Ponta asks Basescu to name day of CSAT meeting on STS


Premier Victor Ponta will ask today President Traian Basescu to tell him the day when they convene the next meeting of the Supreme National Defence Council (CSAT).
On Friday, at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, Prime Minister Ponta said that he took measures in the Government after the air crash that occurred on Monday, January 20, in the Apuseni Mountains (western Romania), and that probably the President too would take them in the Special Telecommunications Service (STS).
‘I have drawn up the letter, it will be signed by one third of the CSAT members, as the law requires, I am vice-president of CSAT too, to discuss as soon as possible the way in which STS achieved its tasks in the air crash and the responsibility … as the head of Romatsa [the Romanian Administration of Air Traffic Services] has gone away, the head of MAI [the Ministry of the Interior] has also gone away, the head of IGSU [the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations] has gone away too, I think it will be difficult to find in STS an operator that did not do its job,’ said the Premier, quoted by Agerpres.
On the other hand, Ponta announced that he requested the Control Body of the Prime Minister to verify, together with the Ministry of Transportation, the way ROMATSA acted in relation to the air crash that claimed the lives of pilot Adrian Iovan and medical student Aura Ion. The announcement made by the premier did not come as a surprise for anyone, given that at the middle of last week Ponta was saying that the data obtained by the government “obviously” reveal that the serious errors that misled the rescue teams were made by ROMATSA and STS, “which had the obligation and technical possibility to identify the wreck.”
The head of the government sent a message of support to the representatives of the Ministry of Interior, saying that, in his opinion, they are not to blame in the case of the accident that killed 2 and injured 5.
The democrat-liberals however consider as “insufficient” the “shameful” resignation of minister Radu Stroe (PNL) and urged the premier to dismiss ministers Ramona Manescu and Eugen Nicolaescu. Ponta considers that the minister of Transportation has no responsibility in the case of this accident, so she should not resign.
The pro-dean of the Faculty of Airspace Engineering, Conf. Dr. Octavian Thor Pleter, said that “the commanding pilot bears the complete responsibility for the accident” because Iovan should have returned when he saw that ice was starting to cover the plane.
Over 1,000 attended Iovan’s funeral
More than 1,000 people – including relatives, friends, former colleagues, as well as just passers-by – attended the funeral of pilot Adrian Iovan, Friday afternoon, in Bucharest. The religious service was held at the “Sf. Ilie” church. The former pilot was laid to rest at the Bellu Catolic Cemetery, in a ceremony also attended by the 28 Apuseni villagers that participated in the rescue operation after the crash. Iovan was buried with military honors. Later, President Traian Basescu sent two wreaths with the message “Sincere regret. The President of Romania” at the graves of Iovan and of student Aurelia Ion.
Eleven of the locals of the Apuseni Mountains who found the victims of the accident, including Argentin Todea, Gheorghe Trif and Gheorghe Giurgiu, who were the first to arrive on the scene, received yesterday, in Alba Iulia, the archbishop’s cross, the highest medal awarded to laics by the Archbishopric.

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