Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Office:||President of the Chamber of Deputies|
|Term of Office:||21 December, 2004 – present|
|Date of Birth:||Thursday, June 22, 1950|
|Place of Birth:||Bucharest|
|Marriage:||(1) Ilinca Preoteasa , divorced|
(2) Dana Miculescu
|Political Party:||Social Democrat|
Adrian Năstase (born June 22 1950) is a Romanian politician and President of the Chamber of Deputies since December 21 2004. He was Prime Minister of Romania from December 2000 to December 2004. He is also the president of the Social Democratic Party of Romania (PSD). He competed in the 2004 presidential election and came first in the first round, although not by a large enough margin to avoid a second round. After the second round he conceded defeat to opposition candidate Traian Băsescu after a closely-contested election.
His father, Marian Năstase, was an officer of the Royal Romanian Army that was marginalized after the arrival of the communists in 1947, but he got his job back after he joined the Romanian Communist Party. Soon after, he became part of the Romanian Communist nomenklatura, serving as director in the Education Ministry.
Adrian Năstase graduated from the University of Bucharest, credentialed by both the Department of Law and the Department of History and Philosophy, and has worked as a professor, judge, and as president of several organizations involved with law and international relations.
While he was still a student, he married the daughter of Communist dignitary Grigore Preoteasa , then divorced her and married Dana Miculescu , the daughter of Angelo Miculescu , another important Communist personality. They have two sons, Andrei and Mihnea.
Although he was young, he became a man trusted by the Romanian Communist Party and was sent as Romania's representative to various international conferences on human rights. He published many Communist apologist articles in the Romanian press, such as the one called "Human rights - a retrograde concept", in which he attacks the Freedom House for its annual "rank" which called the Communist Romania a "Not Free" country. Năstase, 1983
In 1989 he participated in a Romanian-Soviet Youth's conference in Moscow and another one in Pyongyang, North Korea. In an interview given to Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda he talked openly against Perestroika. Goşu, 2004
Post-1989 political career
He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies of Romania as member of the National Salvation Front party on June 9 1990 and served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the governments of Petre Roman and Theodor Stolojan (June 28, 1990–October 16, 1992). From 1990 to 1992, he also taught law at several institutions of higher education in Bucharest.
In 1992 he was elected for another term in the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the Democratic National Salvation Front (FDSN) and served as the President of the Chamber of Deputies. Between 1993 and 1997 he was also the Executive President of the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR, formerly FDSN, ancestor of today's PSD).
The 1996 elections were lost by PDSR and he was the leader of the opposition PDSR parliamentary group, Vice-president of Chamber of Deputies, member of Standing Bureau and Member of the Romanian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe where he was the Recording Secretary of Council of Europe commission on judicial problems and human rights with reference to illegal activities by religious sects.
Term as Prime Minister of Romania
On December 28 2000 he was inaugurated prime minister and since 19 January 2001 has been the president of PDSR and its successor, the Social Democratic Party (PSD). His period in office saw a continuation of the "normalization" that has occurred in Romania since December 1989.
His government completed accession talks with the European Union (EU). The government's programme was focused on the implementation of the legislation needed in order for Romania to be admitted to the EU, an event currently (as of 2004) projected for 2007. During his term visa restrictions with the Schengen treaty countries were lifted, and Romania joined NATO.
His administration failed to deal with some important issues of the Romanian society, such as agricultural policy: about 42% of Romanians work in agriculture (compared to 3% of the French and 19% of the Poles). During his term, the economy continued to improve, but the growth was not evenly distributed among the social classes, and the percentage of people living below the poverty level remained high, especially in the rural areas.
Also, inflation decreased and the Romanian leu became stronger, which was most likely caused in part by the influx of foreign currency into Romania from the large number of Romanians working abroad — estimated in the range of millions. GDP grew by almost 5% during each year of his term and as of December 2004 is forecast to reach 7% for 2004, which would be the largest growth in the region. Although the government was social-democrat, the wages grew less than the economy. For example, in 2004 the wages grew by 10.4%, with a 9.2% inflation, making a real wage growth of 1.2%, when the GDP grew by 7%.
The privatisation of large state-owned companies continued, with the selling of selling of money-losing steel enterprise Sidex of Galaţi to the Indian company Ispat and of the oil company Petrom to Austrian company OMV; both sales were for prices much lower than expected.
2004 presidential candidacy
The 2004 presidential election cycle marks the end of the second term of President Ion Iliescu. According to the constitution, he cannot succeed himself again. The PSD selected Năstase to be its candidate. His running mate (selected to become prime minister) is Mircea Geoană.
During the electoral campaign, Năstase refused a one-on-one free debate with his leading adversary, Traian Băsescu, accepting only a more rigid type of debate, in which every candidate has a predetermined time in which he can speak and they had no right to attack their adversary. He lost in the runoff against Băsescu, scoring 48.77% of the total votes. Năstase's political career is not over, however, as he was elected President of the Chamber of Deputies. He resigned as Prime Minister to take that position the day after Băsescu took office.
Allegations of corruption and other controversies
2004 secret meeting recording
In October 2004 Năstase was recorded in a PSD meeting showing his concern about an alleged 700 million USD bribe received by a government member upon the privatisation of state-run petroleum company Petrom . Năstase has been recorded saying: Today I have asked the General Prosecutor to investigate this, because if someone from the Government got $700 million and did not bring in his contribution to the election campaign, then he is twice guilty. An article, including the audio recording , was published by Evenimentul Zilei on December 4, 2004. Adrian Năstase declared afterwards it was only a joke.
Allegation regarding un-negotiated highway construction rights concessions
In 2003 and 2004, Năstase has been accused of giving construction rights for two highways (Braşov–Bors) and (Ploieşti–Bucharest), without any official bidding or negotiation, to the American Bechtel corporation after some high level talks between Năstase and the company manager. The Năstase government claimed that this no-bid process was a necessity based on the short time allowed under their agreements with international funders to get the project started, and defended it as legal on the basis that it was a "national security" project.  This resulted in general outcry, both inside and outside Romania. The European Union has expressed its concern regarding the validity of this transaction and its lack of transparency. These concerns increased when, after high level talks with French officials, construction rights for the Cāmpina - Sinaia highway were awarded to French companies. Allegations also involve bribes from companies wanting tax-exemptions and governmental protection.
2003-2004 PSD transcripts
Closely guarded text transcripts of PSD meetings have surfaced on an anonymous Web site just before the 2004 Romanian presidential election. Năstase and his ministers are shown talking about political involvement in corruption trials of the government's members, or involvement in supressing "disobedient" media. Năstase stated that the transcripts were fake, but several party members, including Foreign Minister and PM candidate Mircea Geoană, said they are indeed genuine.
2004 Strong attempts to censor media
In 2004, with the increasing pressures of the electoral campaign, Năstase as prime-minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party PSD attempted to censor Romanian mass-media. Most TV channels in Romania were – and for that matter, are – under heavy debt, as tax evasion for media outlets had been tolerated for the past 10 years. In 2004 threats were issued against these stations that if they did not take the side of PSD in the following electoral campaign or ignore the elections altogether, their licences would be revoked. This is alleged to have been the case with PRO TV – the largest Romanian TV station, with a market share of 40% – and its mother company, Prima TV with a market share of 5% and Realitatea TV . For the other main private channel, Antena 1, with 20% market share, another strategy was devised. As it was property of Dan Voiculescu, president of the very small Humanist Party (PUR), with no chance of exceeding the electoral margin and entering the parliament, an alliance was devised in which they would run together in the elections, PSD offering 35 seats in the parliament for PUR in exchange for television coverage.
Romanian State Television (TVR) with a 20% share, concentrated especially in rural areas, was put under strong control and direct censorship, a reminder of bygone communist times, in order to show only the fine deeds of the government and the downsides of the opposition. Strong attacks were launched against Theodor Stolojan and Traian Băsescu. Thus, 90% of TV in Romania was forced on the side of PSD. Written media was also controlled, as most newspapers rely on social advertising issued by the government, and that was given only to pro-Năstase publications, and strictly controlled. Some newspapers, such as Naţional, were completely taken over ideologically by the PSD. The only newspapers not affected were Evenimentul Zilei and the satirical Academia Caţavencu, which sold in record numbers during the campaign as they showed evidence of corruption and mishaps in the government. These papers were strongly criticized and even banned on all other media. After the victory of the opposition, most newspapers have switched sides or adopted a neutral position.
In 1998, he bought (through some middlemen) a 700 m2 terrain in a posh neighbourhood of Bucharest, from controversial businessman Gabriel Bivolaru , for a price that was estimated by real-estate agents to be less than 25 times its worth. On this terrain, his company built a luxury apartment building. An inquiry by the National Anti-corruption prosecution office dismissed the charges though.
On 4 November, 2004, Năstase received from Ion Ţiriac a Mercedes S500 (worth USD100,000) for a bet they had . The Romanian law requires high-ranking officials to declare any gift worth more than USD200 in less than 30 days after they received it, but Năstase failed to declare it as of 7 December. Both Ţiriac and Năstase stated that the bet was actually a joke meant to create publicity for a government project aimed at building over 400 gyms.
Allegations of homosexuality
Ever since the early 1990s, Năstase's nickname has been "bombonel" ("candy"), pointing to his alleged homosexuality. A February 1975 statement to the police by history professor Ioan D. Suciu mentions Năstase along with others in a list of known people with homosexual inclinations. There is doubt with regards to the truthfulness of the statement, as well as with regards to the origin and authenticity of the document itself.
In 2004, Corneliu Vadim Tudor announced in one of his newspapers, Ziarul Tricolorul, that he held a video-tape showing Năstase engaging in homosexual acts. But, so far, the tape has not been released to anyone else. Given Vadim Tudor's infamous record of libels and defamations, it is most likely that such tape doesn't even exist.
In the 2004 electoral campaign, Năstase virulently attacked his opponent Traian Băsescu for the latter's liberal views on homosexuality.
In the TV debate of the presidential election, Năstase declared that he is thinking about quitting his hunting hobby. However, on 22-23 January 2005, Năstase took part in a boar hunt in Bālc , Bihor, which was dubbed a 'massacre' by the Romanian press and ecologist organizations. In the two days of hunt, 185 boars were killed, of which 23 by Adrian Năstase, surpassing the number allowed by Romanian law. 
Năstase has published over 150 pieces on International law in Romanian and foreign journals, and has held over 140 talks at international meetings; publications include:
- The Political Idea of Change
- International Economic Law II
- Parliamentary Humor
- Romania and the New World Order
- The Construction of Europe and Constitutional Supremacy
- Romania's Treaties (1990–1997)
- Personal Rights of the National Minorities
- Regulations in International Law
- The Battle for Life
- Romania-NATO 2002
- NATO Enlargement.
- Adrian Năstase - Official Webpage (in Romanian)
- Adrian Năstase on Politic.ro (in Romanian)
- Evenimentul Zilei article on the alleged $700m Petrom bribe, includes audio footage (in Romanian)
- Transcripts of PSD meetings
- Geoana admitted PSD stenograms true
- Goşu, Armand, "25 noiembrie 1989: Năstase, avocatul lui Nicolae Ceauşescu" ("November 25, 1989: Năstase, advocate for Nicolae Ceauşescu"), Evenimentul Zilei, December 3, 2004;
- Năstase, Adrian, "Drepturile omului, un concept retrograd" ("Human Rights - A Retrograde Concept"), Concepţii şi controverse īn domeniul drepturilor omului, īn viitorul social, magazine of the Academia Ştefan Gheorghiu , Jan-Feb 1983, 45-50. Reprinted by Academia Caţavencu, 16 November, 2004 in its Scīnteia supplement, a collection of authentic articles written during Communist times by today's politicians, in a format parodying the official Communist Party paper Scīnteia ;
- Roibu, Iuliana "Autostrada Borş-Braşov, construita de Bechtel" ("Borş-Braşov motorway to be built by Bechtel"), Evenimentul Zilei, December 16, 2003.
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