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Romania Yearbook 2016

According to 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 raids.

2016 Romania

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 security.

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 migrants.

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 candidacy.

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