Ponta: No one from USL will take Basescu’s offer for PM

The premier also said Wednesday night that the measures announced by ARD in its ruling programme were blatant lies and that, even if his talks with Traian Basescu on Wednesday had been normal, he was not ‘so naïve’ as to believe in cohabitation.

During a TV show , PM Victor Ponta revisited the subject of the future prime minister of Romania after the parliamentary election in December. He said neither Mircea Geoana, nor Ioan Rus, nor anyone else form USL would take a possible offer to be prime minister from President Traian Basescu, adding he was convinced the president would accept USL’s nominee. ‘Mr. Geoana will decline. Anyone else from USL will say to him: <Thank you, we’ll pass.> (…) Mr. Rus is also in USL, but this story about Rus being designated as prime minister… no way. And he will not accept it even if Basescu makes the offer,’ Ponta said on Antena 3 TV. He added he was convinced that the president would recognise the absolute majority vote USL would obtain in the parliamentary election and would designate the prime minister proposed by the Union, pointing out things were very clear from that point of view, including in the discussions with ‘those who supported Basescu in the summer’, because no one is going to endorse a new political crisis. The prime minister also spoke about his meeting with President Traian Basescu, saying it had been ‘abnormally normal’, but that he was not so naive as to expect a smooth cohabitation with the president. Ponta said again that it was not his intention to pick up a new constitutional argument, but that he would not be passive either if the president resumed attacks on the government. ‘I am cautious and ready,’ Ponta concluded. The USL leader also said the measures announced by ARD in its ruling programme are ‘blatant lies’ generating major budget loss and breaking the payroll envelope agreed upon with the IMF. ‘Those things are nothing but lies. Well, knowing they come from Videanu, I shouldn’t be surprised. (…) That’s a blatant lie!’ Ponta said for Antena 3 Tv. He pointed out that decreasing the flat tax from 16 to 12 per cent as ARD promises would generate a shortage of RON 11 bn in the budget, which has to be filled from another source which ARD does not indicate. The premier also said that increasing the minimum wage was a good idea, one also presented by USL, but a measure that makes private employers raise minimum wages. For that reason, either they should be consulted first, or the government should compensate that by measures in the area of social security contributions, at the same time generating the braking of the salary envelope negotiated with the International Monetary Fund. Regarding the invitation made to him by ARD campaign chief Adriean Videanu to have a ‘one-to-one’ debate, challenging him to prove that he is ‘a political man’, Victor Ponta said he would accept to have a debate with Videanu ‘with the unpleasant feeling of a prosecutor who meets with one of his clients’, but only if he is the official ARD nomination for PM.

Blaga: We have not made a decision on PM designation

PDL leader Vasile Blaga has also mentioned an ARD candidate for prime minister. He told Realitatea TV that ARD had not yet decided on the prime minister the alliance would propose after the parliamentary election, but promised that person would in no way be ‘a liar and imposture like Victor Ponta’. ‘Mr. Videanu has all the required background, but we have not made a decision, because we know better. We have enough people. In the 2008 campaign, we paraded with a prime minister, Mr. Stolojan, who eventually turned down the offer. I think the voters see enough people who are well prepared from a professional point of view. I am not going to give you a name, because I want to see how each of them behaves and how passionate they are in campaign,’ Vasile Blaga said. When the TV host insisted on the finding out more about the option of Videanu as prime minister, Blaga said: ‘We are not going to have a liar, an impostor like Ponta. We will have someone reliable, with foresight, someone who can implement the ruling programme.’  Vasile Blaga added that, after election, if he was to choose a ruling partner, he would naturally choose PNL, because the Social Democrats are – he said – far too populist. ‘A natural alliance would clearly be with PNL. PSD is extremely populist. That party will go on making the same promises it could not fulfil six months ago.’ PDL leader Vasile Blaga also said President Traian Basescu ‘would not engage’ in the election campaign for the parliament election, but added it would be of much help ‘if he told the truth about the fact that Victor Ponta has blocked Romania’.

Lazaroiu: In PSD, many are after the PM office, especially since they can smell cadaver

The president’s adviser, Sebastian Lazaroiu, states on Facebook that he has closely followed the arguments with which Victor Ponta is trying to convince people that he would still be prime minister after election and keeps saying that he doesn’t see him in that position after December 9, bringing five arguments in support of his belief. One of Lazaroiu’s arguments is that many people in PDL are after the PM position, ‘especially since they can smell cadaver’.


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