The Liberals were due to meet yesterday evening for an informal discussion. A new round of negotiations between the leaders of USL might take place today.
According to PNL sources quoted by Mediafax, the agenda of talks was to focus on the negotiation mandate given to the liberals for the USL meeting at the beginning of this week, in which the proposals of PNL for the four positions of government minister are to be discussed. The leaders of PNL were also expected to decide over the parliamentary strategy for the case in which PM Victor Ponta sticks to his demand of creating an office of vice-premier allocated to PC and the blockage within USL continues. Yesterday’s meeting was to be attended by the leaders of PNL branches, the vice-president of the party and the leaders of parliamentary groups, the sources added.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Friday that the ruling Social Liberal Union (USL) is ‘the best ruling formula’ and that he has chosen to stick to the ‘successful formula’ in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Moreover, Ponta sad on an interview to Agerpres, in which he talks about the ruling USL and the current political situation that in ‘the second line’ of the PNL and PSD there are the ‘warriors’, politicians who are wrong in their attitude, while they feel the need to challenge ‘the wisdom’ and ‘the USL principles.’ “We are going through a crisis right now, as there were others before too. I, as prime minister and leader of the PSD, definitely want USL to remain united and the Government to continue to benefit from the USL support, for following reasons: first of all, in 2012, we ran in the elections in this formula and we should respect the overwhelming number of voters who chose us, both in the local and in the general elections; secondly, 2013 was a very good year, economically speaking; however, if we want to maintain this trend in 2014 as well we need political stability, and, third of all, it is obvious that every prime minister wants a majority as solid and stable as possible”, he said.
Antonescu makes a step back?
PNL leader Crin Antonescu had an “optimistic” interpretation for the premier’s statement that he chose to continue governing in the USL formula, saying that he understands from Ponta’s statement that he will give up the condition of the PC vice-premier, thus canceling the for USL not continuing along. “I can only understand this in an optimistic note, in the sense that he returned to the initial spirit of our agreement, which essentially means that USL represents a fundamental accord between PSD and PNL. And, if this is what the premier’s statement was about, I can only salute it,” Antonescu said while on the phone with Antena 3. He mentioned that, as far as he is concerned, there is no serious reason for the alliance not to go on. When asked about the office of vice-premier due to be created for PC, the PNL leader added that he sees this issue as “very clear”: “It has not existed and will not exist. We maintain all the representation arrangements in this government as they were since the beginning, and move forward.”
Asked if he still is sure about the support of PSD in the presidential elections of this year, the liberal answered that, “for a year, it has become clear that PSD does not intend to keep its promise”: “I certainly cannot be suspected of such naivete. (…) Asking me now whether I believe that PSD has the slightest intention to support me for the Presidency is almost comical.” Plus, Antonescu explained that a possible break-up of USL would not be caused by PSD no longer supporting him in the presidential elections. “The reason is that we cannot vouch any longer for something that is not USL, but some sort of overgrown PSD,” he mentioned. The president of PNL added that he has not relied, and does not rely “on some sort of dependence from PSD’s willingness to keep its promise.” “This is their problem, I am prepared for anything.”
Constantin challenges senate speaker
PC president Daniel Constantin stated that his party was “forced” to leave the alliance with PNL by the disrespectful attitude of some liberal leaders, as the protocol of the Center-Right Alliance (ACD – PNL-PC) was infringed ever since the allotment of offices in the government. “Just consider the protocol which we made public in 2012, when we were being recognised as entitled to 10 pc of government positions. I think we have 2 pc of government positions. Instead of 40 pc, I believe PNL has 48 pc. (…) Never, even if this protocol has not been observed, never did we step up and say: we split with PNL because of these things,” Constantin mentioned. He claims that Antonescu occupies a position in the Senate that should have been held by the conservatives “in order to strengthen his bid for Presidency” and that PC had allocated an office of vice-premier through the ACD protocol, which it did not claim in order to make a “concession for the sake of USL.” “Mr. Antonescu promised, under signature, that the office of Senate speaker will go to PC. This is something I wanted to clarify – I repeat – without having any demand with regard to this matter. But I think it is important to speak the turth and stop propagating all kind of untruths.”
PDL lashes out at “meat fight” inside USL
PDL first vice-president Anca Boagiu believes that the motivation of the conflict between USL member parties strictly relates to the positions they want to hold in the government and that the only image they have created themselves is that “they fight over meat until the very end.” The opinion is shared by PDL vice-president Raluca Turcan: “Citizes are left with a bitter taste. Although the name of a credible person, such as Klaus Iohannis, is invoked, the dispute inside the ruling coalition remains a dispute overt benefits, advantages, meat.”