Romania's ex-president was a Securitate spy

The Bucharest Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling by the National Council for the Study of Securitate Archives (CNSAS) according to which the former Romanian head of state Traian Băsescu worked as an informant for the Securitate, Romania's communist-era secret police. As president, Băsescu promoted the process of opening up the Securitate files. Commentators take different views of his term in office.

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Ziare (RO) /

Băsescu put the country on the right track

Băsescu's merits are nevertheless undisputed, writes journalist Ioana Ene Dogioiu on the news website Ziare:

“I am convinced that Traian Băsescu was the best solution for Romania at that particular moment in history [2004 to 2014]. For the most part he did the right thing for the country. He took a bulldozer approach to combating the Mafioso system, which was dominated by Securitate members. That he wasn't able to create anything better, precisely because his own moral narrow-mindedness led him to send friends of the Securitate to their doom, is another story. But whether we like it or not he is the captain who steered the ship from east to west [under Băsescu Romania joined the EU in 2007]. If you compare the Romania of 2004 with that of 2014 it becomes clear: this was a historic change.”

Libertatea (RO) /

Governing with skeletons in his cupboard

The tabloid Libertatea asks who really called the shots in the country:

“For years Băsescu rightly attacked media mogul Dan Voiculescu because he'd worked as an informant for the Securitate. Yet the whole time Băsescu himself had skeletons in his cupboard. ... But the president had a country to govern. No doubt he was controlled, blackmailed and threatened, because if he didn't behave this information would be made public. Who kept the proof of his activities as an informer hushed up until last year? Who really led the country in place of the president? How many of his acts were dictated by his own conscience, and how many by voices behind the scenes?”