Former PNL senator Daniel Zamfir joins ALDE. ‘From a party that was a defender of fundamental rights and freedoms, PNL has become the defender of the abuses’

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Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Sunday at a press conference that former Senator of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Daniel Zamfir, who resigned from the party one day ago, has joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).

“Even today, I’m not excluded from PNL, that Council wasn’t convened by Orban anymore. I stayed there because I thought Orban doesn’t represent the voice, that he and his clique are only a slippage. I cannot continue in PNL. Because of Orban, PNL has lost its most valuable asset it built, namely the brand of the defender of human freedoms. Today, PNL is the defender of the abuses. This is probably the most shameful era for PNL, with the most disgraceful president” Daniel Zamfir stated.

He said he decided to join ALDE because “sooner or later, we, the Liberals who love democracy, will meet here (e.n. – in ALDE). It’s not a swap between me and Tariceanu. I didn’t come to ALDE for positions”.

In his turn, Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced that the party will continue to support Zamfir’s projects. “In PNL, the signals that Daniel Zamfir gave, the draft laws he promoted, those related to limiting or avoiding abuses in the banking system, were approved by the Senate through the vote of PSD and ALDE, they are at the Chamber and I hope the Chamber will approve them too” Tariceanu said.

 

Tariceanu: PNL has drifted away not only from liberal values but also from the values of democracy, has become a party of the establishment and of the binomial. Next week another Liberal MP will announce he joins ALDE

 

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu states that PNL has drifted away not only from its liberal values but also from democratic values, and informs that, later this week, another PNL MP will join ALDE. He added that PNL “has become the party of the establishment and of the binomial.”

“They (those who left PNL – editor’s note) are already relating to the essence of a party. The essence of a party is defined by the way you relate to the values it promotes. This party (PNL – editor’s note), and I don’t want to restate this, has drifted away from values that are not only liberal but also the values of democracy. This week, I’m telling you, but I don’t want to give you the piece of news now, yet another Liberal parliamentarian will announce his joining ALDE,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Sunday in a joint press conference with Daniel Zamfir.

Tariceanu stated that PNL has become the party of the establishment and of the binomial and that it is an inert party.

“The evolution of the PNL, which, since 2014, has only confirmed that it has abandoned the Liberal principles, is visible lately with the PNL proving not only that it turns a blind eye to abuses but that it is also a supporter of repressive actions. You define yourself as free when you promote the values of liberalism, and the PNL no longer does that. It is more than just an involution, PNL has become the party of the establishment and of the binomial. That there are persons at the top who were blackmailed doesn’t interest me, the party is inert,” he added.

On March 22, political sources stated that Senator Daniel Zamfir was  going to leave the Liberal party and join the ALDE group.

On March 28, the PNL National Executive bureau decided to exclude from the party Senator Daniel Zamfir, former Chairman of the Senate’s Economic Committee and the initiator of the law on interest rate capping on bank loans. PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban stated at the end of the meeting that he had enough patience with Zamfir, to whom he gave three public warnings.

The decision to exclude Senator Daniel Zamfir was adopted by the PNL National Executive Bureau with 25 pros, 2 cons and 2 void votes, Alina Gorghiu and Marin Petrache suggesting an easier sanction. However, the decision had to be validated by the PNL National Council, which didn’t discuss this issue until today.

 

Daniel Zamfir: From a party that was a defender of fundamental rights and freedoms, PNL has become the defender of the abuses. Since they don’t have any other political arguments, Orban resorts to criminal complaints and attacks against CCR

 

Senator Daniel Zamfir announced on Saturday in an open letter to his colleagues that he is leaving PNL, after the PNL leadership announced in March that will propose him to be excluded. Zamfir reiterated that the reason for which he was excluded belongs to “times we would have wanted to be gone since a long time ago” and said that PNL was “laid in trenches”. He also said that the direction to which PNL is heading is a wrong one, and thus the party has lost the brand that consecrated it in the 140 years of history and became, “from a party that was a defender of people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, the outright defender of the abuses”. He “sadly” found that his effort “to convince the libertarian adventurers from around the president that PNL’s way is profoundly wrong is in vain”.

“Dear Liberal colleagues. The things we are living together for a quite long time are unimaginable to me. I tell you this with all my sincerity and bitterness! I am a member of this party since ten years ago, I had the honor to be a deputy between 2012 and 2016, and since 2016 I am a senator. I believed from the start, and I still believe that the role of the parliamentarians is to make good laws that are expected by people. That’s how I thought when I started with the Debt to Equity Swap Law, and that’s how I am thinking now, when I initiated the Laws against Usury, which protect millions of Romanians against the abuses of the banking and non-banking financial institutions. I was quite surprised to see that the president of my party decided to exclude me from the party if I will continue with these drat laws. But I continued and they were approved by the Senate, with the support of the PSD-ALDE majority, and I wish them to be voted also by the Deputies’ Chamber as soon as possible, to make justice to millions of Romanians who are victims of the abuses of the banking and non-banking system” Daniel Zamfir announced through an open letter posted on his Facebook account and addressed to his Liberal colleagues.

He says that the reason for his exclusion from PNL belongs to “times we would have wanted to be gone since a long time ago” and said that PNL was “laid in trenches” by Ludovic Orban.

“The motivation for my exclusion, namely I am a deviationist from the party’s direction, unfortunately belongs to times we would have wanted to be gone since a long time ago and is the expression of a primitive thinking of the PNL Chairman and those around him. Liberals have always been the champions of modernization and economic development and the champions of democracy. But what do we see today? PNL was laid in trenches by Ludovic Orban and a small and illegitimate group of “advising friends”, a PNL which, instead of defending people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, has turned into a defender of abuses. The decision taken by the “Chairman’s group” not to initiate and vote any proposal along with PSD is also the expression of a primitive thinking. Thus, PNL unfortunately voted against millions of Romanians, in the interest of the banking and non-banking financial institutions, when it came about important laws that were designed to support millions of Romanians, such as the Law on Interest Rate Capping on Banking and Non-banking Loans, the Litigation Withdrawal Law, the Law on Leasing and Enforcement Order on Commercial Liabilities. Equally aberrant was the vote against the “Parcul cu Platani” Law and the lack of support for the Law on the Court of Auditors, as well as of the Administrative Code, which are expected by all the mayors and public servants in Romania” he added.

Zamfir also said that he was expecting a reaction from the PNL leaders, but not from those “from the Chairman’s group”. The senator also believes that PNL is heading to a wrong direction, the one of the neo-Liberalism from the ‘90s.

“Beyond the primitive, aberrant behavior of the “Chairman’s group”, I was expecting a reaction also from the PNL leadership, others that the “Chairman’s group”! I’m talking about the wrong direction to which PNL is heading, in my opinion it is a neo-Liberal policy of the ‘90s, when the market had to be free, with minimal financial regulations, which is already outdated. Today, everywhere in the right-centered-wing political world, there is a humanist-liberal policy mainly concerned about the citizens’ prosperity, the defense of their rights, before the interests of the financial interests and of those of the multinationals. OECD also draws attention on the fact that free markets lad to monopolies and oligopolies and the spiral of inequities has increased” he also wrote.

Daniel Zamfir also explained that PNL has lost the brand that consecrated it the 140 years of history and became, “from a party that was a defender of people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, the outright defender of the abuses, and even worse, since they don’t have any other political arguments, PNL Chairman resorts to criminal complaints and unprecedented attacks against CCR, actions that put PNL in the most disgraceful position in its history”.

He said that this made health and education not to be PNL priorities anymore, “as announced by PNL’s mastermind, Mr. Citu”.

Zamfir also told his colleagues that he found with bitterness that his effort to convince the “libertarians” around Orban that PNL’s way is wrong was in vain and announced that he is leaving PNL.

“Dear Liberals who really think in a liberal spirit. I find with bitterness that my effort to convince the libertarian adventurers around the Chairman that PNL’s way is a profoundly wrong one is in vain! After the decision related to my exclusion, I waited a reaction from the party. It didn’t come. However, many of you asked me in private not to leave, but to fight! But this was only in private. I waited your support for the draft laws that do good things to Romanians, and not to the interests surrounding the Orban group. But most of all, I waited for an answer to what is the most important thing: for whom this party is fighting and makes politics? Who is it defending? Is it defending the millions of Romanians, or those who make abuses against the Romanians? For this reason, I decided to focus my energies in order to complete the draft laws expected by people. Without hypocrisy, I urge you to answer to those from above! My way in PNL stops here. I am sure that sooner or later, we, the real Liberals in PNL, will meet on the same side of the barricade, defending together THE PEOPLE’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. So help us God!” Zamfir concluded.