Crime Rate "Endangers" Romania's EU Bid

Politics | February 13, 2004, Friday // 00:00

Romania's application to join the European Union in 2007 may stumble over rising crime rates, Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday in a commentary feature over Austria's plans to build a prison of extradited nationals in Romania.

Calling it a way to save taxpayers' money, the Austrian government plans to build a prison in Romania and deport Romanian criminals immediately to their home country. Critics say the proposal has "a touch of xenophobia."

It is also considered as a way to deal with a 50 percent increase in the number of Romanian crime suspects in Austria last year. Ministers blame this on the abolishment of visa requirements for Romanians to enter the EU in 2002.

The Romanian government, which is also talking to Italy about setting up a similar agreement, has welcomed the idea. The social reintegration of criminals would be easier if they served their time close to relatives, Romanian Justice Minister Rodica Stanoiu said.

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You can read FULL TEXT of Deutsche Welle’s article at For the Record section

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