According to party loyalists, Prime Minister Victor Ponta is in select company. Interior minister Ioan Rus on Friday claimed that "ever since Plato and Aristoteles, everyone who has ever written a PhD in philosophy, in social sciences, has plagiarised." Apart from the bemusement that Mr Rus's statement may cause, it is also an indication that despite energetic (foes say clumsy) attempts to silence the plagiarism scandal, the 39-year-old Prime Minister may be heading for the same political graveyard that contains the corpses of the German defence minister Theodor zu Guttenberg and the president of neighbouring Hungary, Pál Schmitt.
In an interview with El Pais last week, Mr Ponta promised to resign if proven that his PhD about the International Criminal Court was an act of plagiarism. He made those statements before the ethics committee in charge gave its ruling, with its chairman saying it was plagiarised "copy-paste style", 85 pages out of a total of 307, from the work of another Romanian scholar.