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December 7, 2022

Ponta explains why he left the CSAT meeting last Thursday

One of the motives is the proposal on creating a “mega- ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Presidential Administration.”

Premier Victor Ponta explained in a TV show the reasons that made him leave the meeting of the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT) last Thursday. According to Ponta, one of these was the fact that he did not accept the presence on the agenda of the meeting, which had been sent to him only the previous day (Wednesday, September 26), of documents about, for example, the creation of a “mega-ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Presidential Administration.” This “mega-ministry” would have operated as an office within the structure of the Presidential Administration, in charge with coordinating the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), the Ministry of European Affairs (MAEur), the public service of radio and television, the State Patrimony and Protocol Administration (RAAPPS) in view of restoring Romania’s image abroad. According to the premier, the president planned to subordinate the government via this office. “However I don’t think that the president saw the material; probably some of his advisors want to be super-ministers,” Ponta said on RTV.The PM also said that he did not accept the proposal of President Traian Basescu on adopting a decision in the CSAT about the purchase of military equipment, because such a decision belongs to the Parliament, which approves the state budget, and the acting government has a limited mandate, until the parliamentary elections. Another diverging point resulted from a document which ruled that CSAT was due to pronounce about all the processes of privatisation and on appointing managers to state companies. Ponta mentioned that he will accept the intervention of the Council only in the case of privatisation processes that pose a risk to national security.  “This is a matter of principles: the president cannot take attributions that belong to the government; he must get used to the idea that we must collaborate. Collaboration does not mean subordination. I am not the subordinate, but the collaborator of the president,” the prime minister said. Ponta added that, from his point of view, there is the chance of a reasonable collaboration with the president, starting from the idea that his objections were taken into consideration in the final decision adopted by the CSAT last Thursday.On the other hand, the US Embassy of Bucharest hailed CSAT’s decision on purchasing multirole airplanes, saying that this is a step towards modernising the Romanian Armed Forces, which will increase the interoperability with NATO and will help Romania fulfill its obligations within the Alliance. “Romania is an appreciated partner, a strategic partner and an ally, and we want to further consolidate the excellent relation between the two countries,” reads a press release issued by the Public Diplomacy Office of the US Embassy.

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