Daniell Mitchell of FEE has a post on corruption in Romania. The Government in Romania has said that corruption only beyond certain value will be an offense! The people are obviously not happy and protesting in streets.
He says though Romania has made progress since its inglorious past of even more corruption. The key to reducing corruption is to lower the size of the public sector:
After decades of horrific communist tyranny, it became a transition economy when the Soviet Union collapsed. Ever since, like many other countries in the region, Romania has been trying to shed the shackles of statism so that a market economy can function.
There’s been some success. Romania is one of the many flat tax nations in Eastern Europe. And it ranks #22 in Economic Freedom of the World, which is rather impressive (though it only ranks #61 for the size-of-government category, so there’s obviously room for improvement).
The continuing challenge, not only in Romania, but all over the world, is convincing politicians to reduce the size and scope of government when that means they’ll have less opportunity to line their own pockets. Sort of like asking foxes to guard henhouses.
And it’s not just the fault of politicians. What can really sabotage a nation is when a sufficiently large share of the overall population decides that it’s morally acceptable to loot and mooch. In that case, politicians are simply a reflection of societal rot.
It’s much easier to restore physical capital than it is to restore cultural capital.
These are obviously lessons ignored by the polity. The effort instead is to keep looking at all kinds of ways to lower corruption and then win votes to show you are interested in lowering corruption. These promises wane as no efforts are made to lower the size of the government. A new party/leader comes to power showing the failure of previous governments and gets elected on another promise. This way people are fooled each time..