PNL’s Orban: Romania’s OECD membership does not depend on Social Democrat leader’s promises to Hungarian PM

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Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban said on Friday that Romania’s successful bid for OECD membership does not depend on Lower House Speaker Dragnea’s personal relations and promises to the Hungarian Premier.

“Romania’s joining the OECD does not depend on Liviu Dragnea’s personal relations and on the promises he makes to the Hungarian PM. Hungary is not the only OECD member country. If tomorrow another OECD country requests us, in exchange for its support, to favor a company and set up who knows what institution, what will Dragnea do, will he make the premiers of those countries promises that have no connection whatsoever to the institutional approach of joining the OECD? We cannot accept Dragnea sorting out requests that refer to domestic policy matters, requests that are not normal and risk placing Dragnea in the position of betraying national interest for who knows what personal interest he has,” Orban told a press conference.

The PNL leader added that none of the major areas under monitoring as a prerequisite for Romania’s joining the OECD has to do with the private talks between Liviu Dragnea and the Hungarian PM regarding the establishment of the Roman Catholic highschool in Targu Mures.

Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said on Thursday that he and Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban had several times discussed over phone Romania’s bid for OECD membership, a subject which is being connected by the Hungarian side to the setting up of the Roman Catholic highschool in Targu Mures. In the end, Dragnea specified that after initially having opposed the bid, Hungary now “unequivocally” supports Romania’s OECD candidacy.

“It is my duty to say this: this is a complex action in which President Iohannis played an important role in the past, where the Foreign Ministry, diplomats and other organizations have been involved. But if a country in this group vetoed us, Romania could not join in. The position of Hungary appeared, which said that it no longer agrees with Romania’s joining OECD. Back then, I called the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban; we had a discussion, as a matter of fact we talked several times. He was indeed dissatisfied – in my opinion for good reason, as in the end this is about children who have the right to education – that the establishment of the Targu Mures high school had been blocked for a very long time by various actions… in fact, the high school had been closed and its reopening was being stalled,” Dragnea told Antena 3 private broadcaster, explaining that immediately after he promised that things will get moving with the education facility, the Hungarian PM and the Foreign Minister of Hungary said they would support Romania’s candidacy to OECD.

 

“We categorically reject statement that BNR would be guilty for accelerated rise in inflation”

 

The National Liberal Party (PNL) categorically rejects the affirmation that the National Bank (BNR) would be guilty for the accelerated rise in inflation in Romania, the party’s chairman Ludovic Orban said on Friday.

“I have here the official table with the annual inflation rate in March 2018. The inflation rate is calculated by Eurostat and in Romania the inflation rate is 4% percent. The average inflation rate in the European Union is 1.5 percent. (…) Mr. Dragnea [Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader – ed.n.] makes the list of the culprits for the fact that there is inflation in Romania. Obviously, he puts the National Bank of Romania at the head of the list of the so-called guilty ones. The clear position of PNL – we categorically reject such an affirmation that the National Bank of Romania would be guilty for the accelerated rise in inflation in Romania. The BNR has used all the levers that are at its disposal to keep inflation below a certain level. (…) The National Bank of Romania has done all it can to maintain the leu at a level as acceptable as possible and to prevent the collapse of the value of the national currency. BNR has done everything it needed to do in order to prevent inflation, and the only source of inflation are government policies,” Orban told a press conference.

He added that other “culprits” discovered by the “propaganda” of the ruling parties are the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Orban pointed out that the rise in fuel price was not caused by higher price for barrel on the international market, as Liviu Dragnea said, but the re-introduction of the fuel over-excise duty.

PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea said on Thursday that “under no circumstance” does he agree with the idea that inflation would be generated by the policies aimed to increase Romanians’ incomes.

He pointed out that Romania’s inflation is 1.6 percent below the EU average, and talked about the causes of its rise and of the higher prices, causes that include “the way the BNR does not work with the Romanian Government” and suggested that some actions of the National Bank are coordinated with some statements of the Opposition.

 

Orban about his job: I don’t have morality problems. The PNL leader left the press conference: You have the right to ask, and I have the right not to answer

 

PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban left on Friday a press conference after being asked several times about his job, following the information revealed in press according to which he has a job in a company that has several contracts with the state.

“I’ll not answer to this question. I have the legal right to have an income and earn my living. The subject of this press conference is a different one. You have the right to ask and I have the right not to answer something else in addition to what I have already told you” Ludovic Orban said.

Being asked about that company’s contracts with the state, Orban said: “I don’t have legality or morality problems on this issue”.

Later, the PNL Chairman left the press conference.

The psnews.ro website has published the information according to which PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban is an employee of SC Revicond Canaltech SRL, where businessman Ghanem Said owns half of the shares.

The quoted source mentions that the company Revicond Canaltech SRL is part of a larger group of companies which regularly conclude contracts with the state, and which are owned by Daniel Ioan Boca and Said Ghanem.