President: At CFR Marfa, Ponta wanted to help a friend and it turned bad.
Premier: Basescu lies with a Securitate-like mentality.
President Traian Basescu once again lashed out, over the weekend, at the government, PM Victor Ponta, PNL leader Crin Antonescu and the first vice-president of PDL, Catalin Predoiu, while also voicing criticism at the CFR Marfa contract and shale gas. IN a discussion aired by B1 TV and evz.ro Friday, the president said about the failure of the privatisation of CFR Marfa, that Premier Ponta “wanted to help a friend” and “it turned bad.” “I don’t say that I lack data, but they are more intimate, of family. He wanted to help a friend, a pal anyway and it turned bad,” Basescu said. The president added that “at stake was the extension of the payment deadline, hoping that GFR finds a financing source,” also at “the Romanian Eximbank which is controlled by PSD now.” Basescu also mentioned that CFR Marfa is not a kiosk company, it has a huge potential and privatisation is not done in a month or two. “What I can tell you is that it will be a textbook privatisation,” the president assured about what will happen from now on with the privatisation of CFR Marfa.
In retort, Premier Ponta accused Basescu of lying and assured that the privatisation of CFR Marfa was discussed three times in the CSAT, where President Traian Basescu and the chiefs of intelligence services clearly stated that there is nothing illegal or immoral. “I do not think that the president lied in the CSAT, because it is a public institution. Actually he lied today. It is a Securitate-like mentality which he will not get rid of his entire life, telling all kind… The Securitate-like mentality, when you acquire it during so many years, stays with you until you die,” Ponta explained. Asked by journalists if there is any friendship relation between him and Gruia Stoica, the owner of Grup Feroviar Roman, declared winner in the privatisation of CFR Marfa, Ponta answered: “Same as I am friend with Mr. Basescu.”
Shale gas, the bill paid for the lies of Ponta, Antonescu
Victor Ponta and Crin Antonescu came under the president’s fire also with regard to the protests against shale gas, as Basescu said this is the bill paid for their lies when they were in opposition. “What happens now is the bill we unfortunately all pay for the lie of Mr. Ponta, Mr. Antonescu and their activists when they were in opposition and said that shale gas is a crime,” the president stated.
He added that Vaslui is a region with poor people who live from agriculture and, if the activists of PSD and PNL convinced them that they cannot do agriculture when shale gas is extracted, the reaction of the population is very strong. The president however said that he cannot accept the protests that do not observe the law.
Basescu also mentioned that he does not understand why ever5ybody is focused on the American company Chevron, as there are 10 companies that have license for shale gas. “We have no protest because Lukoil has a concession in the Black Sea for natural and shale gas, it has a very large perimeter,” Basescu said, adding that “Gazprom and the government of the Russian Federation have all the interest for Romania not to exploit its resources.”
The row of prosecutors: Pressures of embassies on the premier
With regard to the row caused by the nominations of prosecutors, the president said that, although his interventions at 6.30 PM mattered, there also were pressures put by embassies on PM Victor Ponta. According to him, “the mistake made at DNA was a coup de force in which the premier tried to impose some people, which were rejected by the system” and that there was also a rejection within the DNA. Asked if the changes at the DNA attenuated the consequence of the infringement of the cohabitation pact with the premier, Basescu answered that they showed an intention. Referring to the fate of the cohabitation pact with the premier, which he denounced two weeks ago, the president still stands in stand-by, as there is still a meeting to take place and only then he will make a decision.
Antonescu – scratched off the list at Cotroceni
Traian Basescu also said in the interview, referring to the absence of Crin Antonescu from the oath-taking ceremony of the minister of Economy, that he had “an insolent behaviour” during a previous meeting and “he no longer is on the list of protocol at Cotroceni.” He added that, from now on, Crin Antonescu either goes to Cotroceni “as a tourist, in organised groups,” or a discussion will take place in which it will be agreed that the protocol of Cotroceni cannot be infringed. In retort, Antonescu said that the president speaks “all kind of things” and he is not interested by what Basescu says, while Ponta mentioned that he wants the future president of the country to observe things that imply respect between institutions and common sense.
Predoiu, under fire again
The president’s criticism did not target only USL, but also members of the party which he led before becoming chief of state. More precisely, Basescu was upset by the fact that PDL vice-president Catalin Predoiu, a former minister of Justice, “had the insolence to tech him lessons in public,” saying that Predoiu came to his office to ask him to allow him to remain minister in the Ponta cabinet. “I did not like when Mr. Predoiu taught me lessons, when he came to my office and asked me to talk with Ponta so he keeps his place in his government,” Basescu stated, adding that he has nothing against Predoiu running for president, on condition that the former minister says why he no longer wanted Daniel Morar at the DNA and why he asked him to intervene with Ponta. Predoiu later answered that he never banged his fist against anybody’s table, did not wait at anybody’s door and never asked to remain in the government, while his proposals for chief prosecutor were in the interest of institutional stability.
Isarescu, a possible presidential candidate
The interview on B1TV took the discussion about presidential elections to other potential candidates. Referring to a possible candidacy of BNR governor Mugur Isarescu, Traian Basescu said that Isarescu does not want to run. “This is a joke. First, I am convinced that he does not want. I know the governor well,” Basescu stated, explaining that the population would see Isarescu as the best governor, so moving to another office would be problematic.
In retort, the honorary president of PSD, Ion Iliescu said that the BNR governor would make a candidate “with many chances” for the Presidency, adding that it is “illogical” for Basescu to give a verdict in this matter. PM Ponta somehow confirmed the president’s words, mentioning that Isarescu would have many chances in a presidential ballot, but he will not enter the race.