Seven Romanian diplomatic missions abroad eyed for renting irregularities
A check carried out by the Romanian Court of Accounts during 2012 and 2014 revealed irregularities across several Romanian diplomatic missions abroad. Seven of these missions spent over EUR 835,000 on rents although the Romanian state held buildings in those countries that could have been used as residence for the ambassadors or consuls. At the same time, several diplomats are accused of breaking an internal rule of the Foreign Affairs Ministry when they had rented larger locations than necessary.
Thus, the Court of Accounts found out that the Romanian Embassy in Prague rented a space of over 420 square metres paying over EUR 127,000, although the Romanian state held a building in the Czech capital, over 600 sqm, which could have been used.
In Ciudad of Mexico, an apartment has been rented for almost EUR 152,000 for the period 2012-2014.
A similar situation was in Warsaw where a EUR 4,000 rent was paid each month and in Oslo, where over EUR 206,000 were paid from 2012 to 2014.
Overall, the Court of Accounts tracked down seven such situations, which created a damage of over EUR 835,000 for the state.
The inspectors also revelead that in many embassies or consulates more than generous spaces have been rented for diplomats, thus breaking the ministry’s circular stipulating a certain size of the living space.
For instance, in Warsaw two persons are living in a 560 sqm area, in Tunis one single person in 400 sqm area, while in Rabat, Morocco, one person in a 600-sqm house.
Some missions also broke the renting contracts protocol. In Madrid consulate, the rent was paid in advance, so EUR 100,00o were paid altogether, although the renting contract stipulated the payment should be done on a quarterly basis.
In retort, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that not all locations held by the Romanian state abroad can be turned into official residences. The ministry also argued that some of these locations are spoiled or cleaned, while others are located in areas that are not security safe, Digi 24 informs.