March 5, 2012
Speaking to journalists at the end of the 1-2 March EU summit, Romanian president Traian Băsescu hit back at Dutch arguments, used to block his country from joining the Schengen area.
He said the port that is best known for drug smuggling in Europe is Rotterdam and not the Romanian Constanţa port. The Dutch suspect the Romanian customs to be corrupt and unreliable.
Băsescu’s knowledge of shipping comes from first hand. He is a former sea captain, including of Romania’s largest ship at that time, the oil tanker Biruinţa. In 1989 he was appointed the head of the Romania ship agency Navrom in Antwerp, a job normally assigned to senior officers of the secret service Securitate. Antwerp is not far from Rotterdam.
Under Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, Securitate was one of the most brutal secret police forces in the world. I have some memories of those times myself, as I made my university […]