POLITICS

‘Austerity not ensuring development,’ PM Ponta tells PES Congress

In Brussels, the Premier offered assurances to the EP and EC Presidents that Romania has overcome the political crisis. At the same time, PES has elected its president: Bulgaria’s Sergei Stanishev.

Premier Victor Ponta, President of PSD, attended the Party of European Socialists (PES) Congress in Brussels. During the congress, Sergei Stanishev was elected the new President of PES and a resolution titled “Together for the Europe we need” was adopted. The new PES President promised he will get involved in the campaign for the Romanian general elections this year in order to support Romanian Premier Victor Ponta, Mediafax informs, quoting novinite.com. Likewise, Hannes Swoboda, President of the Group of Socialists and Democrats within the EP, stated that the time has come for Romania to make its voice heard within the European Union. “Romania is one of the largest countries in the EU but the country’s voice has not really been heard before this government came to power. The time has come for this to happen,” the Austrian politician underlined.PM Ponta stated during the congress that he wants to prove that austerity does not ensure the path to development and growth, claiming that austerity does not represent the solution for saving Europe. Victor Ponta stated during the debate that through the measures he took he wanted to prove that “austerity and cuts are not the only path to development and growth.”“The first measure I adopted as Prime Minister was to restore the salaries and pensions because the money have to be better spent on economic and social programmes. (…) I just want to prove that austerity and cuts are not the only way to have development and growth,” Premier Victor Ponta stated.The head of the Romanian government stated that he tried to prove that there can be an alternative, a social governing programme featuring economic growth.“I tried to prove, through the example of my country, that we can have a social governing programme, we can have economic growth and we can explain to people that there is an alternative to what the Germans and other conservatives claim is the only way.

If we succeed to prove to people that there is another way, a more reasonable, a more acceptable way, then they will appreciate it more,” Victor Ponta stated.   Likewise, the Romanian Premier expressed his desire to see socialist parties registering as many victories as possible at EU level. “I hope we will register great victories for socialist parties in the European Union. I am very pleased with the advice I received from my socialist colleagues. I’m sure I had the possibility of expressing Romania’s, the government’s and PSD’s commitment towards European values, towards the values of our political family, today too. I hope the following years will be better for our political family, for our countries and for Europe. I’m sure I will continue to enjoy your support during the elections,” Victor Ponta stated. At the same time, after meeting European Parliament President Martin Schulz, PM Ponta stated that he assured him, just as he assured European Commission President Jose Barroso, that Romania has overcome the political crisis and that “both sides” learnt their lesson. “I analyzed the very difficult situation in recent months and I consulted the Premier, who told me that the situation in the country is calm now and the institutions are in their right. We talked about the Schengen issue too and about the EU report on this issue. We discussed in a private framework about the political scene, from the point of view of Premier Ponta, and we reached the conclusion that between friends there are moments of disagreement too,” Schulz stated after meeting Ponta.According to him another conclusion of the talks was that “personal appreciation is a solid basis for cooperation even in very profound problems.”In his turn, Premier Ponta stated that he is glad he talked with Schulz, who is the president of the most legitimate European body but also Romania’s friend and supporter. He added that Romania needs the European Union but the European Union needs Romania too. Ponta added that the EC and EP Presidents have a “much improved” stance in what concerns Romania and pointed out that our country needs “a relation as good as possible with European institutions.”Referring to Leonard Orban’s candidature for an office at the European Court of Accounts, Ponta stated that the final decision belongs to the European Parliament.

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