OPINION POLL: Recovering the Billion – Are There Any Chances to Keep the Promise?
The billion theft is becoming a current issue again. During the investiture ceremony of the new Government, the appointed Prime Minister, Natalia Gavrilița, condemned the bank theft, which involved “hundreds of people, state dignitaries, civil servants, key people in the judiciary and in the banking sector … and no one is held accountable. People want to know who stole their money and where it is.” The Government, she says, will “address foreign jurisdictions to assist us in investigations and we will create an office under the auspices of the Prime Minister, that will coordinate the Government’s actions to recover the money. The issue stays current,” she specified.
Maria Ciobanu, teacher, ex-deputy
The billion theft is the cornerstone of the Gavrilița Government. Before turning to foreign jurisdictions, as the Prime Minister says, it is necessary to look at the results of the investigations, carried out by Kroll-1 and Kroll-2, for which exorbitant sums were paid from the state budget. All the people listed in these reports, even those “absolutely honest” as Pavel Filip claimed, should also be criminally liable and forced to return the stolen money. As long as the main beneficiaries of the theft – we know who they are and where they are – will delay their court hearings with the help of pocket magistrates, nothing will happen. In 2019, I asked the former Minister of Justice to order the removal of the Shor Party from the register of political parties; however … it was not done! I hope that the current Minister of Justice will be braver. Also, the head of state should notify the Constitutional Court.
Alexandru Slusari, ex-deputy, vice-president of the Political Platform Dignity and Truth
Unfortunately, we cannot count on the fact that all the money can be recovered. For six years already, since 2015, we have witnessed the gross sabotage of the investigation bodies, which have not done their job for a long time, being in agreement with or subordinated to those who stole the money. As members of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, we did our duty, we investigated and presented the materials to the investigative bodies, but there were no further steps. The former government had neither the political will nor interest and this obstructed the investigation. We expect, in this sense, qualitative changes. Some of the money can still be recovered, but only if there is cooperation with special services in other states. Another part of the money must be recovered by seizing the assets of those who stole it. But, again, a lot depends on the political will, and this time, of those who came to power.
Vitalia Pavlicenco, president of the National Liberal Party
I don’t think the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the billion theft will be found. This is because people from all parties, who have been in Parliament and Government since 2009, have been involved in this bank fraud in varying degrees. Personally, I believe that the Government wasted money on Kroll investigations, as many political criminals use this company to vilify their opponents … I do not think the Action and Solidarity Party will defeat the system and achieve the promises it makes with too much ease. This is because they are focusing more on promoting the image through populism rather than on gaining experience and conducting an analysis of how this theft actually happened. They should also analyze the accountability degree of the party they served before they switched to Action and Solidarity Party.
Anatol Țăranu, political analyst
The Government’s intentions are good, although it is difficult to say whether these intentions can be attained in practice. So far, no great progress has been made in this regard, no matter the reasons. Now, that we have an austere budget, and the Government needs money, there could be a greater interest in recovering the stolen money. The problem is that too much time has passed, the moment has been lost and traces have been erased. There might be found some traces, but not much money, though. Those who thought of this scheme to steal a billion, were also good at hiding what they stole and this fact minimizes the chances of the Government being able to recover substantial sums. I wish the Government would succeed; however, I am pessimistic about it. The only consolation would be to make public the names of those who stole and to bring them to justice.