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February 25, 2021
POLITICS

PSD, PDL compete in calling investigations into Schengen issue

Social-Democrats called, yesterday, for Basescu, Boc and Igas to be summoned before an investigation committee, accusing them of causing undue delay in Schengen accession and in lifting Justice monitoring mechanism.

Paying tit for tat to the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL)’s decision to summon the Social-Democrat president Victor Ponta before an investigation committee for his alleged statements in the European Parliament opposing Romania’s joining the Schengen Area, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) proposed, in turn, setting up a committee to investigate the activity of president Basescu, the Interior Minister Igas and prime-minister Emil Boc as regards the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (MCV) and accession to the Schengen Area. PSD argues that, “by their irresponsible statements and actions”, the three officials delay the lifting of the Justice monitoring mechanism and accession to the Schengen Area. “Clearly, Traian Basescu prefers to keep Romania under watch by the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification. Traian Basescu is the one who should be made accountable if it is decided that the Justice monitoring mechanism should remain in place and that Romania does not meet the conditions, at least the political ones, for accession to the Schengen Area. (…) Traian Basescu and PDL are, at the moment, a threat to national security,” the PSD president stated, yesterday.


Ponta criticized “the reckless comments” Basescu had made in reference to the justice system, also accusing the head of state of having tried to block the appointment of the new members of the High Council of Magistrates (CSM) merely because these are judges and prosecutors who “are not to his liking”. “If Justice is not operational, the one to bear the blame for it is Traian Basescu, who has been at the helm of the country for six years, who interferes with the justice system, every time he gets the chance, who politicizes it and uses it as a political weapon against his adversaries,” Ponta argued.


When asked whether this committee may be a step towards a renewed attempt to impeach the president, Ponta reaffirmed this as a possible objective for next year: “The only chance of putting an end to Romania’s economic and social decline is having Emil Boc and president Basescu removed from office in 2011. We may achieve this by a joint effort of the opposition, of PSD, the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Conservative Party (PC), but also alongside the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) or any other democratic party”.


At the same time, Ponta stated that, besides the investigation committee which it will lobby to get set up, PSD will also draft a “notification” addressed to the European institutions, pointing out that Traian Basescu’s attacks against the Romanian judiciary violate “beyond repair, perhaps,” Romania’s obligations as an EU member.


PREDOIU ALSO TAKES CSM TO TASK


In an editorial published in a newsletter of the Justice Ministry, the minister Catalin Predoiu criticizes CSM because it chose to send a “we couldn’t care less” message, adopting an attitude as befits a politicized body, by its attempt to “take positions on the field”, both in the Council, as well as at the High Court of Cassation and Justice. “What I find most worrying is the fact that this manoeuvring is conducted under the banner of defending the independence of the judiciary! A most regrettable endeavour. A confusion cultivated, systematically, precisely by those who undermine the credibility and independence of the judiciary, from within,” Predoiu claims. Immediately after Basescu’s accusations in reference to CSM elections, the minister argued that the said body bears the entire responsibility for the way in which the process of electing the new Council was conducted, arguing that the process had not been influenced, in any way, by the Executive.

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