While MEP Adrian Severin eyes the group’s top position, Social-Democrats claim they are yet to decide whom to support.
Choosing a new leader for the European Parliament’s Socialist Group is becoming a bone of contention within PSD. Although the elections will take place next year (January 2012 – editor’s note) when Martin Schulz (Germany), the group’s current leader, will take over EP’s Presidency from Jerzy Buzek (Poland, EPP), “preparations” are starting early within PSD.
Thus, Social-Democrat sources quoted by ‘Adevarul’ daily claim that MEP Adrian Severin plans to run for the Socialist Group’s leadership. According to the aforementioned sources, Severin – who is currently Vice President of the Socialist Group – has allegedly already started his campaign for the group’s leadership. It seems Severin at first obtained the support of Italian and Polish socialists. However they later informed him that they can no longer offer him their support as long as he lacks the support of his PSD colleagues.
At least officially the Social-Democrat MEPs claim they are yet to decide whom to support. ‘Adevarul’ however writes that Severin lost his colleagues’ support because of the numerous criticisms he brought against the party’s leadership. The most recent criticism targeted the party’s alliance with PNL, Severin reproaching the Social-Democrats that although he is the party’s Vice President he did not receive the text of the alliance agreement in time. Moreover, Severin stated that Traian Basescu’s reproaches towards France and Germany in the Schengen issue were justified. Apart from that, the Social-Democrats consider that they will not win the leadership of the Socialist Group anyway, with Austria’s Hannes Swoboda allegedly being the favourite, and they will negotiate by starting off from this premise. Voting for Swoboda in exchange for keeping its office of Vice President, with the latter however set to go to Corina Cretu instead of Severin, is allegedly PSD’s preferred strategy, ‘Adevarul’ adds. At the same time, Severin’s chances of obtaining PSD’s support seem to also have dropped after Viorica Dancila, leader of PSD MEPs, was replaced early this week by MEP Catalin Ivan who is closer to PSD President Victor Ponta.
Contacted by ‘Adevarul’ daily, PSD leader Ponta claims that his party is yet to take a decision concerning the elections for the Socialist Group’s leadership. “The elections for the Socialist Group are scheduled next year and no one has officially announced a candidature. How could we support someone when the elections are in 2012?” Ponta stated. Catalin Ivan, the new leader of PSD’s delegation within the EP, claims in his turn that talking about this issue is premature, a decision set to be taken jointly with the party’s leadership.