Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Algirdas Semeta and a ... party member

The new Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud may be Algirdas Šemeta! Why should you care?

First, there are a few issues with the title and the country of origin. Lithuania is for sure fighting hard(ly?) towards fraud, but nevertheless, this is a country of some good ol' corruption. I have heard stories of medical passes being bought by people who were first deemed to have too bad eyes for computer work, then bribing of police is not perhaps an everyday issue, but something that even foreigners have met in the country. And then the officials and politicians? Quite a few are involved in a more or less shady affairs. I think you get the picture: Lithuania is not a country of customs, audit nor anti-fraud. Still this does not mean that the customs would not reveal all the time record high illegal imports from Russia, nor that there would not be any people that would be experts on this area. Just, not Semeta.

The man who mostly looks like the Finnish C-class celebrity Matti-Esko Hytönen, has some issues of his own. He was taken as a commissioner to fill in the current president Dalia Grybauskaite, and as the trend seems to be, once you are in, you are in. Thus, Semeta is now offered for second term, and this may be the biggest mistake EU can make.

 Matti-Esko Hytönen

You can all go to visit the EC web page and read through the impressive CV of the man, but you will perhaps also notice the huge hole in it: the education is not given. Mr. Semeta says he has finished the studies of cybernetics and economics in Vilnius University in 1985. Thus, this Soviet time economist has the formal education of 5 years of university. The man of statistics (which by all means must be just good for the post, unless he is expected to understand the always so overvalued "why?" of the events) holds just the first level university education that was offered those times, but it is not written anywhere that a commissioner should be a phd or even a master, or is it?

Still, Semeta may be just the perfect man for the post. Bad language skills, looks of an evil genius and charisma that is left second only by Silvio Berlusconi. I surely hope that he has a strong team if he gets through, as the post may be too much for his rather narrow shoulders. It just is not a good move to put a man from country that has bad relations to our largest neighbor to rule the customs...

What you should expect: bad English, lots of statistics, long truck lines on Russian borders, great performances of Mr. Charisma 2009.
What you should not expect: solutions


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