Monday, November 26, 2007

Romania's foreign intelligence service gets new head

Bucharest - President Traian Basescu on Monday proposed former foreign minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu as the new head of Romania's foreign intelligence service SIE. The 39-year-old historian Ungureanu has a fair change of being confirmed as SIE head by parliament after three parties already declared they would vote for him.

The top position at the SIE has been vacant since March when then director Claudiu Saftoiu resigned over a scandal. He had publicly claimed the SIE had its own tapping technology, although the intelligence service is not legally allowed one. Ungureanu was Romania's foreign minister between December 2004 and February 2007 when Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu dismissed him from office after a row.

Basescu and Tariceanu have been squabbling continually for three years. Ungureanu is currently Romania's representative with the Vienna- based South-east European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), which includes 10 south-east European countries and Turkey. Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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