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The Romanian government is about to spend millions of euro on proprietary software, drawing flak from the country's budding open source movement. "This government is out of touch with reality."
The Romanian government announced its renewal of a framework software licence with Microsoft in the middle of May. The framework licence deal is worth 100 million euro in software licences to be used by government agencies between 2010 and 2012. Romania will also pay the software giant another 58 million euro this fall, as the final payment for the 2004 - 2009 framework licence agreement that expired last month.
The government further announced the awarding of a 300 million euro contract to a Romanian IT company for PC hardware and Microsoft software licences to be used in education.
The announcement came just five days ahead of the third national open source conference, eLiberatica, taking place in Bucharest. One of the conference organisers, Lucian Savluc, condemned the government's spend thrift. "The Romanian government is out of touch with reality. I hope that the European Union will protest this deal, for it is not in the best interest of the Romanian citizens."
One of the speakers at the conference, Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) also expressed concern, warning about possible corruption. "This decision of the Romanian government seems careless and endangers the country's sustainable economic growth by increasing its dependency on proprietary software and by wasting funds that would have been better used elsewhere, for instance on infrastructure."
Mediafax news item (in Romanian)
Capital news item (in Romanian)