I don’t know if Skeletor is finally reigning in his fellow band of pirates or whether there’s some kind of internal feud going on but the last 24 hours have been a wild ride. Just yesterday, his boy retired Colonel Constantin Adrian Balaban Grajdan pulled the plug on a major component of the ongoing corruption trial against former Prime Minister Adrian “I’m Smarter Than You” Nastase.
Without going into too much detail, essentially Ponta nominated Balaban to the post of chief of the ISC, the governmental agency in charge of handling construction contracts. The ISC’s civil complaint against Nastase (for defrauding the state) was a major component of Nastase’s ongoing corruption case. So essentially what Balaban did was say that the ISC now no longer is a plaintiff in the case (it no longer says Nastase did anything wrong in his dealings with them), meaning there is no official complainant in Nastase’s situation, meaning essentially the charges will be dropped.
What makes this even weirder is that Balaban came out of retirement to take this job as head of the ISC, forgoing a staggering 8,000 lei per month pension. And it was literally Balaban’s second day on the job when he filed the paperwork to remove the ISC as a plaintiff against Nastase. What makes this even weirder is that Balaban had been working for the ISC back in 2009 and was personally responsible for filing the paperwork making the ISC a plaintiff against Nastase in the first place.
So the way this read out yesterday was Ponta (a member of the PSD) taps Balaban to head up the ISC and on Balaban’s second day on the job, he removes the ISC as a plaintiff against Nastase (former member of PSD) and it all looks corrupt as hell.
Well Balaban’s withdrawal of charges still stands but today I was shocked to see that Ponta just sacked Balaban ostensibly for withdrawing the ISC’s case against Nastase because Balaban “failed to inform” Skeletor first. Now as I said, I have no idea whether Skeletor is trying to reign in the scandalous power grab that he and his pirates have been engaged in lately or whether there is some kind of unstated dispute between Balaban and Skeletor (and/or parties unknown). Either way, we’ll have to see if the new ISC chief that Ponta appoints re-files the papers to make the ISC a plaintiff against Nastase because without the ISC involved, it looks like Nastase is going to walk.
In other news however, today I had the misfortune of reading the pitiful case of Daniel Constantin, the current Minister of Agriculture who is deeply in debt to the baron Dan Voiculescu. As I’ve noted before, Voiculescu currently has cases pending in which the Department of Agriculture is the plaintiff so having the Ag Minister literally in his pocket is also corrupt as hell.
What makes this either pitiful or downright fraud is that Constantin, on his official declaration of holdings, says that both he and his wife make the Romanian minimum wage (like they’re some kind of janitors or street cleaners or something), this despite the fact that they owe Voiculescu 295 thousand euros and own a nice house, etc, etc. According to Constantin’s declaration, he and his wife also have no money in the bank and no valuable personal possessions.
Either Constantin and his wife are pitiably broke and poor and too retarded to get their shit together to pay their bills (or pay off their debts) or else they are flat out lying on their official statements. I can’t really imagine which alternative is the better one, can you?
Meanwhile the currency is in a major free fall and there will be hell to pay politically if thigns don’t turn around soon.
It’s a hell of a game Ponta is playing these days.