PDL and Opposition blame each other

PSD leader Victor Ponta considers that Romania has registered only negative reports on this issue in the last six years, ever since President Traian Basescu took office and “is fighting corruption.” He underlined that these negative reports come in the context in which the same persons, namely Catalin Predoiu and Daniel Morar, are “kept” at the helm of the Justice Ministry and of the National Anti-corruption Office respectively, irrespective of the governments they are part of. In his turn, Conservative Party president Daniel Constantin considers that PDL did not manage to convince Europe with its “so-called fight against corruption.”

The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UMDR) Senator Gyorgy Frunda claims that the European Commission’s negative appreciations regarding Romania on the topic of the National Integrity Agency (ANI) law confirm his arguments. “This law was voted by 115 senators who agreed that, thus, the said law became constitutional. I reject, however, any charges brought up against me. I think that a state stops being democratic when an elected senator is being criticized because of his political opinions,” the UDMR senator Gyorgy Frunda further stated. “I believe now is the time for an extraordinary Parliamentary meeting. First, however, I would like to see for myself the Constitutional Court ruling given following the notification made by the president,” Frunda added.

PDL Vice President Valeriu Stoica stated that the political class as a whole is responsible for the criticisms included in the EC report, “mainly those that mutilated the ANI law within Parliament,” but also the Constitutional Court that “contributed to making ANI frail.”

Puiu Hasotti, leader of Liberal Senators, believes that the report is objective, deeming that judicial reform is the ruling coalition’s responsibility. In his turn, former Liberal Justice Minister Tudor Chiuariu charged that the “Basescu-Udrea-Boc Government has pushed Romania outside the European Union.”

Speaker of the Lower Chamber Roberta Anastase stated that, after talking with some political leaders, Parliament could be convened in an extraordinary session in order to discuss the ANI law on August 9-10.

Horia Georgescu, secretary general of ANI, considers that the report is balanced and clearly underlines the deficiencies seen at the level of political commitment in the fight against corruption. Asked what ANI is expecting against the backdrop of future Parliamentary debates, Georgescu answered: “I expect Parliament to be responsible and to assume the consequences.”

In a press release yesterday, U.S Ambassador Mark Gitenstein commended the report that he sees as balanced and fair.  “A functioning body to monitor public officials’ assets is a crucial component in the fight against corruption – and necessary for Romania to meet its obligations as a member of the European Union and to provide the transparency that American citizens and companies doing business in Romania expect”, the Ambassador said.

Vasile Puscas, Romania’s former chief negotiator with the EU, claims that the country is “in a profound crisis of national and European identity” and states that only the EC has in mind the real interests of the Romanian citizens which should be the beneficiaries of the rule of law in Romania, a communiqué quoted by Mediafax.

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