daily news

The Economist latest to catch Romanian copy paste fever


Romanian political goings on are continuing to find their way into the international media, with the Economist the latest to get in on the plagiarism affair with the article, “My Name is Paste. Copy Paste.

The whole Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta plagiarism tale is run through again, the accusations, the promise to resign made in Spanish newspaper El Pais. “If the ethics commission finds that the thesis is plagiarized?” asked El Pais, “Then, I would definitely resign,” replied Romania’s PM Victor Ponta. Later comes the ruling and its subsequent disregard by the PM.

Unlike many local commentators, the Economist suggests that the scandal may end in the PM’s resignation, “the 39 year old PM may be heading for the same political graveyard that contains the corpses of the German defense minister Theodor zu Guttenberg and the president of neighboring Hungary Pal Schmitt,” writes the Economist.

The article also picks up the bizarre quote from Ponta’s ally Ioan Rus that “ever since the time of Plato and Aristotle everyone who has ever written a PhD in Philosophy, Social Sciences, has plagiarized.” Also highlighted is the “copy paste style” comment made by the committee that ruled on Ponta’s thesis. The ongoing conflict with President Traian Basescu also features, with Ponta’s comments that the constitutional court and the judges of his thesis were Basescu supporters.

The article was published yesterday ( July 3 ), before today’s developments; with the attempt to impeach the President and the purging of the leaders of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, Ponta’s political future, scandal or no, looks more secure than the President’s. For the moment, at least.

Read the Economist article here.

Liam Lever, liam@romania-insider.com