Romania Yearbook 2016
countryaah, the new government's fight against corruption
was successful and the EU praised Romania's anti-corruption
agency. In February, 1,250 public officials, politicians and
business leaders were reported to have been charged with
corruption over the past year. Among them were a former
prime minister, five other former ministers and over 20
parliamentarians. Most of the charges led to convictions.
Nearly half a billion euros had been seized in various
In February, the tax authorities' two top executives were
indicted for embezzlement of EU grants. A couple of Romanian
MEPs were also investigated for embezzling EU contributions
to the Roma minority. According to media, a tenth of
Parliament's 588 members had problems before the law.
In March, the verdict fell against 88-year-old Ioan
Ficior, the former head of a labor camp during the communist
era. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes
against humanity. During his regime, at least 103 prisoners
had died in the camp. It is estimated that more than 600,000
people were imprisoned for political reasons during four and
a half decades of communist dictatorship.
Romania became the focus of the deteriorating
relationship between the Russian Federation and the United
States when a new part of the European so-called robotic
shield was inaugurated at Deveselu air base in southern
Romania. It was built by the United States but is to be used
by NATO and can shoot down missiles from countries as far
away as Iran. According to Moscow, it is a threat to Russian
In September, Interior Minister Petre Tobă resigned after
accusations that employees at the ministry were guilty of
embezzlement. According to prosecutors, the minister had
helped to make the investigation more difficult.
In the years 2011–15, more than 4,600 children were
abducted in Romania, according to a report from the Council
of Europe in September. More than half of the kidnapped
children fell victim to human trafficking and sexual
exploitation, while others ended up in slave labor or were
forced to beg. The worst affected were Roma children and
During the year, the minimum wage in the country was
increased by about one-fifth to SEK 1,250 (about SEK 2,750)
a month. The European Commission warned that the government
would not be able to keep the budget deficit at 3%.
In November, Parliament voted against the government's
will through a 15% increase in salary for teachers and
health care workers. The government decided to appeal in the
Constitutional Court on the grounds that the state lacked
funds. There was also a law against decisions on salary or
pension increases six months before the election.
The December parliamentary election was a victory for the
Social Democrats, the PSD, which got about 45% of the vote.
National Liberal Party gained 21% and Liberal Age 6.5%. PSD
and Alde initiated talks to form a majority government, and
PSD proposed its former Deputy Minister of Development and
Social Affairs Sevil Shhaideh as new head of government. She
would have become the first Muslim woman to be prime
minister in an EU country, but the president said no to her