The businessman considers ridiculous such accusations, but says that the State should lean when it orders software, towards Romanian companies.
Ion Cristoiu: a question of national security. As far as I know, over time you made with your company a lot of software for institutions in Romania. Agree?
Sebastian Ghita: one of the main clients was the Romanian State. A matter that I admitted publicly many times.
- I understand. One of the conditions for these applications, to some of the institutions, was that the one who produced it to be a trustworthy man. You've left. The Romanian State is not afraid that you will sell your software key now?
- No, Mr. Cristoiu. This is TFL-USR nonsense.
- I just asked.
- Yes, and I answer.
- But it didn't come from USR, I found it… I don't know… an independent journalist was asking himself.
- Trying to explain the incompetence and inability to do something during the Government of Ciolos several people there were thinking, if I still can't answer, to put the blame on Ghita that he ran with the key and with the soft. For those in the industry, it is obvious that there is no key to any software. The source code of a program is now something quite difficult to understand for other people than for the team that created that soft and even if today I would give a million sources code from all of your programs in Romania, without those companies, without those teams, without those system architects that have thought and created it, and there are many software made by Romanian companies, it's hard to change them, it's hard to modify them, it's hard to update those software and that's why sometimes you have to think not to destroy the Romanian firms which have worked for 20 years, but to help them if they have a more difficult situation, to support them. If there’s no work for them, to create some programs in order to maintain the Romanian software industry. It's no longer the case today, because they have ruined it.
“The State software should be produced by Romanians”
- But can the Romanian State trust a foreign software company?
- Depends on the conditions in the contract. But even if we ask Intrarom company today, Intracom, because they are Greeks, so no one says I have something against the Americans. If we take that firm and say "come on, make us a program for the Pension Fund!" and that company is thinking to retire from Romania and we would ask for the source code and the source code remains on a CD, if you no longer know the 5, 7, 10 people who worked at Intrarom and if you don't talk to them to tell us what they have written in the source code and discuss how we can change it, will be very difficult. It will be very hard to upgrade that software, to change it.
- I want to understand. There should be Romanian companies and yet be trusted companies because you can't give the software at force institutions.
- Some people that I respect, from the Services, institutions, from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, from other State institutions, for 20-25 years realized this matter. Unlike the younger Generals and newer who said, no problem, we arrest them.
- I meant to ask this.
- Those people leading up to today's generation thought like you. However it's good that software companies, to have a local component and, in this way, through a relationship with those local producers, Romania to keep its ability to function.
"We cannot eliminate the Romanian firms, no matter how much the ambassadors in other countries want"
- A delicate question. However, your firms have been among the favorite for those software. I'm not going to do now the theory of state contracts. Does it mean that the SRI had faith in you? You were good or you were also trusted?
- I'll answer that question, but before let me tell you the following issue. All business with the State made by both me and Romanian firms came as a result of auctions. Today I haven't seen that the accusations are: you faked I don't know which auction or you gave money to some Director and I caught you. No. Today the accusation is: you made business with the State. And so what? Foreign companies need to do business with the State? We do not have permission to enter into competition in our country? I have said it many times. What I want to say is, however, going over all the accusations, I justified the money that I've earned during these years through the sale of companies. Don't forget that I have sold the half of the shares from EMAG and I received a lot of money and paid the fees and taxes. I sold all the other companies, from the energy and from IT field, before I entered into politics and I received a lot of money and I paid taxes in Romania. So, this witch-hunting born from propaganda should be removed. I will fight all the time and I'll say that Romanian firms must have the right to compete with companies from the European Union or from any other country even Romania, equally. It is not possible to say: that's a Romanian company, let's set it aside. No matter how much the other country ambassadors want it.
- You were good, I would say. But you were also trustworthy? I'd like to know how we stand.
- Mr. Cristoiu, this trust is built. I graduated high-school in '97 after that I went to College and I immediately tried to find work with my company in Bucharest. You shouldn't think that in Bucharest are waiting 10 directors, 15 generals with their hands out: "Let us give you the contracts, nephew!"
- And there were people who trusted you…
- No. You participate to an auction, lose it and then find out why you lost it.
- Let’s get back to the software…
- Mr. Cristoiu, all the software was made after some auctions.
- I don't deny it. I say this. In order to have your trust, I'm let's say, the head of Services… How can I trust you? Shouldn't you be a covered officer to have my trust?
- I’ve seen many things in my life.