Romanian deputies decided yesterday that the renters of houses belonging to the RAAPPS (Self-governing Department for Administration of the State Heritage and Protocol) might buy the houses by direct negotiations, without needing an auction. What the deputies did was actually dismiss the Romanian President's request to revise the law in order to do away with suspicion about corruption. The majority of MPs from the PSD (Social-Democrat Party), the PNL (National Liberal Party), the PRM ("Greater Romania" Party) and the UDMR (Democrat Union of Magyars in Romania) voted for a normative document to favor those party colleagues living in RAAPPS properties.
Although the law has it that only those citizens who inhabit such houses legally may buy them by direct negotiations, ex state officials who live in such buildings abusively are crowding to take advantage of the new regulation. The head of state is to promulgate the law in 10 days' time. But Romanian democrats have already announced intention to address the Constitutional Court against the law passed yesterday. It would allow the MPs to negotiate with the RAAPPS on the prices of luxurious villas. (...)
Cozmin Gusa, a leader of the PIN (National Initiative Party), claimed yesterday that he had information according to which the PSD president Mircea Geoana had already registered a solicitation to buy the RAAPPS villa he lived in, although he had just mentioned in an interview that he was about to buy a new flat. The PIN deputy mentioned that, apart from the house he inhabited, Mircea Geoana had two other flats, but registered as the properties of the foundation run by his wife.
Cristian Radulescu, a leader of Democrat deputies, commented yesterday that the new version of the law failed to do away with suspicion on possible corruption in the purchase of RAAPPS villas by renters, since there was no auction. He argued: "They should have kept the auction as procedure, for it eliminates suspicion and the possibility such as a preferential price. It would have been fair. Since we talk about the scarce popularity of politicians and of the Parliament, at least this time we should have contributed to the elimination of a corruption suspicion involved in a procedure such a direct negotiations."
Favors for political clients
According to the Conservative senator Marius Marinescu, this law does favors to the luxurious political clients of the RAAPPS. He comments: "The MPs pursue personal interests first and public interests secondly. Citizens are disvafored one more time and a small group of politicians is favored one more time. (...) People are thinking about the winter holidays now and officials are taking advantage of it to set some favors and privileges for themselves." (R.P., R.I.P.)