Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Monday that it is too early for the party to take a decision concerning the candidate it will back in the presidential elections of 2019.
“It’s far too early for such a decision to be taken. At any rate, a decision would entail a prior debate within the party and the party’s statutory bodies would have to take a decision regarding this topic. But it’s premature to make a different statement today,” Tariceanu pointed out after the Senate’s Standing Bureau meeting.
He added he refuses to make any speculation on this topic because speculation is not useful.
“There is always the possibility that my speculations would be commented and interpreted in their turn, and I don’t want to give the opportunity for any potential interpretation,” Tariceanu claimed.
Talk with JusMin Toader focused on CVM
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated that, during the meeting he had on Monday with Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, he tackled the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) topic and underscored that solutions must be found for speeding up the measures so that Romania meets its commitments in this regard.
“The talk focused on the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. You know that a European Commission mission is to come. Minister Toader had a meeting last week with the Prosecutor General and the Prosecutor-in-chief of the DNA [the National Anticorruption Directorate], and, I’m assuming, from the DIICOT [Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism], too. We reviewed the recommendations of the previous report which are to be taken into account. Certainly, in order to find solutions for speeding up the measures so that we fulfil these commitments. I’ve also discussed these aspects with Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans during his visit to Bucharest,” Tariceanu stated on Monday after the meeting of the Senate Standing Bureau.
He mentioned that he didn’t discuss with Minister Toader about the presentation in Parliament of the report on the activity of the institutions under the authority of the Justice Ministry.
Senate Speaker on Senators’ trips abroad: Purse strings need to be tightened a bit
On Monday, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu also stated that the funds for the Senators’ trips abroad must be spent proportionally, each month, otherwise they will not remain within the approved limit of expenditures by the end of the year, adding that “the purse strings need to be tightened a bit.”
“We have some trips that must be looked upon more carefully, because by the end of the year we won’t remain within the expenditures approved via the budget. There is money, but the money must be spent approximately proportionally, each month, by the quota allocated each month, namely we divide the budget not to 12 months, because the vacation months are not used for travel, so we divide the budget to 9-10 months and we have an approximate sum within which we must stay each month. If the expenditures are twice those expected, then of course the purse strings must be tightened a bit,” Tariceanu stated after the Standing Bureau meeting.
The Senate Speaker added that the quaestor handles these issues, recommending that he should be more careful, pointing out that during Monday’s meeting he refused a memorandum that stipulated a delegation’s trip abroad.
“I refused this memorandum, I asked him to redo it, because these days the type of foreign relations that worked 50 years ago no longer works, meaning there are no longer political visits spanning whole days and weeks, the visits are objectives-based, the meetings are scheduled beforehand, the agenda is very limited, you stay there for one and a half days, two at most, and that’s it. This doesn’t go for visits over very long distances, to the U.S., to China, where the travel alone takes two days, but when we talk about Europe we can’t accept trips that are so long, that raise question marks,” Tariceanu said.
At the same time, he stated that during the Standing Bureau meeting his colleagues also wanted to discuss the topic concerning the location of charging stations for electric cars.
“It’s an administrative issue that pertains to the Senate Secretary General, but today he received serious encouragements to get to work. There are several impediments, not insignificant. The first is that the electric network belongs to the Lower House and the Senate is not allowed to sell energy. We must establish what we are to do with cars charged from the electric network, how are they to be charged, for free? We can’t allow this, especially since visitors and even Senate members come, I don’t think it would be normal for the electricity supply to be free,” Tariceanu explained.
The Senate Speaker said these issues must be resolved by the General Secretariat.
“We’re not turning Parliament into a commercial company, it’s a service that Parliament or the Electricity Distribution Company will probably provide. But I told you, in principle, what are the obstacles we are facing during this period, especially since in Romania we are nevertheless at the beginning of everything that concerns the development network for electric automobiles,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated.
Tariceanu wants solemn sitting on March 27, to mark Bessarabia’s union with Romania
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Monday that he wants to organise, on March 27, a solemn sitting of the two Chambers of Parliament, to mark 100 years since Bessarabia’s union with Romania.
“Probably later today (Monday – editor’s note), I will contact my House colleague, Speaker Dragnea, to talk about a joint Standing Bureau. A topic present on my agenda is organising the solemn sitting of the Senate and Lower House, to mark 100 years since Bessarabia’s Union with Romania, on March 27,” Tariceanu stated at the Palace of Parliament.
Asked whether the future Joint Standing Bureau sitting will have on its order of the day the PNL request to ask the Venice Commission for a point of view on the amendments to the judicial laws, Tariceanu said he does not know.
Last week, PNL asked the Lower House to obtain a point of view from the Venice Commission in what concerns the amendments to the judicial laws, which are set to be debated once again following the decisions adopted by the Constitutional Court. The House leadership decided that the Liberals’ request should be discussed during the first sitting of the Joint Standing Bureaus.