Related to Open Source Observatory, the pan-European Open Source organization’s article “RO: Proprietary license deal draws ire open source proponents
“, and the fact that Romanian Government is preparing to spend hundreds of millions of euro for Microsoft licenses
, here come my official declaration:
“For the past three years Romania has been hosting one of the most important Free Software and Open Source events in the region, with a host of international speakers and Romanian success story representatives, the eLiberatica
. This year we extended the invitation to participate and discuss how to foster a genuine Romanian IT industry to no less than two ministers: Ms. Ecaterina Andronescu
of the Ministry of Education, Research and Innovation
and Mr. Gabriel Sandu
of the Ministry of Communications and Information Society
We were glad to receive the kind response of Ms. Andronescu in which she declared her intent to participate. Unfortunately this was the last we heard from either ministry, no ministry was represented during Romania’s most important event on strategic issues that have become mainstream in countries across Europe and the world.
These last events
, spending hundreds of millions for Microsoft licenses is no surprise in this context. The Romanian Government seems out of touch with reality. My last hope is that European Union will open their eyes somehow, because for sure they are not listening nor working in the best interest of people who they represent – the Romanians.
And here is Georg C. F. Greve
‘s (president of Free Software Foundation Europe) quote:
“Microsoft’s deals in new EU member states have raised concerns over corruption before, e.g. in Bulgaria
. But while Microsoft seems to raise such questions more often than others, it should be noted that the problem of illegal procurement is larger and not limited to Microsoft. Nor is the problem limited to the new EU member states, as the recent irregularities and resulting antitrust complaint filed in Switzerland
Considering the recent freeze of EU funds due to corruption
in Bulgaria, this decision of the Romanian government seems careless and dangerous for the sustained economic growth of the country in more than one way: By endangering EU support, by increasing dependency on proprietary software for the economy, and by wasting funds that could have been used for much-needed infrastructure projects.
It seems ironic that the European Commission has to fine Microsoft repeatedly over sustained monopoly abuse, then transfers part of that money to Romania, which enjoyed the highest level of financial support ever granted to a candidate country in the history of the European Union, and the Romanian government then decides to return part of that money to Microsoft with close to no tangible benefit for Romania.”