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August 3, 2021

Coalition leaders sign protocol for EU stability pact ratification

Renewed calls on the opposition to sign it.

Ruling coalition leaders have signed yesterday in Parliament, in the presence of PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, the protocol concerning the ratification of the EU fiscal governance treaty. The signatory parties thus agreed that they will support the Head of State in signing this document at the European Council scheduled on March 1-2 and will back in Parliament the ratification of the treaty by December 31, 2012.

The ruling coalition had agreed the day before to adopt the fiscal governance treaty through a Parliamentary procedure. Ruling coalition sources quoted by Mediafax pointed out that the treaty will be adopted through a special law that will be voted in Parliament. The ruling coalition parties took that decision because adopting the treaty by modifying the Constitution would have been a difficult process, considering that the opposition is against any modification brought to the Constitution prior to Parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu stated that he hopes that PSD, PNL and PC will sign the protocol too.

“The signing of this protocol is open to all Parliamentary parties. I hope that PSD, PNL and PC will sign this protocol that is part of the issues that concern major national interests. We’re not talking about partisanship here and these are not empty words,” Ungureanu stated. Asked when Romania will ratify the treaty through a special law, as the leaders of the ruling coalition agreed, Ungureanu stated that the government will reveal the details at the appropriate time.

PDL President Emil Boc stated after the signing of the protocol that the treaty insures the country’s budgetary health and consolidates its economic growth. “By ratifying the treaty Romania will consolidate its credible position within the EU and will sit at the same table with the biggest European powers. It’s a treaty against populism and it shelters the economy,” Boc stated. He reiterated that the signing of this protocol continues to be open to the opposition. The latter has refused to sign it for the time being.

“If the opposition were to sign it, it would be the most important gesture of political responsibility in the last 20 years. This is a hand extended to the opposition in order for it to take part in this national initiative,” Boc stated, adding that the ruling coalition parties are waiting for a continuation of dialogue on this issue but also on the issues proposed by USL.

Sources quoted by Mediafax pointed out on Tuesday that the ruling coalition leaders want to start consultations with the opposition but no precise mandate has been established.

In his turn Kelemen Hunor, president of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), said the treaty provides a healthy economic growth, competitiveness and offers an exit from crisis. “Joining the treaty does not mean less sovereignty or political losses. Romania would be unable to get out of the crisis. There needs to be some responsible fiscal policies, we should stop relying on endless borrowing. I’m convinced that the Opposition, too, will sign the protocol,” the UDMR leader said.

Gabriel Oprea, executive president of the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR), said that, by signing the Treaty, Romania will send a strong message to international financial markets, and that credit rating agencies already consider that Romania has done its homework. “UNPR is a strong ally of this treaty,” said Oprea.

Varujan Pambuccian, leader of the National Minorities Group, said that Romania qualifies for many sections in the treaty, yet this should be followed by another treaty that needs to stipulate several remedies to the difficulties Europe is facing. “The signing moment is important, we should be among the first of its signatories,” said Pambuccian.

PSD – critic of power’s rush to sign the treaty

The representatives of the Social-Liberal Union (USL) did not attend the protocol signing ceremony, with the Social-Democrat Party (PSD) actually holding a debate of its own on the fiscal stability treaty. Among the attendees, Adrian Nastase, president of the PSD National Council,  PSD, Ion Iliescu – honourary PSD president,  Valentin Lazea, chief economist National Bank of Romania (BNR), former ministers Daniel Daianu and Ilie Serbanescu
Adrian Nastase said that the fiscal governance Treaty could be ratified by Parliament’s passage of an ordinary law, given its being regulated by the Romanian laws on inter-governmental agreements. He also said that, given the financial implications of Romania’s potential joining of the fiscal governance Treaty, the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT) too should have had its say on the issue. According to Nastase, even if Romania were not to sign the Treaty in March “it wouldn’t miss the train”, considering the Treaty remains open for accession.

For his part, Ion Iliescu said that Romanian authorities are indeed rushing into signing the Treaty without first examining its consequences to Romania: “While we <USL>  neither have reservations or negative attitudes towards it, we nonetheless want to have a better understanding of it, to look into it and figure it out. (…) I don’t understand all this haste, when everybody in Europe is carefully looking into it (…) I don’t grasp it why Mr. Basescu is in such a hurry, how knowledgeable he is about this issue and how much he understands of the economics and what he makes of it all, why he is pushing an entire country into such adventure.”

President Traian Basescu invited at Cotroceni Palace, on Monday, the leaders of the parties and groupings represented in Parliament for talks on Romania’s prospective ratification of the Treaty, inter-party dialogue and the operation of Parliament, yet coalition government parties alone honoured the invitation. At the meeting, Basescu urged the Opposition to join the action so that the signing is done at the soonest, despite its actual passage to only be accomplished before the end of this year.

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