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September 26, 2021

Power, Opposition row over Basescu’s speech in parliament

Representatives of the Power and of the Opposition yesterday attacked each other on the subject of President Basescu’s speech and suggestions he made in parliament on Wednesday. PSD Honorary President Ion Iliescu said that, with his speech in parliament on the restoration of wages in the public sector, President Traian Basescu had violated the Constitution regarding his powers and sent a signal before an election. ‘He went public to cut wages by 25 per cent, diminish slash other income as well, overall decreasing people’s income by 40 per cent. It wasn’t his call, it would have been the responsibility of the government to take care of that’, Mediafax quotes Iliescu as having said. At the same time, the ex-President accused Basescu of encouraging a hostile position of the government team against the Opposition and of doing nothing to foster dialogue with the Opposition, referring to Basescu’s request that the Opposition should return to the parliament. PSD Senator Olguta Vasilescu, on her part, excluded the possibility that the Opposition might return to parliament for talks on how the Constitution should be rewritten. In addition, she admonished the president over his statement regarding the fact that salaries would need to go back to where they were in 2010, pointing out that wages should have been restored on January 1, 2011 according to the Constitutional Court ruling.PNL President Crin Antonescu also described the president’s call on the Opposition to return in parliament as ‘an embarrassing and lame hypocrisy’, adding that, ‘with things like that’, the president had fooled Romanians twice already. PDL Spokesman Sever Voinescu answered saying that Antonescu ‘had given a radical and stiff’ answer to the president’s invitation. ‘We are asking Mr. Crin Antonescu to try to think decently. (…) We would like to remind the Opposition that we are waiting for them in parliament’, he said. Another subject raised by Antonescu and Voinescu was the establishment of the Hungarian language chair at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Targu-Mures insistently demanded by UDMR these days. Antonescu encouraged PM Ungureanu publicly to ‘resist UDMR’s blackmail’, after several Union leaders, starting with Vice-President Marko Bela, had threatened to defect from government. Voinescu also said that the situation of UMF Targu-Mures should have been dealt with by the university itself and not by the government.

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