PNL’s Antonescu: ‘I brought Ponta to power, it is me again to have him ousted’

According to the liberal leader, the PM might be removed through a censure motion which
is already underway and will be launched by the Liberals in May, in addition to a further motion
concerning Police Department and DNA appointments.

PNL leader Crin Antonescu had biting remarks to convey about former alliance partners and PSD chairman Victor Ponta, in particular. Antonescu said on Friday evening in a speech delivered in the western city of Timisoara, at a meeting with the Liberals in the west of the country, that it was him who brought Social-Democratic leader Victor Ponta to power, and that it will be him again to have him ousted.
The Liberal leader accused the ruling Social-Democratic Party (PSD) of driving Romania away from Europe and NATO and claimed that Romania is the only EU country where ‘political, electoral and economic’ feudalism still exists, and that this is actually the context in which the current term of ‘baron’ was coined. ‘When I battled from inside the [defunct] USL to obtain a certain number of joint candidacies for county council presidents, I didn’t think we wanted to have 13 barons, but that we should give Romania the chance to see the difference between a democratically administered territory and one that becomes the ‘Mazare’ or the ‘Duicu’ Republic (two Social-Democrats in local elective offices currently subject to DNA investigation – Ed. note). When we succeeded, with much pain, to pull out of a government where we could no longer impose basic things and where we could no longer stop the heavy roller of Ponta turned into the barons’ whirligig, we proved that our essence is not about corruption and clientelism, but that PNL is a party capable of putting into practice the democratic meaning of public office,’ Antonescu said on Saturday in a speech delivered at the meeting of PNL representatives in the North West Region, an event where the formation launched its candidates for European elections.
He admitted that PNL itself is not free of corruption and is no stranger to clientelism and influence peddling.

Later on, at the press conference that followed the event, Crin Antonescu mentioned former Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu (sentenced to prison and currently serving time – Ed. note) and also referred to the losses suffered by PNL.
When asked how he comments on the recent statements regarding PNL’s potential failure in the European Parliamentary elections, which could bring USL back together, Crin Antonescu reiterated this would never happen. “PSD’s hopes are absurd. No PNL, with or without Antonescu, will ever come back begging to PSD, regardless of any election results,” he replied emphatically.
When asked how Prime Minister Victor Ponta could be removed as head of the Gov’t, Antonescu answered, “How did Ponta become Prime Minister in the first place? Following a censure motion that removed Ungureanu. I envision Ponta will also be removed through a censure motion – now or later – in which we will take part and which we will probably even initiate.” The Liberal announced PNL would file a motion on CAS cutbacks and non-taxation for reinvested profits in early May. An additional motion may concern appointments in the Police Department and the DNA Board, Antonescu continued.
In his message for Romanians on the Palm Sunday, Victor Ponta hinted at Crin (lily) Antonescu by saying ‘he wishes all the best although it is impossible to understand the easiness with which it changes colour from white to black, depending on the place and context.’
On a change of topic, the PNL leader said on Saturday that the Liberals expect Mircea Diaconu, former Liberal vice-chairman, to join ALDE in the European Parliament if he is elected MEP in the May 25 elections, because he would not be able to achieve anything as an independent.
I don’t want to be a dummy president
Crin Antonescu admitted he wants to be the next President of Romania, but underlined he does not wish to be another “dummy” president who stands by “as various gentlemen cut their chunks of Romania, the same way as they cut junkyard iron, and do with Romania what they will.” “Ponta talks about a calm, well-behaved president who buys pretzels with Dragnea, and that’s about it (editor’s note – Deputy Prime Minister Dragnea and the Senate Chairman stopped at a pretzel shop in central Pitesti on Friday and bought fresh pretzels). I’ll give them as many pretzels as they want, but let us be clear – as long as Romanians wish to elect their president, they will not vote for a president who does photo ops, but one who has an important part to play in leading the Romanian state,” the Liberal said. According to Antonescu, the politicians the PM has described as the “backbone of PSD” – Mazare, Duicu, and Nicolescu – not only wish to avoid being harassment and persecuted by a hostile president, “but also want themselves and their clients to be above the law.”
Candidates Norica Nicolai, Renate Weber, Ramona Manescu, Eduard Hellvig, Cristian Busoi, PNL MPs, mayors, and Liberal leaders from counties in the Northwest Region took part in PNL’s regional launch for the EP elections.

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