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The President said in Parliament that the Schengen accession should become a priority objective of the Government, Parliament and President. His proposal was the appointment of the prosecutor general and head of DNA without delay and the removal from the Government of ministers involved in criminal cases. Government totally supports the objectives Basescu spoke about in Parliament, PM Ponta says.
President Traian Basescu addressed the two Chambers of the new Parliament for the first time Tuesday. PSD, PDL and UDMR MPs were present, the Liberals having already announced their intention not to participate. Basescu said he was proposing to the Government and Parliament a partnership for reaching the objective of accession to the Schengen Area, which, according to him, was ‘a duty towards Romanians’. The president assured the premier and parliamentarians of his ‘unconditional’ commitment to a partnership leading to a successful entry of the country to the Schengen border-free space. ‘I can assure you of my unconditional wish to have a partnership that could take us to success. We need to and we can move the border of the EU across the River Prut. I believe this is our duty towards Romanians’, Traian Basescu said. The president also noted the accession to Schengen should become a priority objective of the Government, Parliament and Presidency and that his proposal was to appoint the prosecutor general and the head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) in the shortest time possible, as well as the removal from the Executive of ministers involved in criminal cases. He noted that Romania fulfilled all technical requirements to be in Schengen, but the process was hampered by come of the member states that linked the entry to anti–corruption efforts and existence of robust and safe rule of law in the democratic operation of the country.
According to Basescu, regardless of whether they agree or not, Bucharest authorities must take appropriate action. ‘Some states that are linking Schengen to the CVM have been very clear about this’, Basescu said. The president called upon political leaders for ‘responsibility in declarations’, showing that an’anti-European and anti-West rhetoric’ was only sending us back in time and ‘Romania needs its people to believe in the way leading to the West’. .My call on you all is for responsibility in declarations, because you are not supported by a 3 per cent party’, the president told the Parliament. He added that statements made by important political party leaders in Bucharest were being analysed by EU partners. In his speech before the Parliament, Traian Basescu also said it was crucial that Romania should enter the eurozone in the following three to four years, pointing out, however, that the official 2015 time-scale was no longer achievable and therefore would have to be duly amended by the Executive. ‘It is crucial that we adopt the euro currency in three to four years’ time, or we will be running the risk of being caught by the new Treaty change unintegrated, outside the eurozone where we may remain for a long time’, Basescu said. The president also pointed out that there were ‘several voices’ in the EU speaking of a ‘two speed’ Union divided into euro and non-euro member states. He stressed that the accession to the eurozone was not optional, but rather an obligation Romania committed to under its Treaty of Accession to the EU. ‘The official target now is 2015. In my opinion, the term has become unrealistic and will therefore need to be adjusted by the Government, Parliament and the National Bank’, Basescu said.
Ponta: Government fully supports goals Basescu mentioned in Parliament
Premier stated that the government fully supports the goals President Traian Basescu talked about in Parliament, pointing out that presidential aides or analysts will continue to talk about the fact that Romania is moving towards Russia and Kazakhstan. According to Ponta, Romania’s fundamental goals are very clear and are assumed by the President, the Prime Minister and the Government. “Everything in the government’s power to attain these fundamental goals will be done. There are things that are not in Romania’s power, not in the government’s power, that concern a certain political climate in EU countries, and that’s what we have to work on,” Ponta said.
Antonescu explains his absence
Crin Antonescu announced just before President Basescu gave a speech in Parliament, that he will not attend the speech, arguing that the Head of State lost his legitimacy following last year’s referendum. “He is a legal but not a legitimate president. A man that defied the will expressed in the most democratic way by 7.5 million citizens can no longer be legitimate. Consequently, I did and will do everything constitutionally and legally mandatory for me as Speaker of the Senate. Everything that concerns legitimacy, I did and I will do in the sense I mentioned now,” Antonescu stated. The Speaker of the Senate pointed out that he assumes the political gesture of being absent from Basescu’s speech, accusing the Head of State that after last summer’s referendum he no longer has the necessary prerogatives to direct the country’s foreign policy. “It’s not that I have something else to do, or that I am looking for an excuse, or that I am busy, or that I don’t want to come to work. It’s about the fact that it’s a political gesture that I am assuming. Moreover, I believe that, unfortunately for this country, Traian Basescu is also disqualified. And that includes the foreign policy prerogatives. Instead of making all efforts to maximize the chances of the Schengen accession he did nothing but transform the issue into an internal political controversy and offer pretexts for an apparent reason to postpone Romania’s Schengen accession,” Antonescu added.
Iliescu: It’s not senseless for Basescu to give speech in Parliament
Ion Iliescu stated that President Traian Basescu has all the right to give a speech in Parliament on the Schengen issue and it would be good for him to join forces with the government in order for Romania to accede to the Schengen Area. “He is the Head of State, it’s an important issue, it’s not senseless for him to give a speech in Parliament. It’s not off-topic and it has to do with the present debate. It wouldn’t be a problem if he joins forces with the government, it would be welcome,” Iliescu stated for ziare.com. PSD’s Honorary President does not consider that the absence of Liberal MPs and the presence of PSD MPs at the President’s speech is the sign of a dispute within USL, pointing out that the Liberals simply had a different position.