The President considered resigning following his brother’s corruption scandal, but gave up on the idea because his resignation would not have given the opposition a chance in the presidential elections.
President Basescu admitted yesterday on ‘Adevarul Live’ that he also considered the option of filing his resignation against the backdrop of the scandal in which his brother is involved, and that he also talked with some state institutions, pointing out that although it would have been the easiest thing to do, a resignation would not have given a chance to the right wing’s presidential candidate.
“I considered this too and my responsibility towards the fact that I wouldn’t have given a chance to the opposition. I would have been blamed for not having the courage to say that this is the law, that the responsibility is not mine. I would have been blamed by the whole right wing,” Basescu pointed out. According to the head of state, the right wing was not and is not ready to enter the presidential race.
PDL First Vice President Catalin Predoiu shares the Head of State’s opinion, stating yesterday that President Basescu’s resignation following his brother’s arrest would have meant the speeding-up of the presidential elections timetable, giving significant chances to Victor Ponta.
At the same time, Traian Basescu stated that he would like to go and visit his brother in jail, mainly because he wants to hear his explanation, because he had told him a different story. The President pointed out that he will defend Mircea Basescu after he finishes his term in office. ‘To be honest, I would like to see him and I would like him to offer explanations to me, because he told me a different story, that is why I counseled him both last year, in 2013, to go inform state institutions and he did, and this year too,” the President said.
The President said that the attempt was to put the media’s spotlight on Mircea Basescu’s case, to talk about “the corruption within the President’s family.” “I do not abjure my brother. When I finish my term in office I will try to defend my brother,” Traian Basescu added. “I was wondering what would have happened had I had 11 brothers? Here we have to remain within the family code, which clearly defines a family: husband, wife, children. (…) I repeat, I do not abjure my brother, we’re the same blood, I love him with all his problems, but I am president now,” he added.
Roma clans enjoy political protection, cover-up from state institutions
Traian Basescu also talked about the christening of a member of the Bercea family, pointing out that he found out about it from the press. In what concerns the party in Costesti in 2009, Basescu said it was an “incident” he does not even reproach the Guard and Protection Service (SPP) for, because at that time the SPP did not have information that Bercea Mondial is dangerous.
“I didn’t like the fact that a Gypsy necklace was placed around my wife’s neck, she didn’t like it either, but considering the atmosphere around us I couldn’t react either. The only way in which I reacted was that on arrival I handed it over to the state patrimony,” the Head of State said. He pointed out that if he is invited once more to attend the Roma Day he will do it again, because in his two terms in office he tried to get closer to this minority, pointing out that the problem consists of Gypsy clans. According to the President, Roma clans enjoy political protection which usually comes with cover-up from the state institutions tasked with the combating of organized crime, and this is the reason why Romania’s Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) has issued as early as in 2009 a special decision targeted exactly at the fight against organized crime.
“(…) Politicians use these clans in elections, to obtain funds for election campaigns and even to pad their personal pockets. At elections the clans are mobilized to the ballot boxes because their leaders have a high influence on the community,” Basescu also asserted.
PDL-PNL merger is not possible, right-wing leaders criticized
Referring to the upcoming presidential elections, the President stated that the solution for unifying the right wing is represented by PNL, PDL, FC, PMP and even PNTCD forming a protocol to support the presidential candidate, claiming that the PNL-PDL merger is not possible. According to Basescu, there is the need to prepare the electorate, and he mentioned that this protocol should have been reached earlier. In his opinion, “what Blaga did with Antonescu and what he is now doing with Johannis was solely a subterfuge through the merger announcement.” In what concerns Cristian Diaconescu, the Popular Movement Party’s (PMP) presidential candidate, Basescu opined that he has the perfect CV for the office, as a former Foreign Minister and Justice Minister, however he is not the right wing’s candidate. He also stated that Diaconescu was a minister that “did not engage in political games with the judiciary.”
In what concerns Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, who recently launched himself in a harsh dispute with Elena Udrea, the Head of State opined that “he took it out on a woman, like a real man,” in order for his “label as the president’s man” to be erased and to be accepted by Vasile Blaga on the list. Concerning Vasile Blaga, Basescu stated that he is “a stock dealer,” that he behaves like a desperate man and that he “placed the party in a bag and handed it over to PNL.”
In retort, PDL President Vasile Blaga said that his party perfectly understood President’s older message: “Farewell PDL” and is going its own way, just as Traian Basescu should go his own, next to Elena Udrea.
Dispute on CAS
The President reiterated his criticism towards the lowering of the social security contributions (CAS), stating that he wants to promulgate the law but pointing out that if the government’s solutions for covering the deficit are not credible then he will be forced to send the law back to Parliament. “If the government was able to trick the Parliament by telling it that revenues will rise because ANAF will work better, it’s more difficult to trick me from this point of view,” Traian Basescu said.
Asked what he will do, considering that Premier Victor Ponta has stated that he will not answer his call for consultations, Traian Basescu answered: “I will see, I will have to analyze this and I will have to have a consultation with the IMF too.”
President Basescu had raised the CAS issue on Wednesday evening too, at a press statement in which he announced he received for promulgation the law on the lowering of the CAS but that he has question marks concerning the advisability of the measure, pointing out that in these conditions he invites the government for consultations.
Premier Ponta responded promptly, pointing out that the government has no reason to go to the Presidential Palace and the President has no reason to discuss the lowering of the CAS with the government, since the draft law that lowers the social security contributions was voted in Parliament so Basescu either promulgates the law or sends it back to Parliament. The Premier also stated that he is open to meeting President Basescu and “even terrorists if this is good for the country” but in what concerns the lowering of the CAS the Head of State should consult the Parliament, not the government, because the CAS law is voted by MPs.
Labour Minister Rovana Plumb also stepped in this argument, saying on Thursday that CAS cuts will not affect salaries’ and pensions’ funds.
Another appeal for Education Law
During the same press statement, the Head of State called on Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea again to notify the Constitutional Court as quickly as possible over the modifications brought to the Education Law, pointing out that the school year will start in September and the Constitutional Court will be on holiday. “I want to believe that the Ombudsman will take this step, even though he won’t do so joyfully. I start off from the premise that apart from my intervention there were other interventions too, from civil society representatives, other politicians, interventions which would encourage him to file this notification,” Basescu said. In reply, Ciorbea answered that he is analyzing whether the conditions for the notification of the Constitutional Court are met.