Basescu slams ‘abuse,’ says Romanians deserve respect

In the same interview to the public television channel President Basescu said the real problem is not that Romania and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession may be delayed, but the abuse and dangerous precedent of member states using their veto rights although candidate countries meet all conditions. “We’re either equal partners or not! (…) The precedent that appears, with a member state meeting all requirements and another state saying, ‘No, because I have a veto right. I don’t want [you to join] and I will give you whatever explanations I want, without legal basis,’ this is a dangerous thing. This is what is happening to Romania and Bulgaria right now,” the president said. He added that the French and German interior ministers’ attitude to Romania is incorrect and discriminatory. “We cannot tolerate this, because we cannot just sit quietly like slugs as many people tell us to, for these are the EU’s biggest states… Yes, they are the biggest states, but the 22 million Romanians deserve some respect,” the head of state underlined.

When asked whether there were voices in the ruling coalition demanding FM Teodor Baconschi’s resignation over the Schengen failure and his recent statements that Romania might retaliate by denouncing the MCV and possibly blocking Croatia’s EU accession, Basescu said there was no need for “extreme gestures,” accepting however that the foreign minister’s comment was “not perfect.” Baconschi’s statement, which he retracted later on, gave birth to a wave of criticism from both the opposition and the ruling coalition and triggered rumours that the foreign minister might step down from the position and be replaced by his predecessor, Cristian Diaconescu.

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