USL wants to move STS to MAI


A draft law on the way STS is organised and operates was submitted yesterday to the Chamber of Deputies. The document is drafted by PSD alone and provides that the chief of STS will be appointed by the premier and will have the position of state secretary in MAI. The ruling Social-liberal Union (USL) previously announced that it was going to submit for the approval of the Standing Bureau of the Senate the draft law on moving the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) under the subordination of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), more precisely under the coordination of the Department for Emergency Situations, which is headed by the Secretary of State Raed Arafat, Agerpres informs.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Sunday evening, after the USL meeting. He motivated the decision by saying that the moving of the STS under the subordination of the MAI will ensure a better coordination of the institutions with responsibilities in the management of emergency situations, with less bureaucracy and a very clear responsibility.
Ponta specified that the STS head must be a technical expert, the same as the head of the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU), which is also found under the subordination of the Department for Emergency Situations. The head of the government also said that there is no other country in Europe where the Special Telecommunications Services is found under the subordination of the President.
Asked if the result of the operation will be the removal of Marcel Opris from the top position in STS, Ponta answered that he cannot know it now, but as far as he knows the general already reached the age of retirement. Ponta added that the report which he presented Sunday to the Supreme Defence Council (CSAT) points to dysfunctions in the case of the air crash of the Apuseni Mountains also at the level of STS, but President Traian Basescu does not want to take measures against the chiefs of this service, because he does not have the courage. “(…) probably there are things he is blackmailed with – cowardice, personal interests, the truth about how STS was involved in the elections of 2009 and the referendum of 2012. I am not sure about which of these motives is more important, but it is very clear that President Basescu will protect the chief of STS as long as he will have the legal right to do so,” the premier mentioned, quoted by Mediafax. According to Ponta, Basescu wants STS “to record us all”, but does not ask this service to find the victims of an accident: “From the maps presented by the presidency – they probably are confidential, but the president is allowed to infringe this statute – results that the plane crashed to the left, but STS located the call to the right. I notice cowardice and disdain for the public, because the people who lead the institutions responsible for the failure of the rescue operation must take the responsibility, nobody is immovable from office, unless he has other arguments which we ignore.”
Preda: Taking STS from under the control of CSAT, unconstitutional
PDL Deputy Cezar Preda claims that the government’s decision to transfer STS under the control of MAI means taking an institutions with security attributes and moving it to other decision structure, which is unconstitutional, so PDL will challenge it at the Constitutional Court. “If Mr. Ponta wants to throw this last redoubt in the political filth, and to make the specialists and technocrats dependent from political orders, I believe that he is deeply wrong. (…) It is inadmissible to weaken the state institutions for the sake of this political battle between him and President Traian Basescu,” Preda said.
Answering the intention of PDL, PM Ponta stated yesterday that when the leader of liberal-democrats, Vasile Blaga was minister of Interior, he wanted to transfer himself STS under the authority of the Ministry of Interior. “They haven’t even seen the law and they already want to challenge it at CC? I thought they got wiser lately. What will Mr. Blaga say? That it is not good at MAI? When he was minister of Interior, this is what he was saying, that STS should be at the Ministry of Interior,” Ponta reacted.

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