POLITICS

Tony Blair in Bucharest at the invitation of PSD leader

Ex-British PM met with PSD leader Victor Ponta and PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu yesterday ahead of a Conference on European issues.

PSD leader Victor Ponta yesterday met with former British Labour PM Tony Blair. According to a press release to Nine O’Clock, the meeting took place at the PSD headquarters in Soseaua Kiseleff, upon Blair’s request. After the talks, Victor Ponta said he was quite impressed by his meeting with Blair and said that he had given him advice on how to tackle economic matters during an election year. “We talked and he encouraged me about my idea of keeping both this year and, all the more so afterwards, after coming to power, an extremely pragmatic and reliable rhetoric on economic matters. He reminded me that (…) in the economic area, in respect of job creation and growth there is simply no room for populism and promises one cannot keep afterwards’, the PSD president said. Victor Ponta also said he ‘had the chance’ to tell the former British PM about the ‘purely Romanian’ episode where President Traian Basescu had proposed him to be the new PM. ‘He smiled. I am not convinced he understood because I imagine that, to a foreigner, it’s simply incomprehensible that the president makes you an offer to become prime-minister just for the fun of it, no matter how good your English is’. Also yesterday, Tony Blair met with PM Mihai Razvan Ungureanu at Victoria Palace. On that occasion, the British official remembered the speech he gave in the Romanian Parliament in 1999 and said that, at that time, Romania’s accession to the EU seemed a hard to achieve if not impossible objective. ‘I remember that speech and that I was speaking about Romania’s accession to the European Union, something which, at that point in time, seemed an unaccomplishable objective’, Blair told Ungureanu, according to Mediafax. PM Ungureanu, on his part, said Tony Blair’s 1999 address where, in his capacity as the Prime-Minister of Great Britain, said his country was supporting inviting Romania to start EU accession talks, was extremely important for Romanians, as it gave them a feeling of security regarding the process of joining the European Union. Yesterday evening, Tony Blair was due to attend a conference on ‘The future of Europe in the new global order’, organised by the Multimedia Foundation for Local Democracy and the Centre for American Progress, where he was going to hold a speech lasting approximately 30 minutes , followed by a Q&A session moderated by journalist Emil Hurezeanu. PSD leader Victor Ponta was due to have the opening address. Realitatea.net informs that representatives of all political parties, all Romania’s ex-presidents and prime-ministers, members of the Royal House, central bank officials, heads of main Bucharest NGOs and representatives  of important universities in the country had confirmed their participation.

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