Simple motion against energy minister, tabled by PNL

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The National Liberal Party (PNL) parliamentary group tabled on Tuesday, in the Lower House, a simple motion against Energy Minister Toma Petcu, entitled “Romania in the dark, PSD and ALDE steal electricity.”

“PNL is announcing the submission of the energy-related simple motion ‘Romania in the dark, PSD and ALDE steal electricity.’ Through this motion we want to sound a distress signal on the eve of winter, because Romanians should not suffer from an irresponsible act of governing. There are very many problems related to the increase in the price of energy, natural gas stocks, the lack of investments in infrastructure, and the decapitalization of state-owned companies. Guilty for all that is poor management and that is why Energy Minister Toma Petcu must be dismissed or resign by an act of honour,” PNL’s Lower House whip Raluca Turcan said.

On Monday, the National Liberal Party’s (PNL) Executive Bureau approved the text of the simple motion against Energy Minister Toma Petcu, entitled ‘Romania in the dark. PSD steals electricity,’ PNL Lower House member Virgil Popescu stated, criticising the rapid rise in energy prices and the politicisation of state-owned companies.

“Today, at the Executive Bureau meeting, we took the decision to approve the text of the simple motion on energy, entitled ‘Romania in the dark. PSD steals electricity.’ (…) We want to issue a strong signal of alarm and we are asking for the resignation or dismissal of minister Toma Petcu because of several things, mainly because of the rapid and alarming rise in the price of electricity,” PNL’s Virgil Popescu stated.

He stated that “at the height of winter” the population will have to pay more for electricity, stating that there is the risk of electricity supply problems, pointing to the blackouts that occurred in Bucharest last week.

“Within the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority’s (ANRE) Committee, everyone saw that there are problems in ensuring the stocks of natural gas for the population. The suppliers came and sounded the alarm. We looked at the Government decision and the stocks are lower than last year. This means the Government is irresponsible. You can’t enter what is forecast to be a heavier winter while ensuring lower stocks, not unless you have an interest in provoking a new natural gas crisis, which could only aid natural gas imports, and expensive imports at that, because nobody sells you cheap natural gas while you have a crisis in the country,” Popescu said.

The Liberal stated that the PSD-ALDE majority and Government want to endanger “Romania’s most strategic and most important programme” – the production of Black Sea natural gas.

Virgil Popescu criticised the excessive politicisation of energy companies, stating that the management of Nuclear Electrica is a liability. “In our opinion, an attempt is being made to destroy the integrated mechanism for the production of electricity in the nuclear field; the issue of the stock of heavy water at Drobeta-Turnu Severin, a stock that is needed for the operation of nuclear reactors no.3 and no.4 at Cernavoda, a stock abandoned by the Energy Ministry, which promised in August it would resolve it and nothing has been resolved,” Popescu said.

The Liberals want to sound the alarm in what concerns the decapitalisation of state-owned energy companies too. “Ninety percent of the special dividends were taken, with over RON 1 billion; they left the companies without investment money, and Transelectrica saw for itself what happened last week,” he added.

Virgil Popescu also criticised the situation of mining in the Jiu Valley, stating it was “abandoned.” “People are dying there and it’s a shame something like that happens in 2017. Investment works have been stopped and, paradoxically, we are importing coal from South Africa because minister Toma Petcu is telling us it is 40 percent cheaper,” Popescu said.

The PNL has called on MPs “who have a conscience to vote in favour of the simple motion next week,” pointing out that the motion will be tabled on Tuesday.