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Yearbook 2008

Romania. In January, the Constitutional Court ruled that the investigations of Romania's communist past violated the Constitution, as the Investigative Council acted as prosecutor, judge and appellate body at the same time. Tens of thousands of investigations had been conducted to test people for public service, and hundreds of people had been revealed as former Securitate employees. According to Countryaah reports, the court's decision led to street protests and the government intervened through compulsory decrees to enable the council to continue its work.

2008 Romania

In February, the European Commission declared that Romania must quickly show improvements in the fight against high-level corruption. Romania and Bulgaria are the only EU countries with a system of judicial reform and fight against corruption and organized crime.

When the majority of EU countries and several of Serbia's neighbors at the beginning of the year recognized Kosovo's independence, Romania protested and warned of a dangerous precedent for the world in general and the Balkans in particular.

In April, President Băsescu met his American counterpart George W. Bush, who came to Bucharest for a NATO summit. It was the first time that Romania was hosted and the meeting was held in the huge Parliament Palace that the dictator Ceauşescu had built.

In September, the Romanian Parliament challenged the EU through a legislative amendment that allowed the Justice Minister to move away from the Anti-Corruption Office's chief prosecutor. He had then brought charges of corruption against a number of resigned and incumbent ministers. Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu visited Brussels and was told that it must be a national priority for the Romanian government to tackle high-level corruption. According to Transparency International, Romania is the EU's most corrupt country, where bribery in health care and schooling is particularly common.

In November, it became clear that Romania will build two new nuclear reactors in addition to the two existing reactors, which account for one fifth of Romania's electricity supply.

The parliamentary elections at the end of November were very even. The Social Democrats (PSD) won a tight victory with 33.6 percent over the right-wing Liberal Democrats (PD-L), which gained 32.9 percent. Prime Minister Taricean's party Liberals (PNL) had to settle for 18.6 percent of the vote.

The coalition negotiations resulted in an agreement on a left-right government between the Social Democrats and the Liberal Democrats. The appointed Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan resigned and was replaced as head of government by Liberal Democratic Party leader Emil Boc, 42.

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