Romanian NGOs and members of civil society have called on President Traian Basescu to ditch the new law governing the National Agency of Integrity (Agentia Nationala de Integritate, ANI), which has been approved by the Senate. One of the main changes in the draft is that officials who incorrectly fill out their statement of wealth or interests will no longer be held criminally responsible for the falsehood. Also, any declaration of jewels and art collections that have a cumulated value of over EUR 5,000 will remain confidential.
Moreover, senators adopted an amendment that allows individuals who run for public office to avoid submitting details of their wealth and interests before they are elected.
In response, the Institute for Public Politics (Institutul pentru Politici Publice, IPP) and Romanian Academic Society (Societatea Academica Romana, SAR) have called on the Romanian President not to approve the recent law, making good on his own statement that “The wealth of dignitaries is not a matter of confidentiality or a secret of personal data.”
Elsewhere, other members of civil society echoed the call. Active Watch (The Press Monitoring Agency, the Center for Independent Journalism, Pro Democratia Association, Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism and the Convention of Media Organizations have voiced their anger that in the current financial crisis when the authorities are enacting measures to reduce the income of some citizens, politicians are approving laws to allow them to feather their own nests.