A cultural approach of Romania’s historical economic criminality. The most renowned cases of corruption affairs in the past two centuries: Strousberg, Škoda, Bechtel
Author: Cristian MANOLACHI
Keywords: economic criminality, corruption affairs, anti-capitalism, anti-Semitism, international relations, government investments, Eastern Europe.
Romania’s great corruption scandals of the last two centuries – Strousberg, Škoda and Bechtel – reveal the intensification of anti-capitalist sentiments, the loss of confidence in the political class and democratic institutions, the increase in anti-Semitic manifestations, the important role of the political opposition and of the media in discouraging economic criminality, the international ramifications of these shady deals and the privileged positions which the representatives of companies based in powerful nations find themselves in. This paper provides a long-term perspective on the phenomenon, allowing us to observe how corruption causes and effects changed over time and what patterns it follows. We have documented the cases using mainly primary sources, such as memoirs and newspaper interviews of the protagonists, as well as editorial accounts by journalists from each era. We also consulted scholarly works and statistics on the contemporary evolution of the corruption index.