Jurnalul Săptămânii, 10th of November
Theft of the billion continued also after November 27th, 2014. After the robbery of Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank, followed the removal of the foreign exchange reserves of the state. The finishing stroke was the granting, by the government, of the guarantees of 14 billion lei for the cover of the robbery, with their subsequent conversion into the public debt of 25 billion, for the next two decades. “The Episode “Guarantee” is an important, final one”, says the former Finance Minister Veaceslav Negruta. His explanations were made for the new media campaign of our TV station, “Where is the billion?”. Hereafter, we will review in the magazine the events that legalized the inclusion in the state budget of the debt accumulated by the thieves.
As early as 2012, while administered the Ministry of Finance that had in management the package of the state at the Banca de Economii, Veaceslav Negruta gave a warning regarding the dubious actions of some minority shareholders that came to BEM as a result of some court decisions, according to a classic scheme of raider attack. The minister informed the top leadership and control institutions that there is a risk that a group of people with obscure interests might infiltrate in an important segment of the banking system. That the next step of the minorities of Banca de Economii might be the request of its capitalization and the organization of things in such a way that the Government will not participate any more. That is what happened in 2013, when the state gave up a part of its package and lost control. Negruta spoke also before the deputies, but only a few of them manifested the interest. Some have been more preoccupied with the obtainment of a seat in the board of Banca de Economii.
Meanwhile, in 2013, Sergiu Ciobanu, the former Deputy Minister of Economy, named, we quote, “on the LP line”, obtained the post of director of the Agency of Regulation in Energetics, where he still works today. And at the Banca de Economii fulfilled itself the scenario predicted by Negruta that seemed to be so unlikely to some persons, a year earlier. The minorities demanded the capitalization, the state did not participate in the additional issue of shares and yielded over 20 percent of the total package of 56. Namely, as a consequence of those events, the Banca de Economii came to the hands of Ilan Shor, the one who, at that time, had just taken control of Unibank and Banca Sociala. For a subsequent emptying of the foreign exchange reserves of the state there was necessary that in the package of the controlled banks to be included also a system institution, the one with state capital.
It followed, but rather, continued, just at the accelerated speeds, the removal of money from those three financial institutions through the non-performing credits. Until November 27th, 2014, when, under the pretext of care of the depositors of good faith, there was opened the safe deposit box of the National Bank. For the accomplishment of this episode it was necessary the preliminary amendment of the legislation and adoption in secret of some decisions by the Government. In July and September 2014, the Government of Leanca assumed responsibility for the bills of law, by which it legalized the procedure on which it relied, in secret, in November of the same year - the guarantee by the state of some emergency credits granted by the NBM from the foreign exchange reserves. The first assumption went without any scratch. At the second, however, some opposition MPs seemed to have smelled a rat. But this passed also.
Instead of reaction, Iurie Leanca waved the flag of the European integration, as it does frequently today, in difficult situations.
Less than two months later, on November 7th, 2014, the government, we quote, “European and Democratic”, assembled at a meeting where secretly empowered the Ministry of Finance to issue the state guarantees for the NBM to give the banks, if necessary, the emergency loans in the amount of 9,5 billion lei. The next year a similar decision for a sum of 5,3 billion was taken by another executive formed by the same so called European and democratic governance. Veaceslav Negruta says that these sums were unjustified and emphasizes that the final blow in those three banks, passing of 13 billion lei in offshore, was applied only after the Government granted the first guarantee.
Two years after the granting of the state guarantees, followed their conversion into the public debt. The amount almost doubled, because there was added an annual interest rate of 5 percent for the National Bank. Thus, 13 billion become 25 billion. And this decision was taken by the assumption of responsibility of the Government. This time, the Prime Minister Pavel Filip went to the Parliament.
The lie is that the current government would be different from the previous one. Both Iurie Leanca and Chiril Gaburici are found today in the Government of Filip. Both Filip and Candu participated in the adoption of decision by the Government by means of which there was granted the first guarantee. Candu signed that document. It was the electoral campaign, but both Candu and Filip withdrew themselves temporarily from the race in order to participate at that meeting of the Government on November 7th, 2014. More than that. Andrian Candu, who was the Minister of Economy and Pavel Filip, who headed the Ministry of Information Technology, participated actively in the debates on that decision.
According to the minutes of the meeting, later declassified, Candu and Filip persuaded the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Dorin Recean that there would be some filters in order to prevent the situations in which the resources of the state would go elsewhere than to honest depositors. About the fact that the so-called filters were unable to protect the resources of the state we will speak in one of the next editions of the campaign “Where is the billion?”.
Another argument put forward by the government for the conversion of the state guarantees into the public debt was some conditionings from the external financiers. Veaceslav Negruta says, however, that it was important for the IMF to resolve the issue on paper, but not the modality of settlement.
Another argument put forward by the government was that the public debt will decrease with the presentation, by the international agency Kroll, of the strategy of the recovery of stolen means.
The truth is that after a year after those statements, in December 2017, when the strategy in which he put so much hope was already presented, Pavel Filip no longer seemed so optimistic regarding the recovery of money with the help of Kroll. He expressed his opinion that 90 percent of the people mentioned in that document would be honest. The report has not been made public until now. The work presented by the Kroll, although was sent from the NBM to the NAC for consideration, does not seem to have any weight unless it is convenient for those who mention it. The prosecutors elaborated a completely different money-recovery strategy that in the opinion of Veaceslav Negruta, distracts the attention from what it is important.
I realized this material as an introduction on the subject of state guarantees – an episode of the theft of the billion that continues even today through the debts paid by the Moldavian citizens. In the next editions we will publish the evidence that firms involved in theft of the billion have benefited also from the resources from those guarantees. The money went to the offshore, and the bill is paid by us.