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How to fight your fight

Some battles can be won,  some are certain to be lost, the only thing that matters in the end is whether or not you stood alone in the fight.  There are many reasons that can trigger a defeat in a legal battle: poor judgement, a bad plan, a lack of interest, the general feeling that is just a image campaign. Change can come from the ruling authority but from little experience I have it has no chance of surviving only as a governmental statement. On the other hand change can come from the „little people”, through the voice of the civil society, by means of solidarity and civic pressure; this is the kind of change I will bet my money, or better yet my conscience, it will stick. Examples to prove the point I have many, but as it is a news article I will chose some fresh ones.

Remember the „Free legislation for all” campaign? We talked on the subject some weeks ago, namely on how tricky it is to have access to Romanian legislation without paying for it or going to the public library. Then it seemed to be one man’s problem but it appears that law is a powerful binding element and things went into „butterfly effect mode”. The idea became a petition, the petition triggered a response from the governmental institutions, then came a decision from the prosecutor’s office stating that posting the legislation on private websites do not infringe copyrights. It seems that the general interest prevailed, that being united can trigger a change even though in fact the acces to online legislation is still a difficult matter as the Official Gazette implemented several security measures on its website. The „little people” won the battle and they were not as many as you believe, only 2500 of them, with a strong voice. The success story is simple: you have an idea, you pursue a general interest, you appeal to your peers and your plan is serious.

Now for a „success story gone bad” let’s talk about tax evasion and the fight against fraud. Some time ago a very wise man decided that, against all odds, Romania has a problem with economic crime. This problem appeared from the dark, as if until the world crisis everybody payed the due taxes and no financial scheme was ever heard of in our country. The authorities decided to make the problem a national interest item, a high priority in the criminal justice, the star of the show and a minute later everybody desired it to be solved. In the fight against fraud terror we basically did nothing: we changed no law in essence, we had no logistic, we did not identify the flaws of the system, we trained nobody: we only had a statement. Now a couple of years later we ask ourselves why we are losing the battle and why there is a general smile when another wise man demands in two weeks to bring back to the public budget a lot of money from tax evasion. For me the affair is like lesson 1-01 on how not to do things and here is the recipe: we take one political decision, we shout it out for everybody to hear it, we don’t change anything in the system that can solve the problem, we appear on television to cry about how hard it is to deal with the matter and we demand impossible results. Meanwhile the „little people”are never asked what their opinion on the matter is and they go on with their lives not minding the high priority issue because, isn’t it right, we all know that is just for the show. I wish I had the time to write a long article about the unsuccess story but irronically I have to go fight tax evasion, so in the end, for those of you who had the time to read my post, I can only say it will be continued…

Alexandra LANCRANJAN

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