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January 28, 2023

Ponta: In 2013 we must amend the Constitution

The PM said he was not afraid of the recently-established center-right alliance and specified that a new suspension process against the president is not politically viable for now.
Premier Victor Ponta on Friday laid out some of the priorities of the Social Liberal Union (USL), among which the amending of the Constitution in 2013 and continuous cooperation with the minorities group after the parliamentary election this autumn, ‘even if we lack an absolute majority”. Referring to constitutional amendments, Ponta said that the experience prior to 1989 and that during the Basescu regime “showed we have a structural and constitutional system problem”. “The Constitution needs to find new assurances that nobody could amass all the power in their hands anymore and state institutions can no longer get deadlocked among themselves so that we won’t have to go to the Constitutional Court every day,” Ponta said during an Antena 3. Referring to the USL cooperation with minority group lawmakers, he said they were loyal in their cooperation with him as a prime minister.
Asked whether he is afraid of former premier Mihai Razvan Ungureanu and the rightist alliance is building, Ponta had this to say: “I, afraid of Neamtu, Papahagi, Ungureanu? Let’s get serious. (…) Frankly, they are ridiculous, Mr. Basescu is the only one that is”. Ponta also mentioned that a new impeachment procedure would not be viable politically speaking as of now, but be believed a “constitutional way is worth using for the current situation to be solved”.
“Cohabitation with Basescu supposes Schengen solutions and EU funds”
Victor Ponta said he would not attend the European Council meetings in Bruss­els and asked President Basescu to go instead, outlining that a cohabitation between them calls for cooperation on access to Schengen and the solving of issues related to EU funds.  “If this country’s president cries out about a state coup, it is normal to be denied access< to Schengen Area>,”  Ponta said, according to whom, Basescu must get involved in the European funds issue, given that, on the basis of the audit in the past couple of years, “this autumn could witness some “very bad decisions against Romania”. “If Mr. Basescu chooses the demagogical and populist path and says «the USL Government», it means the cohabitation story in Romania remains but a story,” the PM outlined.
German press, the reason for changing the IS congress from Bucharest
Asked about the party of European Socialists (PES) being moved to Brussels, Ponta said that the German Socialists would not have come to Bucharest for the congress, given the problems they would have had with the German press. “They will have elections and I very much wish them to win the election, namely for Mrs. Merkel and the CDU to lose. (…) The idea was, they would have been attacked by the German press, given what it did to us,” the premier said, who added that, in Germany, “Ceausescu’s former Securitate”, taken over afterwards, “ had and continues to have the best people in the press,” who only write the best about the country.  From the ‘we serve the country’ series. Their name is Schwarz, yet they speak Romanian as I and you do and it is only their soul that is “Schwarz” <German for black> “. Ponta also said that the attacks against Romania lately came mostly from the German members of the People’s Party, adding that there should be rethought the way in which “Traian Basescu made Romania into a monopoly area of the German Christian-Democrats”.
Separately, the PM announced that he had been elected vice-president of the Socialist International (SI), adding that his election is a success for the Social Democratic Party (PSD). He also said that in his vice-president capacity, he must attend, every six months, to the meetings of the socialist leaders. The Romanian PM attended the SI meeting in in Cape Town, South Africa, last week, where he had several political meetings.
PM wants a new DNA head and prosecutor general
Also, at the government session Saturday, Premier Ponta asked Justice Minister Mona Pivniceru to launch the proceedings for nominating a new head of the national Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), and from Oct 1, a new prosecutor general. Ponta also stated that the new minister must make sure that justice operates to the benefit of citizens. “While the reports are important, the most important thing is for Romanians to be content with how justice really does justice,” the PM said.

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