Basescu: Romania – on brink of isolation

Ruling coalition leaders retort President’s statements are hurting the country, and asked him for ‘a minimal pact’ this year.

President Traian Basescu lashed out again at the Government and USL leaders, Victor Ponta and Crin Antonescu, saying that Romania is ‘on the brink of isolation’ and drew attention over the fact that the European Parliament will adopt decisions to sanction countries that are failing to observe the rule of law and the Copenhagen criteria. “Concern is at its height and Romania is on the brick of isolation. We are already with one foot over the abyss. After saying: I will change the President just because I want to, and not because his term in office expired, not because he violated the Constitution, and then saying a lot more, in the ‘Black Tuesday’ (the President refers to the Tuesday when the Parliament passed a series of draft laws – editor’s note): ‘politicians are no longer being under the incidence of conflict of interest, we are giving general amnesty, so that everyone can be joyful, we are amending the Criminal Code to the advantage of our political clientele, because it puts pressure on our barons in the territory, we want to shut up the mouth of ANI (the National Agency for Integrity) [..] Things like these are noted every day, they are always noted, and they are of such a nature that they can depreciate the level of trust in Romania,” Basescu said on Tuesday in a press conference at the Cotroceni Palace. He drew attention over the fact that Romania is currently ‘being questioned’ in relation to the Copenhagen criteria, asked whether it observes them or not. ‘The European Parliament will most definitely adopt such decisions that will become mandatory to sanction such EU member states that fail to observe the rule of law state, and the Copenhagen criteria implicitly,’ Basescu added.
The president also said that ‘the unhappy wordings’ made by Premier Victor Ponta of late are ‘a vote of censure’ for Romania and adds that statements like ‘Basescu’s justice’ do not convince anybody. ‘The parliamentary majority, headed by the Prime Minister, by Mr Crin Antonescu, if they continue to attack the court rulings, the correct legislation, on the basis of which justice carries on its activity, we risk experiencing a long period of isolation. The unhappy wordings made by the Premier of late are also a vote of censure for Romania. The attempt to say ‘Basescu’s justice’ or ‘Basescu’s servants’ does not convince anybody and shows, a fact that is confirmed by statements too, that as soon as they are able to do it, these people will start demolishing the system of independent justice in Romania,’ said Basescu, emphasizing the fact that it is worrying for Romania’s partners.
Nuland has come to convey message connected to rule of law
Traian Basescu rubbed in Nuland’s visit  to Bucharest, saying that US official has come to Romania as an ‘envoy’ of the U.S. Government, and that the message she had to convey was connected to the rule of law in Romania. “Some treated the visit of Mrs. Victoria Nuland as a visit to congratulate us on the 10th anniversary of our joining the NATO, or a visit to pat us on the back. I want to give you the accurate and correct message: (…) She acted as the envoy of the U.S. Government, who had an extremely serious message to convey. And this was connected to the rule of law in Romania, which has been continuously challenged since summer 2012,” Basescu said at the Cotroceni Palace. “The current government doesn’t have the least intention to return to behaviour capable of reinforcing the rule of law. (…) This is the reason why the U.S. Government has decided to send an envoy to Bucharest (…) ,” continued the head of state.
Ponta, Antonescu, precise targets of President’s criticism
Further on, Basescu systematically criticized Ponta and Antonescu. He said that the Constitution revision must take into account the rule of the Constitutional Court of Romania regarding the obligatory status of the referendum of 2009, adding that PNL leader Crin Antonescu “took the role of the liar” when talking about 300 deputies, without saying how many senators are required.
“I would like to talk about the latest blunder of USL, the one about the Constitution, which they want to pass through referendum at the same time with the European parliamentary elections. It is fine, but they will have to take some matters into account, very important matters, the first and foremost being the rule of the Constitutional Court 682 of 2012, ruling that the result of the referendum of 2009 on the single-chamber Parliament and a maximum number of 300 MPs is to be respected,” said President Traian Basescu during the press conference held at Cotroceni Palace.
Basescu labels as “another blunder” the provision in the Constitution amendment draft issued by USL, which says that the party with the largest number of mandates will automatically appoint the PM, as well as the one that the Parliament can reject the intention of the President to hold a referendum, the President saying that the proposal will trigger instability.
As for PM Ponta, the president criticized his complaints that the President returns his laws. “I understand that PM Ponta is complaining that I return his laws. I admit they are very poor and I cannot help it, I cannot allow them to pass with such a poor quality. … He was complaining about the Law of Mines, this law is not with me, I will let him go inside and check, he should see where he misplaced it, it might be appealed at the Constitutional Court … “ said Basescu, who attacked the law of public-private partnership as well, naming it unclear and unattractive, as well as the law on offering property to European citizens, which is meant to stir confusion.
In retort, The National Liberal Party leader Crin Antonescu called on President Traian Basescu to behave with more dignity in the last year of his term and to make a ‘minimal pact’ by which the politicians should pledge to no longer make ‘statements that harm’ Romania. “Let us make a minimal pact, at least in this 2014 year, a year that looks set to be tough, busy, troubled so that neither the president nor others – although I do not recall having done so, either me or the prime minister – let us no longer say any horrible things, lies and deeply damaging things in front of the Romania people and about the Romanian people and about this country”, Antonescu told a news conference on Tuesday after Basescu’s own conference. Antonescu also said Traian Basescu made ‘serious and deeply untrue’ statements, since no EU and NATO partner has ever suggested that Romania is already with one foot over the abyss or on the brink of international isolation. ”(…)  Neither Ms. Victoria Nuland, nor any other representative of the U.S. Government have ever suggested, not even subtly, that Romania is already with one foot over the abyss. Neither of these official partners of Romania has evoked the state of isolation of Romania or the imminence of such possibility,” Antonescu pointed out.
In his turn, Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean said late on Tuesday that the kind of political statements as made by President Traian Basescu earlier in the evening are extremely serious and do Romania much harm. “The so-called major danger that ‘we are standing on the edge of an abyss’, ‘we are facing isolation’ or ‘there are terrorists wandering about the country, who are allegedly known and might be or are being released by arrangements’ are matters of exceptional seriousness and such things said by the head of state do Romania very much harm, very much harm”, Corlatean told Romania TV news channel.
Totally against introduction of extra fuel tax
Basescu announced that his categorical decision is that the extra fuel tax is not introduced at all, arguing that avowals that fuel prices would go down as of January 1 were just lies and emphasized there is no such guarantee. The Head of State said that if, starting on April 1, 41.8 bani are added to the price of the litre of petrol and diesel, it would be quite obvious in the rise in prices and in inflation.

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