meaning the entire state, is also in control. Therefore Basescu made a severe error, no matter if he meant it or not. But this seems to be just the prologue of a national scandal that may spread abroad. As far as the privatization of Petrom is concerned, it seems a truly crazy scenario is at stake, an intelligence scenario. Never before has there been the representative of a worldwide international consultant been accused of intelligence, along with a so-called organized criminal group, simply because of doing his job as required, simply because of getting and working on information from the Internet pages of public institutions. Ciprian Nastasiu, a prosecutor loyal to Cotroceni Palace, thinks the latter are strictly secret documents. I would be glad to hear that after 16 years our secret services, spending huge budget funds, have managed to reach some spies and that our extremely efficient Prosecutor's Office, also spending a lot, has decided to handle such a case. To be honest, I think it will be just another soap balloon, given the political auspices under which the scandal opened.
Yesterday I was saying that the Basescu-Nastasiu team has slipped to a different path, since the Stolojan-Stoica project initiative has provided no experts, as they have been preoccupied with dismembering Tariceanu's Cabinet and the PNL (National Liberal Party), if possible. Now there is attempted a criminal inquiry on a commercial contract regarding the privatization of Petrom. But it is actually about more than a simple commercial contract. Both Nastase's Cabinet and the Parliament of Romania agreed to the privatization of Petrom and the contract became a law. The prosecutor serving the President has taken the suggestion from Cotroceni Palace to investigate on the so-called guilty. It would call for no more and no less than opening inquiry on the Parliament, which happened only when the Russian cannons were in power. Or it would at least imply investigations on the 45 senators and deputies in the experts committees. Some of them are Basescu's colleagues in the PD (Democrat Party), such as Anca Boagiu and Radu Berceanu.
What if we think about what Romanian can gain if EU norms are met and the Council of Competition demands Petrom to have auction for 30% of the gas and oil resources? What if Romania becomes a gas provider for Europe by making use of the natural layers it owns?