The Romanian president Traian Basescu has given the go-ahead for criminal corruption inquiries into eight former government ministers, including an ex-Prime Minister. The EU has told Romania, which joined the bloc last year, to step up its fight against fraud, or face sanctions.
President Basescu said: “In all these cases, I considered that if I didn’t approve the start of criminal inquiries, I would block the course of justice.”
Among those under the microscope is the former social democrat Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, facing allegations of taking bribes. And Tudor Chiuariu, who was Justice Minister is being investigated for corruption, and abuse of power to obtain material advantages.
Others face claims ranging from falsifying official documents, to favouring a family member with government business.
Bucharest is trying to convince the EU that it is cleaning up its act, before a progress report later this month.