“The meeting with PDL representatives was unexpectedly normal”, PM Ponta said.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta met yesterday with a delegation of PDL members led by Chairman Vasile Blaga at the Cabinet of Valeriu Zgonea, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies. After the discussions, Ponta said the meeting with PDL representatives was “unexpectedly normal”, adding that Ministers Teodorovici, Constantin and Manescu are to meet with Liberal Democrat leaders next week to discuss structural funds.
“(…) Both we and PDL representatives came prepared with documents, data and specific proposals in an atmosphere of normality.
This doesn’t necessarily mean we agreed to everything they said or vice-versa, but I believe this kind of dialogue between the power and the opposition about our country’s major problems has been lacking in the past and we must now rediscover and learn it again,” Ponta said, as cited by Mediafax. The Prime Minister explained he talked with PDL representatives about proposing the new agreement concluded with the European Commission, the IMF and the World Bank and, “under the benefit of confidentiality”, he made the content of the letter of intent available to Vasile Blaga, as well as UDMR chairman Kelemen Hunor. Ponta also pointed out that another topic of discussion was the set of economic measures which the Liberal Democrats had presented, in connection with cutting back the flat rate and health insurance contributions. He added that he appreciated the “openness to normality and dialogue” showed by PDL, UDMR and opposition forces: “Having communicated our criticisms – both ours and theirs – exclusively through the media for some years has not been easy, but Romania needs to return to normality. That means having a dialogue and nurturing respect between the power and the opposition. I have not forgotten my time as member of the opposition, when I wished for a more open dialogue a higher degree of respect from members of the power; I don’t want to make the same mistakes”.
After the meeting with Victor Ponta, PDL chairman Vasile Blaga stated many of the items proposed by PDL were accepted by the head of government “at least verbally”, adding that PDL hopes he would not change his mind. Blaga did not comment on whether or not he was satisfied with the discussion or what the party’s take on the agreement with the IMF is. Prior to the meeting, the PDL leader said the Liberal Democrats would present a set of ten proposals for economic re-launch in the discussion with the PM. “We didn’t come for a family photo. We will have a serious discussion and I hope that is what the government will do,” Blaga stated. He mentioned the PDL representatives had asked the PM for a meeting “because they could not sit and watch as the Romanian economy collapses and those who create job opportunities are being oppressed”. The Liberal Democrat chairman attended the meeting with Ponta accompanied by PDL First Deputy Chairman Catalin Predoiu and PDL First Deputy Chairwoman Adriana Paul, PDL spokesperson Adriana Saftoiu, MEP Theodor Stolojan and former Minister of Finance Gheorghe Ialomiteanu.