Romania, determined to fight corruption heritage

President Klaus Iohannis stated Wednesday during the debate entitled "20 Years After - The Relevance of the Romanian - U.S. Strategic Partnership in the Current International and Security Context", dedicated to the two-decade anniversary from the conclusion of the bilateral strategic partnership, that Romania inherited the corruption plague from the communist dictatorship, but is determined to fight this heritage.

In the opening statement, the session's moderator, Edwin Feulner, President of Heritage Foundation evoked the common values the foundation shares with the Romanian head of state: "the protection of individual rights, the importance of economic freedom, the rule of law, the value of meritocracy and the importance of freedom of expression". He also praised the Romanian President's commitment to a robust bilateral relation, mentioning in this regard Ambassador George Maior's contribution to spreading knowledge these common values. Edwin Feulner also recalled that "in the security realm and in economic ties between our two nations, relations have never been stronger."

In reply to the moderator's question regarding the street protests at the beginning of the year, the President declared that "Romania is very determined to become a solid, very well functioning democracy, but our start has been difficult. Romania had its own dictatorship, the communist regime, till December 1989. This heritage we have is partly very vicious one. Part of what we inherited is corruption. Corruption destroys everything in a democracy. (...) Sometimes, if people talk about Romania and they hear so much talk about corruption, they get the impression that Romania is a very corrupt country, which is not the case. It is a country which is very determined to fight its inherited corruption."

The Head of State also referred to opinions spread in the public arena in the that he supposedly is behind the anti-corruption fight.

"Sometimes we hear voices in the public saying that this fight is too much, it brings too much nervousness in the public debate, it draws too much attention. And there are even some who say 'this is an idea of President Iohannis", or some politicians, some diplomats (the President looked at USA Ambassador Hans Klemm - ed.n.). But it's not, fighting corruption is vital!" affirmed the President.

The Head of State participated on Wednesday at the "20 Years After - The Relevance of the Romanian - U.S. Strategic Partnership in the Current International and Security Context" debate, dedicated to the celebration of 20 years from the conclusion of the strategic partnership between the two countries, hosted by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank founded in 1973, and which played an important role in setting up President Donald Trump's administrative transition team.

Attending the debate were also Romanian Ambassador to the United States, George Maior, USA Ambassador in Bucharest Hans G. Klemm, presidential advisors Dan-Andrei Muraru and Bogdan Aurescu as well as Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Community of Romania, Aurel Vainer.

Source: Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES


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