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Quiet Today, Talkative Tomorrow

Autor: Dan Constantin 09 Dec 2006 - 00:00
Quiet Today, Talkative Tomorrow

Romania’s aviation history goes back to such pioneers like Aurel Vlaicu, Traian Vuia and Henri Coanda. The early start was continued by decades of professional excellence in the field, which means that Romania is not exactly no-man’s land when attempting to invest in the aviation industry: competent professionals are able to comment on the investments.

The media was inflamed recently by the procurement contract of the Romanian air force, which allegedly settled for a 12-million euros more expensive offer of Italy’s Alenia, when compared with the 300-million euros offer of the EADS-Spain competition.

This is not new stuff. Back in the early ‘90s, when current President Traian Basescu was the transportation minister, Romania’s air carrier TAROM bought its first Airbus made long-curriers. The deal was said at the time to have more to do with the then PM Petre Roman’s nostalgia for his college years in Toulouse, France, also the headquarters of the Airbus company, than with the economic interests of the country.

The upgrading contracts sealed in the mid-90s for the MiG Russian-made fighter-planes was commented at the time to again have more to do with then PM Radu Vasile’s having fixed his orthodontia problems in Israel, which was also the country providing the upgrading fixtures for the aging Russian planes.

When the fog will clear out the subsequent investigations may find the military saluting but with the pants down their ankles. And the officials who keep quiet today may become quite talkative during the investigations to follow.

Translated by ANCA PADURARU
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