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România Liberâ - Romania | Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Suspicion of plagiarism hardly hurts Romanian PM

Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta is suspected of plagiarising lengthy sections of his doctoral thesis. Ponta responded on Tuesday by accusing President Traian Băsescu of plotting against him. However the daily România Liberă doubts the prime minister must fear a loss of face at home: "The EU follows such cases closely. That was already the case with the Hungarian ex-president Pál Schmitt and the former German defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, both of whom resigned in the wake of plagiarism allegations. If Ponta travels to Brussels [for the EU summit], he stands to be taken down a notch or two, regardless of whether the accusations pan out or not. ... In Romania, by contrast, the scandal won't have the slightest impact. As a rule the public couldn't care less about accusations of intellectual property theft (or any other theft that doesn't concern them directly, for that matter). But the scandal will spark a new war between Băsescu and Ponta. However we needn't pity Ponta. ... If you play dirty yourself you shouldn't expect others to play fair."

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