POLITICS

Basescu wants Ponta to lead CFR Marfa privatisation, delays appointment for August 23


President Traian Basescu said Monday evening that he is in no rush to nominate a new minister of Transportation, bringing as main argument the privatisation of CFR Marfa. Basescu insisted that Premier Victor Ponta, who took the interim office until a new minister is appointed, should ‘politically assume’ the privatisation of the railway company.
Basescu stated that, although he received the formal request from PM Victor Ponta to nominate liberal Ovidiu Silaghi as Transportation minister, he is not pressed to reject it either. Basescu claims that he cannot reject this nomination as long as he does not know whom Ponta would appoint next. “I could find myself with an even worse proposal, and then what should I do?” he wondered. He said that he will make a decision concerning Silaghi on August 23.

Basescu described Silaghi as “someone lacking performance, who brings no benefit of image for the government,” insisting that he does not trust him.
Basescu explained that his mistrust is the consequence of Silaghi’s poor performance as minister of Transportation, because he did not make himself noticed with anything, he was some sort of “holy water”, meaning that did neither something good, nor something wrong.
Basescu added that the government’s announcement about having to wait for the go-ahead of the Competition Council for signing the privatisation contract of CFR Marfa is “an intoxication and a lie”.
Frunda: If Basescu rejects Silaghi, Ponta may propose him again and he cannot be turned down

Gyorgy Frunda, honour advisor to PM Victor Ponta, said yesterday on RFI that, if President Basescu rejects the nomination of Ovidiu Silaghi as minister of Transport, the premier may propose him again and the head of state cannot turn down the nomination. “Politically and legally, in terms of finality, the government’s decision must be eventually accepted by the president. Even if he does not agree to the nomination of a minister, in this case of Mr. Silaghi, and rejects it, the government may appoint him for the second time and the president has no alternative,” Frunda explained.
Gyorgy Frunda added that Traian Basescu wants to delay the nomination of Silaghi so the privatisation of CFR Marfa is made by the interim minister. “I do not know what hides behind this wish, but it is likely, knowing the personality of the president, that he sets up the premier, forcing him to make a certain decision, as interim minister of Transport, or to make a decision which he discusses and reaches a compromise with him,” Frunda mentioned. “Knowing the personality of the president of the republic, I believe that he wants to become involved in the privatisation of CFR Marfa and wants his wish to be discussed, negotiated with the government, naturally through the premier, who has a double quality – minister of Transport, although he is just interim minister. Of course, he can renounce the interim office and appoint another interim minister, which is allowed by Constitution and laws, but I think this will do no good to political stability in Romania, which we reached so hard during the last year. I think it is a perturbing factor in Romania’s relations both with the EU and with economic partners. Now when possibilities to invest in Romania can be seen, I think it would be wiser to appoint a definitive minister of Transport that will take the political and legal responsibility for the decisions he will make,” Frunda added.
PNL leader Crin Antonescu said Saturday evening that President Traian Basescu told him that he leaves Premier Victor Ponta as interim minister of Transport for 45 days, so he can finalise the privatisation of CFR Marfa.
Also Saturday evening, PM Ponta announced that he will send Traian Basescu the nomination of Ovidiu Silaghi as minister and will wait for an answer, adding that – by delaying the answer – the president might as well wish to set up a criminal case against him for what he will do as interim minister of Transport.

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