Prime Minister Victor Ponta continues the series of sackings he started three weeks ago after he became Head of Government. Ponta announced yesterday during a press conference in Iasi that he will sack National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) Vice President Petru Lificiu. The Premier expressed his disapproval of the statements that Lificiu made on Wednesday about the 5 per cent hike in the price of electricity. “I am bothered by the former or current officials’ statements about the hike in the price of electricity. (…) It’s a difficult period but the manner in which you inform people is important. You have to explain why you hike the price of electricity by 5 per cent. (…) I don’t accept this kind of arrogance for which PDL was detested,” Ponta stated, being quoted by Mediafax. In what concerns the energy price hike, he pointed out that nothing will change, the things agreed with the IMF before USL came to power remaining in force. According to HotNews, the draft letter of intent sent to the IMF stipulates a 5 per cent hike in the price of electricity for all consumers by the end of June. We remind our readers that Lificiu stated on Wednesday during a press conference that “a 5 per cent hike at the end of the month doesn’t mean anything. It means we shouldn’t leave the lights on when we leave for work. It means more caution.” The decision to sack Petru Lificiu comes just a day after Justice Minister Titus Corlatean replaced National Penitentiary Administration (ANP) chief Ioan Bala after the latter stated that “the plans of three terrorist groups to break underworld leaders out from Romanian jails were foiled in time.” Sorin Dumitrascu, leader of the Penitentiary Administration’s trade unions, stated for Mediafax that Bala lied when he talked about terrorists and underworld leaders. “The former general manager lied. There was information, just like there is in the penitentiary system, stories. There were no real actions like the ones mentioned by the former director,” Dumitrascu pointed out.
Wave of sackings and appointmentsThe list of sackings does not stop here however. National Sport and Youth Authority (ANST) President Doina Melinte was sacked yesterday by Premier Ponta and replaced with Romanian Basketball Federation President Carmen Tocala. At the same time, PM Ponta appointed Sorin Vintila Mester secretary of state for the problems of revolutionaries, and Eugen Coifan President of the National Civil Servants’ Agency. Coifan held the same office in the Tariceanu Government. At the same time, Ovidiu Daescu (PSD), former coordinating director of Bihor County’s Environment Protection Agency, was appointed head of the National Environment Guard. Likewise, the government created a new secretary of state office within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the ministry now having a total of four such offices.
Ponta: Gov’t won’t protect the corruptIn the midst of a full-blown row that started after he appointed and then sacked, in less than a week, Adrian Grajdan from the helm of the State Constructions Inspectorate (ISC), after Grajdan pulled the institution from the list of plaintiffs in the “Quality Trophy” trial (a trial in which former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase received an executory sentence of two years in jail – editor’s note), Ponta reiterated yesterday that the government will not protect high officials that are involved in acts of corruption. “I’m not saying this kind of situations will not occur anymore, but I have the power to take immediate action. I won’t sit and protect them because they’re USL members,” the Premier stated. Prior to that statement, Ponta was jeered when leaving the building in which he met the USL mayors from Iasi County. The group of ten protesters shouted “Thieves, thieves” and “traitors.” The protesters accused the Premier of protecting Nastase. According to realitatea.net, the persons that jeered the Head of Government were subsequently fined by policemen for disturbing the peace.