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July 1, 2022

USL’s Ponta meets EU envoys, says future potential cabinet would abide Romania’s commitments

The Social-Democrat Party (PSD) leader Victor Ponta stated yesterday in a press conference that he had advised the EU member states’ ambassadors during a morning meeting (e.n. a meeting hosted by the Danish Embassy) that the new Foreign Minister, Cristian Diaconescu, had been appointed in office in defiance of the Constitution.  “The ambassadors were clearly amazed, as circumventing the Parliament is a most unorthodox deviation in European practice,” Ponta argued, quoted by Mediafax. The PSD leader added he had told the ambassadors the Social-Liberal Union (USL) would vote for a “work” Cabinet to organize “fair” early parliamentary elections and to ensure economic and financial stability in the near future.

“USL wishes to back in a responsible fashion Romania’s emergence from the crisis and the solution can only be a political one: early parliamentary elections, separate from the local elections,” the Social-Democrat said. He further stated that he had no intention to stand at the helm of an USL government appointed by the president Traian Basescu. “We are not asking for Boc to step down today to be replaced by Ponta from USL. This isn’t right, we don’t want this and we won’t accept anything Traian Basescu has to offer. We wish to lend our backing to a work government and, if the Romanians vote for USL at the polls, we will form a government,” Ponta argued. In this context, he gave assurances to the ambassadors that a potential USL Cabinet would abide by the commitments Romania had made in the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the European Commission, even if some of these “were not very wise”.

In fact, Ponta announced that the USL leaders would meet, in days to come, representatives of the three international bodies.

The Danish ambassador in Bucharest, Michael Sternberg, stated, without going into details, that only Victor Ponta had attended yesterday meeting at the Embassy and topics on the agenda included “EU-related topics”, as well as “the internal political situation and ongoing protests”. The ambassador firmly refused to provide further details, stating that he was only there to listen, as were his fellow-ambassadors. “Victor Ponta came of his own accord to this meeting. It was an internal meeting, organized at his request. We listened, we took notes. Ask Mr. Ponta for details concerning his statements, we were only there to listen,” Michael Sternberg stated, quoted by Mediafax. On the other hand, Sternberg confirmed, answering a query, that Victor Ponta had qualified Cristian Diaconescu’s appointment at the helm of the Foreign Ministry as unconstitutional. “I have no comment. He did say this, but he did not seem to actually believe it, nor did he seem to attach too much importance to this topic,” the ambassador argued.

Swoboda: Opposition did not call for sanctions against Romania

The leader of the European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats group, Hannes Swoboda, denied yesterday that the opposition had called on the EU to enforce sanctions against Romania, as claimed last weekend by representatives of the ruling party. The S&D leader called on EPP leaders – naming the group leader Joseph Daul – to stop hurling such allegations at the opposition. “Romania is going through a difficult time and it is our joint responsibility to stand by the Romanian people. That is why I call on the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Mr. Johannes Hahn, to ensure that structural funds are distributed in as effective a manner as possible, to cater to the real needs of the people”, Swoboda argued, according to a release remitted to “Nine O’Clock”. He added that recent events in Romania were raising a question mark as to the most fundamental democratic principles. “This is unacceptable and, alongside the other political groups in the EP, we should call on the Romanian Government to put an end to its anti-democratic behaviour,” the official added.

We remind our readers that USL initiated last week procedures to allow the S&D and ALDE groups in the European Parliament to propose a debate on the political situation in Romania, also calling for an EP Resolution on this matter. In response, the Democrat-Liberal Party (PDL) argued that USL’s endeavour was undermining Romania’s stability and international credibility.

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