Romanian Finance Minister probed for EUR 2 mln bribes and influence trading

The Romanian anto-corruption campaign has reached the Government: prosecutors accused Finance Minister Darius Valcov of influence trading and bribery while he was mayor of Slatina. They took Valcov in for questioning on Friday evening (March 13), but released him a few hours later. The Minister said he was innocent and denied ever taking bribes.

However, prosecutors alleged Valcov took EUR 2 million after helping a businessman land a contract while he was the mayor of Slatina in 2009. The now Minister received 20% of the public contract during 2010, always directly and always in cash. The local businessman stopped payments in 2012, as his firm had financial problems.

Valcov then had the city hall sign three more contracts with another company, in order to receive the remainder of the money from the initial contract, according to DNA prosecutors.

Valcov has been Finance Minister since December 2014. From 2004 to 2012, he was the mayor of Slatina, with two mandates. He is currently a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), after resigning from the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) in 2012. Prior to becoming Finance Minister, he was Minister Delegate for the Budget for four months.