After PM Victor Ponta had said on Monday that, based on the information he held, President Traian Basescu had not been a collaborator of the former Securitate, but actually a counter-intelligence officer, the president hit back Wednesday night. Basescu responded to Ponta’s allegation by saying he was not a covert or counter-intelligence officer of the former political police, or SRI or of SIE. ‘The other day he was tormented by the fact that I could have done political police or, more seriously, that I had been a counter-intelligence officer,’ Basescu said, referring to Ponta. Asked if he was planning on taking the PM to court over his allegation regarding his ties to the former Securitate, the president avoided giving a straight answer. ‘I will do something else to him’ – he said, laughing, without saying what exactly. The president continued by criticising the PM and even USL over a variety of themes. Basescu accused Victor Ponta of lying when he said that the EU had informed that EU POSDRU funds were up and running again. ‘Regarding the relations with the EU – they keep deteriorating. In November, the Government received an avalanche of letters not bringing exactly the best news,’ said Basescu. He added that the Government had remorselessly settled for 25 per cent corrections and had already paid up the money. The president also said ‘Dr. Victor Viorel Ponta’ must mandate the representative of the Government ‘to fight’ for setting a definite date for the country’s entry to Schengen and the Government should also take steps in order to have the note on Romania and Bulgaria removed from the Commission biannual Schengen governance report. Basescu further spoke of the EC letter sent to the Government on the designation of the members of the ANRE regulatory board, which – he said – suggests the selection of candidates was ‘non-transparent, without criteria and without sufficient public information’, as well as dedicated to ‘talented, worthy people’. The president continued with an attack on USL, presenting several papers he claimed were memos from the USL ‘message box’, saying his name was quoted 25 times in one day, having been mentioned 19 times the day before. ‘In four pages I am mentioned for a total of 25 times in the message box on the 5th, the day before I was mentioned 19 times. It shows what this campaign has actually been all about and what a big liar Victor Viorel Ponta is, otherwise dottore, doctor Victor Viorel Ponta, speaking of cohabitation,’ Basescu said. He also noted that USL had released a message directed straight to him: ‘Let go to the polls as many as we can, in order to defeat Traian Basescu!’ ‘When is Victor Viorel Ponta honest – when he speaks of cohabitation or when he calls me a campaign target?’ the president asked. Traian Basescu then moved on to attacks on Ioan Rus and Calin Popescu Tariceanu. He said they should stop ‘eating their heart out’ about a possible designation as leaders of the Government, reassuring, ironically, that, in reality, he had in mind Adrian Nastase or Dan Voiculescu for the job. Afterwards, he adopted a serious air to say that the Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Mihai Tanasescu, would live up to the requirements of the position as prime minister anytime, as he was capable to cope with crisis situations. The president however added he would not designate him in the current political context and that he would not accept the position because of the salary. The president also said, after the election, he would only invite parties over for consultations for the designation of the PM, if none obtained over 50 per cent of the vote and that USL would just have to live with that, noting that the USL parties had an issue with mutual trust. Basescu explained that, if no political party obtained 50 per cent in election, they would all have a chance o participate in the talks and be a part of the ruling coalition and he was there in order to guarantee that.Traian Basescu also said that, if he received proposals to appoint ministers appearing in criminal cases, he would not have the right to refuse to sign the investment decrees if they had the vote of the Parliament, but he had the right to sign, simultaneously, also the decrees for suspending them. The president said he would do that only in the case of ministers who were not elected MPs at the same time, because, in their particular case, they can only be suspended by Parliament. Regarding the candidates for prosecutor general and DNA chief-prosecutor, Basescu said he had not received any document or any request to have talks from the Minister of Justice, Mona Pivniceru. ‘I haven’t received anything. I have not received any request for talks and any documents. Therefore, zero action on behalf of the minister of justice,’ Basescu said.