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The premier said Monday evening on TV that the problem of the representation at the European Council will be regulated by the new Constitution and the competencies of the president will be “very clearly” established by the modifications to the fundamental law.
Romania will be represented at the European Council of February by President Traian Basescu, PM Victor Ponta said Monday evening on TV, adding that he does not like it, but the issue will be regulated by the new Constitution. “I don’t like this, I also think that the president, too, dislikes not meeting the IMF, but each of us has delimited his part of competencies,” Ponta said on Digi 24 TV. According to the premier, the new Constitution must clearly stipulate the competencies of the president in matters like appointing the ambassadors, adding that the next head of state “must be convinced even now that there are many situations when the president is a notary (allusion to the Romanian saying about <<signing like the notary>>, which means blindly signing whatever document you receive).” “We will never convince President Basescu, but we must convince the next president starting now that there are many situations when, indeed, the president is a notary: see if the legal conditions for prosecutors, ambassadors, draft laws are met and sign without asking. There are other sectors where the president has the final say,” the premier explained. He assured that the president will not remain “simply a monarch” with customary rights.On the other hand, the premier also referred to the proposal of merging presidential and European elections in 2014, adding that he is not discouraged by the initial reaction of President Basescu, who claimed that one can find no solution to shortening the president’s term without his approval. Basescu made the following proposal: “the simultaneous resignation of the president and Parliament,” after the revision of the Constitution, in the spirit of the 2009 referendum on a single-chamber Parliament with maximum 300 MPs. Ponta now came with a new proposal, about holding the two elections at dates close to one another, but “not necessarily the same day.” In his opinion, holding the presidential elections close to those for the European Parliament would allow the candidates for the presidential office to debate in campaign topics in line with their attributions, pertaining to foreign policies. The announcement about the possible coupling of presidential and European elections was made at the middle of last week by PNL vice-president Daniel Chitoiu, who said that USL must take into consideration this variant, and there is the idea among the members of the Union that the president will start his term at a later date.
“Voiculescu’s resignation has no effect for the image of USL
”Commenting the decision of PC senator Dan Voiculescu to resign for the second time from Parliament, Ponta said that the move of the former Conservative leader has no effect upon the image of USL: “His judiciary saga is well known and no agreement between the leaders of PSD and PNL was necessary,” the premier said, referring to the case in which Dan Voiculescu is accused of using his influence in the privatisation of the research institute – Institutul de Cercetari Alimentare (ICA). He mentioned that Voiculescu “will most likely” be tried by an inferior court, in line with his status. “I am neither a fan, nor an enemy of Mr. Voiculescu. This is his own life,” Ponta added.