During the ceremony in which Cristian Diaconescu was officially appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, the Head of State made comments on the recent developments for the first time since the street protests started.
While the President indirectly talked about the protests in a choking voice and a humble tone, stating that Romanians are justifiably dissatisfied and that “more explanations and solutions” are necessary, he reverted to being vehement when he attacked his eternal rivals – Ion Iliescu, the leaders of the Social-Liberal Union, Dan Diaconescu and the television channels – by accusing them of being behind the protests.
“One can notice a cheerfulness of demolition. An internationally-recognized success is probably very upsetting and I can’t help noticing Mr. Ion Iliescu’s message, who stated from the operating table neither more nor less that the President in office has to be held accountable, while he hasn’t been held accountable for the victims of the miners’ riots nor for the victims of the Revolution. I saw Crin Antonescu and Victor Ponta calling for the President’s and the government’s resignation and for the Parliament’s dismissal, basically for an ungoverned Romania,” Basescu stated, his voice trembling when stating “the miners’ riots,” “the victims of the Revolution” and “ungoverned Romania.”
The President also stated that the messages currently used by Ion Iliescu, Crin Antonescu, Victor Ponta and Colonel Mircea Dogaru are similar to those used by Moldova’s former Communist President Vladimir Voronin. “I saw television channels owned by former Securitate informants promoting, at national and international level, the disaster in Romania. This is the goal of a category that fears the legal consequences too, it is the goal of people that today should be held legally accountable for trying to create disorder,” the Head of State said.
This is not the first time the President resorts to emotions in a time of crisis. The first episode of this nature took place on October 2, 2004, back when Theodor Stolojan announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race and his decision to make way for Traian Basescu. Basescu broke into tears at that moment. The President also shed a few tears when he was saluted by the Guard Regiment during a national day parade and when he talked about elderly citizens at a UNPR summer school.
Message for abroad: “Romania has the strength to continue”
Returning to the investiture ceremony, Basescu also stated that “Romania’s foreign policy does not change with its ministers,” thanking Teodor Baconschi for the way in which he exercised his mandate and wishing Cristian Diaconescu good luck. “You have a difficult mission. I would say an impossible one judging by the aspects shown on TV, namely that Romania has the strength to continue. This will have to be the main message that you send out to your EU and transatlantic counterparts,” the President told the new minister.
Opposition rejects attacks
The Social-Liberal Union (USL) claims that President Traian Basescu preferred to launch “unspeakable” attacks against the opposition instead of talking about the protesters’ discontent and demands. “After two weeks of silence, Traian Basescu had nothing to say to the disgruntled Romanians. The Social-Liberal Union shockingly took act of the President’s hallucinating and completely disconnected from reality speech,” a USL communiqué reads. PSD President Victor Ponta stated that Traian Basescu’s accusations against the opposition show that he is “a dictator in delirium, paralyzed with fear,” and that he is disconnected from Romania. “I’m afraid he will leave power only by force, just like it happened to Ceausescu and Mubarak,” Ponta stated for Mediafax. PNL President Crin Antonescu said yesterday that Basescu’s comparison between the Opposition leaders and Vladimir Voronin is ‘ridiculous’, as it was not the Opposition who fraternally drank and exchanged winegrowing products with Voronin. In his turn, PNL Vice President Mihai Voicu stated that he saw in President Basescu a desperate man oscillating from humbleness to aggressiveness. Dan Voiculescu answered the Head of State’s accusations, stating that Traian Basescu has lost his reason and honour, is politically and intellectually exhausted, suffers from the dictator-in-agony syndrome and has to be suspended, impeached and probably hospitalized in order to regain his balance.
As expected, PDL representatives came to the Head of State’s defence, MEP Cristian Preda writing on his blog that the dispute with the opposition shows that the elections campaign has started and that the comparison that the Head of State made between the leaders of the opposition and Vladimir Voronin is far more credible than the opposition’s comparisons between Traian Basescu and a series of totalitarian leaders such as Hosni Mubarak.