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PM Victor Ponta commented again, on ProTV yesterday, the ‘Dottore’ episode, an appellation with which Traian Basescu ‘ingratiated’ him with in the spring. ‘That episode confirmed to me once more, if there was still any need to, that President Basescu, for as long as he lives – and I wish his the longest life – will always use blackmail and the dirtiest weapons in politics. That episode proved to me that President Basescu will always pay tribute to the old Securitate ways: personal records, arrangements, digging in people’s past….fortunately, there are no things they can discover in my past ‘ Ponta said on the ’20 years after’ Pro TV programme. In the context, the PM was asked if Basescu had tried to blackmail him.‘I cannot tell you it was a straight blackmail – you give me that and I won’t do that. But he proved to me once again that he and I will never be able to think alike, I am not going to dig hoping to find something about something Mr. Basescu perhaps did when he was serving in the army, for example. That’s a Securitate kind of thinking. I was given the natural chance of being 17 when the Revolution happened and I have everything Mr. President represents. (…) I wish Romania does not have a president who uses Securitate methods,’ Ponta added. Asked if his relationship with Basescu was still icy, the premier’s answer was affirmative and he also said that the last time they had greeted each other was the CSAT meeting which he left before it ended. Victor Ponta says Traian Basescu’s current attitude, characterised by a relative absence from the public space suites him. ‘That’s a good thing (the president’s absence from the public space – A/N), because, if the president had done the same in July, there would have certainly been no impeachment. I prefer to see a president who understands his role in society, not a bailiff as well as chief of Government, Parliament and Justice. But I don’t know how long it will last him,’ Victor Ponta said.
During the same Pro TV programme, Premier Victor Ponta said the minister of justice is legally empowered to propose anyone she finds appropriate for the positions as head of DNA and as prosecutor general. Asked if he would agree that Laura Codruta Kovesi, former Prosecutor General of Romania, should be nominated as the new DNA chief, the PM avoided giving a straight answer, explaining he had no competence in that matter.
Gov’t has run out of money for last 45 days of the year
‘The Government’s number one priority is to finalise 2012, because, starting with November 15, as they stipulated in the budget last year, there is no resource earmarked for hospitals, Ministry of Administration and Interior and some of the pensions, so we will just take advantage of the better budget collection – a trend that was also confirmed in Q3, and, rearranging expenditure, the number one priority is to make sure that we can pay pensions, wages, that public institutions can function and that we can provide heat, obviously based on a 2013 budget,’ Ponta said during the ‘20 Years after’ Pro TV show. The PM said the former administration had approved a budget lacking the financing necessary in the last 45 days of the year. Allocation demands representing the minimum needed until the end of the year amount to RON 3.5 bln. RON 200 M of that amount is needed by municipalities, for the payment of disabled persons’ companions. Nonetheless, Victor Ponta reassured there was enough money to bring back public sector salaries to 2010 levels, refund some of the ‘illegally charged’ health insurance to retired people and to pay child rearing allowances. Asked if he would file a criminal complaint against the former governments for undermining national economy, the PM said the budget had been approved by the Parliament as ex-PM Emil Boc was explaining there were no additional funds at that point. Later, PM Ponta has come back with clarifications on his statements on the fact that there was no more money left for the last 45 days of 2012. On Sunday at noon, while in Iasi, Ponta said there was enough money for pensions, salaries, allowances and for the functioning of the state institutions until the end of the year, the funds being to be re-allocated from other chapters. He said the situation was like that because the former Government had only developed the budget so that it covered only the first 10 months of the year.
PDL: Ponta, the most incompetent
Prime minister Romania hadOn the other hand, ex-Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu said PDL would introduce a simple motion on the budget next week, asking for the 2013 draft budget law to be tabled in Parliament by no later than November 1, arguing that Victor Ponta was the most incompetent prime minister Romania has had. ‘How incompetent can be a person who readjusts the budget and yet complains he has no money?’ Ialomitianu told a press conference, discussing a recent statement PM Victor Ponta had made. ‘Ponta has destroyed everything that we had achieved last year,’ Ialomitianu also said. PDL had introduced another budget motion, with the title ‘USL Government is the engine brake for Romania’s budget,’ but, on October 9, they withdrew it.Ex-PM Emil Boc thinks the Victor Ponta Government proves incompetence, amateurism and inability to manage the budget, as it cannot provide the financial resources necessary in the last 45 days of the year. PDL leader Adriean Videanu said yesterday that it was hallucinating that a PM who had operated a budget review said he has no more money left for the last 45 days of the year, adding that Victor Ponta’s assertions proved ‘incompetence taken to the extreme’. Another former PDL minister, Elena Udrea, in Roman, on Sunday, commenting on PM Victor Ponta’s statements on the budget, said that, if USL could not pay pensions and salaries, they should just reassign because that means that they cannot rule.
About the Oltchim “patient”
PM Ponta also said on Pro TV that the EUR 1.8 M presented by Dan Diaconescu for the Oltchim employees was only a loan repaid by ‘the mother of his child’, because he didn’t have the entire necessary amount, explaining that ‘someone from the mental hospital’ came to block the privatisation. Warned during the ’20 years after’ Pro TV show that ‘the Oltchim patient almost passed away on the operating table because of major surgery complications,’ the PM answered that, fortunately ‘the patient’ doesn’t die, but that he, too, could continue the medical analogy with the explanation that, while the Government wanted to operate on the patient, ‘someone from the mental hospital came and struck the surgeon’s hands.’ He noted it was just a medical analogy, no allusions being made.