31 Mar 2011

Former Romanian Minister Defends Himself Against Involvement in Corruption Scheme

Vasile Blaga, a former minister in Romania, is under suspicion of having taken part in a customs corruption scheme. Defending himself on Wednesday, Mr. Blaga stated that he had never recommended anyone to head customs offices, in direct contradiction to his own words in an interview in February with the local newspaper Puterea.

An aide to Mr. Blaga attempted to clarify Mr. Blaga’s words on Wednesday, stating that he had meant local customs offices and that he stood by his statements in February. All of this comes at a time when major corruption raids (see upcoming post for more on this) have been occuring in order to figure out the structure of public sector graft in Romania.

Mr. Blaga’s words were related to the under-fire former President of the National Customs Authority, Radu Marginean, who Mr. Blaga had claimed to have recommended for the position in his interview with Puterea. Mr. Marginean is currently under investigation for corruption in connection with the Halmeu border point and was dismissed in February by Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc.

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