Romanian party leaders say that this year was particularly difficult and 2012 could be at least as difficult unless they act responsibly, in view of the European economic crisis but also because of the legislative and local elections.
By Daniela Baragan
PDL Secretary General Ioan Oltean: “2011 was a difficult year for all ruling coalition members (the PDL-UDMR coalition and UNPR) from all points of view. A positive aspect is the fact that the reforms started this year were implemented, and the reforms implemented in 2010 have already started to generate the first expected results. We’ve managed to keep Romania in socio-economic balance, we’ve managed to maintain social peace. We’ve fulfilled our commitments towards the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Commission. At this moment I can tell you that a new recession couldn’t have domestic triggers. On the other hand, in 2011 the ruling coalition faced a destructive, not constructive, Opposition, and in Parliament we were sensitive because of our fragile majority. I hope in 2012 the economic climate won’t fall below the ruling coalition’s forecasts. At the same time, I expect relations between the ruling coalition and the Opposition to change and to be constructive. At the same time, the ruling coalition has to take into account the fact that reforms should not be neglected on account that 2012 will be an elections year.”
UNPR leader Cristian Diaconescu: “2011 was marked by crisis and by some European states finding themselves in a critical situation because the other states failed to react. It was the year of fundamental reconsiderations at the level of European institutions, it was the year in which structural deficiencies were revealed. From a national point of view, it was a balanced year in which Romania managed to remain macro-economically stable against the backdrop of political fighting that did not leave any hope of finding a national consensus. From this point of view, we are facing an unprecedented situation in Romania. It’s a relatively new development that should be of concern (the lack of national consensus between the ruling coalition and the Opposition – editor’s note). 2012 will accentuate this characteristic (because it is an elections year – editor’s note). The year that comes will witness political fighting that will take Romania’s interests less into account. I’m afraid this development will continue and will be accentuated. However, I wish 2012 will be a somewhat better year and we’ll find the wisdom needed in order to overcome these obstacles.” UDMR Secretary General Kovacs Peter: “In 2011, within UDMR, we saw and we felt that we have a new President (Kelemen Hunor). At the same time, the new chapter launched by Mr. Hunor is starting to attain its goal. UDMR managed to remain a very important actor on the political stage. We didn’t let ourselves influenced by pressures from the outside and we kept our verticality. 2012 will be an elections year. We’re intensely preparing for these elections. Obviously, our goal is to surpass the electoral threshold and to maintain our positions within local public administration.”
PSD President Victor Ponta: “2012 will be a difficult year not just because of the prolonged economic crisis that could hit Europe, but mostly because of the fact that the current government hasn’t done anything to stimulate the economy and will massively “invest” public funds into buying votes and financing structures in order to steal the elections! 2012 could have more rapidly brought about change and a government preoccupied with coming out of the crisis.
Unfortunately, PDL and Traian Basescu want to postpone elections and that is the worst news for all Romanians. Although it is probably useless, I’m calling on the ruling coalition parties to show responsibility in what concerns the expenditure of public funds in 2012. Stop wasting money on projects that do not create jobs and do not create economic growth! Fuelling the political clientele with public funds and using the budget to finance the elections campaign will completely ruin the country’s economy.”
PC President Daniel Constantin: “2011 has meant a great accomplishment: the creation of the Social-Liberal Union (USL). It was an accomplishment for PC, for PSD and PNL, but also for the electorate and for defending our hard-won democracy 20 years later. Another accomplishment is the harmonization of relations and activity within USL although there have been less than good moments too. At the end of this year we’ve shown unity and solidarity. In 2012 it is very important to answer the electorate’s expectations and to transform into votes the voting intentions seen in the polls.”
PNL Vice-President Varujan Vosganian, former Finance Minister: “2011 unfortunately did not put Romania on the right track. At the same time, 2011 means a turning point, either towards economic recovery or towards recession. It’s a bridge (towards 2012 – editor’s note). We’ll see where it takes us. Next year Romanians have to think well in order to vote well.”
PSD Honorary President Ion Iliescu: “I don’t think it would be a surprise saying that 2011 was a very difficult year, one of the most difficult years after the Revolution, both because of the global economic and financial crisis, but also because of poor internal management too. Those in power failed to find solutions other than transferring the crisis’s entire weight on the shoulders of the common citizen, particularly that of public sector employees, pensioners and other least favoured groups. (…) I’m not too optimistic – apart from a fundamental optimism derived from confidence in our people’s historical destiny – about 2012 either. I expect that the turmoil provoked in the Euro Area and throughout the world will continue to affect us, just as I expect the ruling coalition to manage the whole year in an elections-centred manner in the hope of staying in power one way or the other, despite the obvious desire for change shown by the whole population. (…) I’m still confident USL has people of good quality that can put Romania back on its proper development track. Although 2012 won’t be a good year in itself, if we manage to make the change it will mark the start of our country’s recovery through the common efforts of all political forces that will adhere to USL’s programme.”