Statements made lately by the Liberal businessman Dinu Patriciu in reference to the Social Liberal Union (USL) and his ties with this political alliance elicited prompt reactions from within the National Liberal Party (PNL). The Liberal leader Crin Antonescu stated that Patriciu was waging a “steady” campaign against USL and PNL, except he didn’t have the strength or the credibility to influence the two political entities’ future. “We could witness repeated attacks against USL and against PNL, one can see clearly that Mr. Patriciu’s press trust is waging a steady campaign against USL, against PNL, it’s his business, no hard feelings on our part,” Crin Antonescu stated, for “Gandul”, quoted by Mediafax. The latter claims he never called his party colleagues to task because they failed to take a stand against Patriciu’s statements, adding there was never any talk of expelling the businessman from the party, despite speculations to this effect in the central press. “All those comments saying I intend to expel Dinu Patriciu from the party are sheer nonsense, part of some people’s propaganda plan. At no point was there any talk of expelling Dinu Patriciu, during the meeting with PNL leaders,” Antonescu stressed. Nonetheless, in another statement to “Gandul”, Antonescu admitted that “given his stand, Dinu Patriciu’s PNL membership became merely formal, as he no longer counts as a full-fledged member for the party.”
Antonescu stated, recently, on Antena 3, that, if, “within his statutory prerogatives”, as the Liberal president, he had had the power to propose the expulsion of a party member, he would have “seriously considered whether it’s alright” for Dinu Patriciu to remain a PNL member. “Whether he (e.n. Dinu Patriciu) should remain a party member, after everything he has done, including all the bodies and people he enlisted to this purpose, everything he has done in reference to PNL and for Basescu. It’s not within my power and, therefore, I’m not wasting my time. I do not make such decisions by force and, despite popular belief, I’ve never violated, in the least, the statute of the party,” the PNL leader stated.