Romanian Deputy PM In Hot Water Over Alleged EU Funds Fraud

Romania's anti-fraud office has called on prosecutors to investigate the deputy prime minister, Dan Barna, for his alleged responsibility for the misuse of EU funds in three projects developed in Romania, the local publication said this week.

At the time of the alleged irregularities, Barna was a consultant on EU funds accession in Romania. Barna has cast doubt on the claims appearing in the media but said on Tuesday that, "if a criminal prosecution against me is started, I will obviously quit".

According to Newsweek, Dan Barna is one of the four "experts" and "managers" that the anti-fraud office asked prosecutors to look into after having found "indications regarding the commission of certain deeds of criminal nature".

Responding to the reports, Barna denied being among the four. He also said on Tuesday that he had not been officially informed of being the subject of any process and explained that his role in the investigated EU funds projects did not fit the description given by anti-fraud officials of the four persons under a spotlight.

"Till this moment, I haven't received any official information from the DLAF [Department for Combating Fraud] regarding my involvement in any constatation note sent to the DNA [National Anti-corruption Directorate]," he wrote on Facebook.

"I am confident that they did not choose to tell the press before informing me," he added. Barna also said that he had asked the anti-fraud office to inform him whether he is one of the four persons suspected or not.

The former EU projects consultant became deputy prime minister last December, when the centrist USR PLUS alliance he leads entered a coalition government with its senior partners, the National Liberal Party...

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