By Constantin Radut
The Dutch group Damen Shipyards Group, which hoped to win the tender for the construction of the four multifunctional corvettes for the Romanian Naval Forces, led during 2018 a real “beauty” campaign in the Romanian press.
PR articles through which Damen is trying to be seen as the most important shipbuilder in Europe, even in the world.
Many observers have shown that this Damen press campaign also aims at washing the company’s image. It was reminded that in the Western press Damen was suspected of involvement in corruption in countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, Libya, Brazil and Chile.
It is certain that the articles paid in the press in Romania represented a lobbying formula.
To defend his case, Damen publishes with an initial (P) article on the Hotnews.ro website, saying: “Damen has always been open and cooperative with media around the world, building a valuable relationship with the channels media in Romania. Damen notes that this kind of negative articles, such as those recently appearing in the media in Romania and bringing multinational corporations to the spotlight, are common practice in the business world, especially when there are important contracts in the middle. On the other hand, at this time, Damen examines the impact that negative and defamatory media campaigns, including untrue and defamatory information, have on his image and interests and, together with specialized lawyers, are considering launching legal procedures appropriate to the situation. ”
In this context, the former Romanian President Traian Basescu posted virulent information on some Dutch officials on Facebook. According to
Traian Basescu, Dutch officials have conducted a real campaign to intimidate the Romanian state and promote Damen’s interests in Romania.
Here’s what Traian Basescu wrote:
Under the conditions that Damen, a Dutch shipyard operating in Romania, is enrolled in the race to get a 1.6 billion contract at the Romanian Army, there is a succession of events managed by the “Dutch connection” :
-On September 12, 2018, P.M. of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte comes to Bucharest to tell us that we are not entering Schengen, that in Romania there is a great corruption …;
-October 1, 2018, Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission and former Foreign Minister in Rutte’s Government, makes a very general but demolition report on Romanian justice;
– 22 days after Timmermans’ report, the LIBE Committee in the European Parliament presents an analysis of the Venice Commission. The rapporteur is the Dutchman Martin Kuijer, who made the report, requesting the amendment of the Romanian Constitution.
All the fruits of Dutch thinking came avalanche around the award of a 1.6 billion contract.
Damen is owned by the Dutch billionaire Kommer Damen. He is said to have close ties with Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands, and behind them would be Amsterdam’s ambassador to Bucharest, Stella Ronner Grubacic.
In March 2016, the same Mark Rutte had the same position against Romania’s entry into the Schengen area. Then, the Government Decision for the acquisition of 4 frigates should appear. Still before this GD, Timmermans expressed his opposition against Romania.
The procedure for the acquisition of the four corvettes is suspended.
Now, the “Dutch connection” is silent. Until?
By Constantin Radut