The leaderships of PSD and PNL met yesterday at noon, in separate meetings, in order to discuss the latest events concerning USL, while the meeting agreed by USL leaders in order to discuss the disagreements that appeared was postponed in order to avoid the continuation of the media scandal, USL sources quoted by Mediafax stated. PSD’s Permanent Bureau met at Parliament while the meeting of PNL’s leadership was taking place at the PNL headquarters, being attended by the party’s executive vice presidents and group leaders. Before the Liberal leadership’s meeting, PNL President and USL Co-President Crin Antonescu stated that the “Rosca Stanescu episode is closed” and that in his opinion there is no longer a crisis within USL. He was asked whether Victor Ponta told him that he is giving up his request for Rosca Stanescu to be sanctioned or whether he hinted that.
“I’m sorry, after the talks we had, after the Premier’s statements, after the statements made by PSD Executive President Dragnea, I believe things are very, very clear for everyone, as hard as it might be for some to understand,” the PNL President stated. PSD Executive President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday evening for ‘Gandul’ that USL will not break up if PNL does not sanction Rosca Stanescu because “a political crisis” is not to be desired. Antonescu also pointed out yesterday that Sorin Rosca Stanescu did not offer his resignation as the pesurse.ro website had claimed yesterday morning. According to the aforementioned source, Antonescu allegedly refused his resignation because if he were to give up now more will follow. Victor Ponta was more nuanced than his alliance partner, seeming in a way upset with the fact that the Liberals did not even give a sanction to Rosca Stanescu. Ponta thus stated that in the following period PNL has to prove through actions its solidarity with PSD. “Only through actions, because talks and agreements were not respected,” Ponta said. “Up next is a period in which we should prove that we can all be in office just like we were all in the opposition,” Ponta said, pointing out that the crisis caused by the Rosca Stanescu case will be over through solidarity. He pointed out that for PSD the important thing is for PNL to show solidarity in Parliament, in government and at local level too. Ponta added that at this moment USL is functioning based on necessity, emphasizing that Romania can only be governed in a stable manner by USL and that he does not want to cohabitate with the Liberal leader as he does with Traian Basescu. Ponta stated that PSD does not have a back-up plan in case PNL will not prove its solidarity within the government. “We rely on the fact that together with PNL, PC and UNPR we will govern until 2016,” Ponta said.He explained that USL must consider the moment after the Rosca Stanescu crisis as a new beginning and presented the concrete solution after the meeting of PSD: renegotiating the protocol with PNL. “We must form a negotiation team and update the protocol, new situations appeared and I think that, after this tense moment, we must re-discuss the protocol.
We must have mechanisms for strengthening solidarity. It was easier when we were in opposition, now in power people are upset. It was also him that broke the DA Alliance. He knows very well what he does,” the prime minister said.Ponta added yesterday that the expulsion of Stanescu from PNL does not represent a guarantee for PSD. “I don’t care what PNL does with Rosca Stanescu. I never said what PNL should do with Rosca Stanescu. If they expel him today and tomorrow there is another Liberal that does the same thing, what good would this be for us? Nothing.
We are interested by a certain attitude which has not been very clear of late, meaning that ministers were in the government and some PNL parliamentarians were in opposition, which is wrong,” Ponta mentioned. He added that the term of “ultimatum” he allegedly gave to PNL is just a word used by the press.Also yesterday, the honorary president of PSD, Ion Iliescu said that PSD must not risk breaking USL by asking PNL to expel Senator Rosca Stanescu as a condition to maintain the alliance, because USL must not be compromised by someone who troubles the water only to gain personal importance.PSD vice-president Ilie Sarbu, who is also the father-in-law of PM Ponta, has a contrary opinion and said Sunday evening for Romania TV that “PNL must choose between the alliance and Sorin Rosca Stanescu.” “USL breaks tomorrow if Rosca Stanescu does not leave,” the leader of PSD senators said for RTV.net. In his opinion, “there is an accumulation and people start gaining courage if they see that nothing happens to Rosca Stanescu.” Sarbu gave as example the two Liberal senators of Bihor who threatened that they will initiate a simple motion against the minister of Environment, Rovana Plumb. “It did not happen in 22 years that your ruling partner initiates a motion against you. We cannot work like this,” the PSD senator warned. The central media quoted yesterday deputy premier and Finance Minister Daniel Chitoiu, who last week accused his colleague, the Social-Democrat Minister of Energy Constantin Nita of making “idiotic statements.”“As you know, last year we liberalized the energy market and investments increased, but they were stopped last month because of an idiotic statement made by minister Nita on the investments in electricity, because they blocked all investments in this sector. Banks stopped any financing and all the on-going projects, which is a disaster for the energy sector,” the Finance minister said, according to an audio record made during the BPN meeting of PNL, held on May 16.
The conflict inside USL started from a row provoked by four Liberals, the members of the Parliament Committee that probes the phone tapping of the Romanian judge to the ECHR, Corneliu Barsan. They resigned early last week, with the most vocal being Sorin Rosca Stanescu, vice-president of the committee, who accused the Social-Democrats of turning down the hearing of the judge in the senatorial committee. “It became obvious that our partners, especially those of PSD, have the mission of burying it,” S.R. Stanescu said. “I have the feeling that, involuntarily, as we try to uncover the truth about this phone tapping, we get closer to a very serious case and I would not be surprised to learn someday that it leads to Traian Basescu and the chief of SRI,” the PNL senator stated.