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May 22, 2022
POLITICS

PM Ponta: “I have answered Brussels’ questions”

Interim president Antonescu: Romania’s laws are made in Romania.

Premier Victor Ponta said on Antena 3 TV Friday night that he had already answered the checklist received from the European Commission, explaining that those were questions and not requirements. ‘I didn’t feel very good about being pushed with the back against the wall without being listened to,’ Ponta said. He noted that he had assured EC that Romanian judiciary was independent and explained procedures leading to the suspension of Basescu. ‘Those were not demand. There were 11 questions. Barroso asked questions, he had information, some of that was correct, some was incorrect (…),’ the prime minister said. He further added that he explained to the president of the Commission that the Boc Government had amended by executive decree the Referendum Law in 2009 and his Government had passed its own executive decree on the referendum at the beginning of July, ‘because the Parliament had adopted a law that was being blocked by Basescu and PDL’. Ponta said Basescu and ‘his people’ had been on a campaign designed to mislead international mass media, as well as European and American partners, a campaign that is now slowly dismantled, admitting that it would probably take months if not years to ‘wash’ Romania’s image.

‘President of Romania does not take orders from anyone’

Friday night, interim President Crin Antonescu made a public statement trying to take distance from the international criticism that had kept coming in the previous two weeks. ‘It has been said that the President of the European Commission had told PM Ponta to tell the president of Romania that he is not allowed to replace anyone in the leadership of the Prosecution, well, in short, a <to do> or more exactly <to do not> list. I would like to make it very clear again: the president of Romania, with full powers or interim, does not take orders and instructions from anyone, except the Parliament in specific situations and the Romanian people when it is called to state its opinion,’ Antonescu said. He noted that it was a very clear thing known to any democrat anywhere in the world. He reminded of something he had said the night he took over his mandate as interim president, namely that the heads of the General Prosecution and DNA were not going to be replaced. ‘What I said, I do,’ he added. ‘Romania’s laws which, through the effects of the Constitution, are bound to comply with all international commitments Romania has signed, are made in Romania and are not to be negotiated in any other place,’ the interim president also said. He pointed out that it is a sovereignty principle enshrined in the Fundamental Law no one can or has questioned. He said there was no such things as the ‘ten commandments’ of EC President Jose Barroso to Premier Victor Ponta, because there was no document on that and also because it would have meant an overstepping of boundaries of competence by the European Commission. ‘How could Mr. Barroso have given orders to the prime minister of Romania on what the president – even if interim – of Romania are supposed to do? That’s unimaginable and we have to clearly say what the truth is,’ Antonescu said.According to the interim president, ‘Romania’s image was very seriously hurt, in an unprecedented manner in the recent years’ following ‘a whole knot of misrepresentations, confusion and manipulation’. ‘A few things need to be clarified: The Constitution has only been broken by the suspended president, Traian Basescu and by no one else,’ Antonescu stressed.

PM: One has to learn German in today’s Europe

Attending the July 14 celebration organised by the French Embassy on Saturday, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said, in the previous couple of days, he had spoken a lot in French, English, Portuguese and Italian but, unfortunately, he could not speak German. ‘However – he said – it is very clear that this is a language that ahs to be learnt in Europe today.’ The PM thus alluded to the latest criticism coming from Berlin. According to Mediafax, after that he also had brief talks with German Ambassador to Bucharest Andreas von Mettenheim, who was present at the same event, who told him that he didn’t need to speak German to conduct a dialogue with Berlin officials. The prime minister said that, in the period until the referendum on July 29, he would only make one trip abroad, to Chisinau, and the already announced visits to Paris and Berlin might happen afterwards.At the event held at the French Embassy, French Ambassador Philippe Gustin said French companies planning to develop their investment in Romania needed security about the future, as uncertainty is the enemy of investors. On the same occasion, interim President Crin Antonescu said Romania hailed President Francois Hollande’s initiative in respect of the Growth Pact and the change of attitude on Europe’s economic situation. According to a release posted on the official website of the Government in Berlin quoted by Mediafax, the German Government on Saturday told Romanian Ambassador to Berlin Lazar Comanescu that the measures pushed by the Victor Ponta Government which limit the powers of the Constitutional Court and the postponement of the publication of its rulings were a serious threat to the principle of the separation of powers. At the same time, Germany’s Government says CC decision of July 10 on the referendum separation for the impeachment of President Traian Basescu should be implemented. Michael Georg Link, Minister of State in the Federal Foreign Affairs Ministry in Berlin, stated in an interview granted to Mediafax on Friday that the questions asked by the German Government to the Romanian Government had been more than necessary given the speed of political changes in the country. Visiting Bucharest on Thursday and Friday, Link said he had talked to officials about the concerns and questions of the Federal Government sent to Romanian counterpart in connection with the recent domestic politics developments, the referendum scheduled for July 29 as well as the conduct of Romanian politicians in the previous 10 years.

 

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