“I am not in the habit of commenting on Mr. Ponta’s Facebook notes,” said the PNL leader.
PSD leader Victor Ponta expressed his disappointment with his former alliance partner, Crin Antonescu’s change of opinion after USL’s break-up, according to which the opponent is no longer Traian Basescu, but PSD and its “state-party inclinations.”
“I regret this is what Crin Antonescu believes. I continue to have faith that all the leaders, supporters, and voters of PNL will not forget who our enemy and the enemy of Romania is,” Ponta said yesterday in a comment posted on Facebook prior to departing in an official capacity to Greece and Albania.
Ponta’s statement was a reaction to the statement made by PNL leader Crin Atonescu late Monday, saying that PSD is the Liberals’ political opponent from now on. “From now on, our political opponent is PSD. The anti-Basescu card is being played here. There are also many votes at stake, although two misunderstandings have arisen: firstly, that being against Basescu means being a democrat, which is not true; secondly, that being against PSD is the same as being for Basescu, which, again, is not true,” Antonescu stated on Realitatea TV. He stressed that aversion to PSD does not translate into support of Basescu. “The fact that PSD is, and will continue to be our main political opponent in no way means we have grown closer to Basescu, but rather that the battle for the future of Romania is no longer to be had with Basescu, whose term will end, but with the same PSD we have unfortunately rediscovered, the same party with unrepressed state-party inclinations.”
The day before, Ponta had stated he would not run for president, even if he is the voters’ favorite in opinion polls. “If a formula is devised which includes a president I can work with well, then no. Why should I run? I want to work with the future president; I want to see what it’s like when the prime minister and the president help one another,” the PM said following the meeting with governing coalition partners late Monday. He went on to say he would discuss the PM/president formula after the EP elections set for May 25. When asked what would keep him from running for president, even if opinion polls were in his favor, the Prime Minister replied, “The fact that I have a lot to do already as a Prime Minister, and what this country needs, after so many years of scandals, arguments, and mutual sabotage, are two people who can work together toward a common goal.” “This is how I envisioned teaming up with Mr. Antonescu. I regret that my esteemed colleague had a change of heart, but I continue to believe that another conflict between the president and the prime minister of Romania would be disastrous for our country,” the PM explained.
He added that polls show that Romanians realized that the Social Liberal Union (USL) broke down due to Mr Crin Antonescu and the Liberals’ decision to pull out of Government: ‘I am not seeking the Liberals’ sanctioning [by the voters in European elections], what bothers me is that we started a big project together and haven’t finalized it yet’.
On a change of topic, Ponta announced he is scheduled to meet with Stelian Tanase, interim general manager of TVR, to discuss the extremely serious financial situation of the Romanian Television network.
“The judicial situation of the Romanian Television network has been discussed and I will meet with Mr. Tanase. He needs to appoint a Board of Directors and devise a strategy for this year, because, as you all know, the financial situation is very, very serious,” the Prime Minister underlined.
Restoring USL and replacing the Basescu regime, more important than anything else
Also on Monday, Victor Ponta stated that restoring the Social Liberal Union and replacing the Basescu regime are ‘more important than the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social-Democratic Party (PDL) or anyone else in fact.’
‘Possibly after the elections to the European Parliament, since it would be more difficult to do it by then, but after, in my opinion, restoring the USL and bringing to a good end what’s really important, namely replacing the Traian Basescu, is more important than any kind of contradiction existing between PSD, PNL and anyone else,’ Ponta told Romania TV private broadcaster. He specified that he has no interest in PNL obtaining a smaller score in the elections to the European Parliament.
‘When you remove PNL from the government, without giving any explanation whatsoever, of course that the reaction and the result in the elections will be less good,’ Ponta added. Asked whether a Social Liberal Union with Klaus Johannis (PNL) as candidate for presidency would be possible, Victor Ponta replied, ‘Anything is possible, in my opinion. USL and the idea, the political project attached to it, is more important than any of the USL leaders, including me.’
“I am not in the habit of commenting on Mr. Ponta’s Facebook notes. I already said all I have to say about this attempt at numbing and, in effect, fooling the public opinion yesterday (editor’s note – Monday). I have nothing more to add,” Crin Antonescu said in reference to the Prime Minister’s Facebook post. “He will probably keep at it for quite some time, but that is his problem, not mine,” the PNL leader concluded.