Cleaning Up Romania

09 Dec 16
Cleaning Up RomaniaA team of technocrats had a year to try to turn around Romania’s abysmal record on recycling.

Adrian Lungu Bucharest, Tallinn

 A recycling plant outside the town of Buzau in southern Romania. Photo: George Popescu.

On entering Romania’s Ministry of Environment, a visitor must turn their back on the country’s best-known and biggest building, the parliament. Its sheer size is almost too much to comprehend. For much of the day, it casts a very long shadow.

In the ministry, up marble stairs, past chandeliers, is the first-floor office of Raul Pop. In the corridor sit three miniature recycling bins – yellow, green and blue.

Pop took up residence in June as secretary of state in charge of waste, one of a host of experts drafted into a technocrat government that entered office six months earlier after a nightclub fire that killed 64 people triggered an outpouring of anger over corruption.

The government was given a one-year mandate until an election scheduled for December, invested with the hope of the people that things might change for the better after more than 25 years of broken promises since the fall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the man who commissioned the parliament building.

Pop’s brief was recycling – neither popular nor sexy – but indicative of Romania’s slow progress since the collapse of communism.

The country is rubbish at recycling and the environment is paying. If nothing changes soon, the people will be paying too.

Roughly five per cent of municipal waste in Romania was recycled in 2013, according to the most recent data from the European Union’s statistics body, Eurostat, compared to an EU average of 28 per cent. Most of the rest ends up in landfills, blighting the countryside.

Come 2020, if it cannot achieve a recycling rate of 50 per cent, the country faces sanctions of up to 200,000 euros per day. Some officials are warning of the imminent cut-off of EU money for environmental protection, vital funds for one of the bloc’s poorest nations.

With a shaved head and spectacles, 43-year-old Pop is an economist and an expert in waste. His boss, the minister, 47-year-old Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, is an expert in environmental protection who, like Pop, dropped her regular job with the EU in Brussels to join the cause in the wake of the nightclub fire. She brought with her a 34-year-old advisor called Elena Rastei, an environmental activist from the central Romanian region of Transylvania.

With the clock ticking to a December election, the three faced a race against time to get Romania recycling, fearful that the clamour for change might die down when the politicians returned.

In Pop’s office, the past was in the wood panelling, the heavy desks and chandeliers. The present showed itself more timidly, in a red laptop and EU flag. The parliament, an uncomfortable reminder of Ceausescu’s megalomania, dominated the view from the window.

“Like any other change, there will be a tipping point,” said Pop. “It will grow slowly until it reaches a critical mass and then it becomes a standard way of behaviour.”

Raul Pop, secretary of state in charge of waste at the Romanian Ministry of Environment. Photo: George Popescu.

Stop the rot

The fire at the Colectiv club in Bucharest on October 30, 2015 may go down as a watershed moment in post-communist Romania.

Mourning quickly gave way to anger over concerns that safety may have been compromised by corruption.

The owners of the club operator, George Alin Anastasescu, Paul Catalin Gancea and Costin Mincu, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and put on trial. Two employees of the Emergency Situations Department of the Ministry of Interior, Antonina Radu and Petrica George Matei, were charged with abuse of office for allegedly failing to perform the mandatory inspections of the club.

For the thousands of Romanians who took to the streets in protest, the tragedy was a symbol of the corruption still eating away at the Romanian state and society.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned and President Klaus Iohannis turned to a former EU commissioner and agronomist, Dacian Ciolos, to take charge until a new election could be held a year later.

Ciolos, not a member of any political party at that moment, filled his cabinet with technocrats, experts, EU officials and civil society leaders. His government issued a mission statement, saying the nightclub tragedy, and its apparent causes, had created expectations within Romanian society “which cannot be ignored”.

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Georg Soros Tante und VIP Kokain Vertriebs Clans in Rom, erpresst für Georg Soros den Mazedonischen Präsidenten

Die Verbrecher Organisation „Open Society“, schlug zu, mit ihren gekauften Politik Banden

Die gekauften Georg Soros Ratten des Auswärtigen Amtes, für jedes Verbrechen gut, inklusive Teroristen Finanzierung, ist auch dabei

Gabriel kritisiert Mazedoniens Präsidenten

In Mazedonien verwehrt Präsident Ivanov dem bisherigen Oppositionsführer den Auftrag zur Regierungsbildung, obwohl der die parlamentarische Mehrheit hat. Außenminister Gabriel pocht auf demokratische Prinzipien.

Frederica Mongherini, wurde nur noch von der kriminellen Ashton übertroffen worden und Martin Schulz bis van Rombuy. Ausser dummes Geschwätz, bringt die EU Nichts mehr. Nur Konsenz Geschwätz, Dezentralisierungs, Privatisierung und möglichst viel Bürokratie, was diese dummen Leute entwickelt haben. Seit Jahren leben die Banden, von Erpressung von Kiew, Belgrad und heute wieder in Skopjel

Die von Georg Soros, dem korrupten US Botschafter erpresste neue Sonderstaatsanwältin Janeva, hat nicht nur keine Ahnung von Gesetzen, ist eine Betrügerin, sogar SDMS Mitglied vodn Zoran Zaev, womit Bananen Republik Zustände dokumentiert sind.


Der Mazedonische Präsident Ivanov verbat sich jede Einmischung von Mongherini in Skopje.


Der Mazedonische Präsident soll, Zoran Zaev mit der Regierungs Führung beauftragen. Eine Original Georg Soros Idee, wie so oft, denn die Verbrecher Kartelle, braucht Profit aus Drogen Handel und Privatisierung.

Nichte der EU Kommissarin: Federica Mongherini verhaftet, welche einen VIP Kokain Vertrieb in Rom betrieb

Der befleckte Triumphbogen im Zentrum von Skopje - das Werk von Regierungsgegnern.

Die auch aus Berlin finanzierten korrupten LGBT in Skopje, schlimmer wie die Taliban


croatian-president-s-us-trip-labelled-as-confidential--03-02-2017 News Croatia President Criticised for Keeping US Trip ‚Confidential‘

High Representative/Vice President Mogherini leaves Brussels for four days of extensive meetings throughout the Western Balkans.

While EU executive arm chief Jean-Claude Juncker finalised the Commission’s White Paper on the future of the EU-27, work for Commissioners doesn’t stop.

EU’s External Affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, has already started her visits to the Western Balkans, starting from Wednesday 1 March to Saturday 4.

Ahead of her departure from Brussels, Mogherini said that for the EU, the Western Balkans, “a region in the heart of Europe”, is of really high priority.

“Regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations remain essential in this context,” added Mogherini. “I work to see every single one of the Western Balkan partners move forward on the reform path, towards the European Union, to ensure the process is irreversible.”

Mogherini’s points in the map include Podgorica, Montenegro, where she will meet with President Vujanović, Prime Minister Marković and Speaker of the Parliament Brajović, and she will address the Parliament of Montenegro.

On Thursday 2 March, Mogherini will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo, where she will meet with the members of the Presidency Ivanić, Čović and Izetbegović, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdić, and she will address students of the University of Sarajevo. Skopje is also going to be on the menu for Thursday, as the High Representative is visiting President Ivanov, political leaders in the Parliament, and Erasmus students.

Friday will find Mogherini in Belgrade, Serbia, where she will meet with President Nikolić, Prime Minister Vučić, Speaker of the National Assembly Gojković, members of civil society and opposition, and she will address the National Assembly of Serbia.

Albania is also on the plan for Friday, where Mogherini is expected to meet with President Nishami, Prime Minister Edi Rama, representatives of Parliamentary parties, and additionally also address the University of Tirana students.

Finally, on Saturday 4 March, Mogherini will travel to Mitrovica Pristina, Kosovov, to meet with President Thaci, Prime Minister Mustafa, and Speaker of the Parliament Veseli and other political leaders.

Alte Tradition: In Albanien verschwinden 1.400 Container, mit Chemischen Müll der Italienischen Mafia spurlos

Der vollkommen ruinierte Zoll in Albanien, Klientel Politik der Inkompetenz streitet die Einfuhr von diesen Containern ab, was lächerlich ist.

Orginal Mafia Geschäfte:, seit 15 Jahren

Edi Rama war schon in 2004 treibende Kraft bei den Müll Import Gesetzen, mit Francesco Becchetti und Koco Kokëdhimës. Francesco Becchetti ein International operierender Mafia Gangster auch Partner der Deutschen Bank, wo Alles in Albanien auch in Italien beschlagnahmt wurde. Er reaktiviert die alten Genehmigungen, obwohl der Partner Francesco Beccetti wegfällt


Zbulohet Dokumenti/ Rama aktiv me plehrat që në vitin 2004

Dokumentet/ Në Durrës u futën 1300 kontenierë me mbetje të rrezikshme dhe nuk dolën nga Shqipëria. Ku janë tani?

The evidence: 1300 containers of waste entered Albania from Durrës but did not leave the country. Where are they now?

13:43, 01/03/2017 Italian magazine e “Pianeta Italia” has published today the second part of its investigation on how the 1300 containers with dangerous waste with origin from Italy en route to Macedonia have been lost in Albania, where it is suspected to have been buried.

Today the magazine published the documents of the Italo-Macedonian agreement, which show the route of the containers with tons of waste, which would enter Albania through the Durrës harbor.

The load then would pass through Qafë Thanë to the Albania-Macedonia border and from there to the Drisla landfill, the biggest in Europe, in the vicinities of Skopje.


The second part of investigation

The Drisla landfill is managed by FIC, a company of Ferazzoli enterprise, which of course would not invest 73 million Euros to eliminate the waste, given from a weak administration and without enough sources.

The real business is to think of the export chain not only from Italy, but from other European countries as well. The same chain that now is an object of investigation form anti-Mafia in Italy, Albania and Macedonia.

An example for all, Albanian Premier Edi Rama said during the electoral campaign that Albania would never become a landfill of European waste. Contradicting himself, he introduced the bill on the import of waste in 2016.

In the documents we possess, containers would depart from Italy, with destination Macedonia, transiting through Albania, base on the regulation EC no. 1013/2016.

If today the Albanian authorities ban the transit of the foreign waste in their territory and the Macedonian authorities renounce from the Drisla landfill profits instead of opening doors to the Italian waste, it’s clear something has changed. And this “something” has influenced in the action of waste traffickers. Where are now the 1300 lost containers? They can be found only if the authorities continue their investigation. We’ll be waiting for it…