PM denies STS jamming IMF – Fin Min discussions

Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated he knows nothing of STS (the Special Telecommunications Service) having been asked to jam the interception of discussions with the IMF delegation on Thursday at the Ministry of Finance headquarters and he added that he does not believe this information to be true, Mediafax reports. “Let’s be serious. I don’t know. I never heard of it and I don’t believe it is true,” the PM replied. Ponta clarified the issue at a press conference in Sibiu, when asked by reporters if the STS was requested to jam the interception of negotiations held with International Monetary Fund representatives. When asked who he was afraid of, Ponta replied jokingly, “The Americans.”
Late Thursday, Finance representatives and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Commission (EC) delegations talked about the main fiscal policies and state budget indicators for 2014. Official sources have said the Special Telecommunications Service (STS) was asked by Romanian authorities to jam the interception of discussions and ministry employees were stripped of their mobile phones before entering the meeting room. According to sources, only members of the IMF and EC delegations and Finance officials were allowed to keep their mobile phones. On the other hand, STS has stated it was not requested to jam the interception of Thursday’s discussions with IMF representatives at the Pokies Ministry of Finance headquarters. “The request came from Liviu Voinea, Minister Delegate for the Budget, and STS installed a jamming device in the meeting room. Finance officials attending the discussions were asked to place their mobile phones in a special box and nominal lists of participants to the negotiations were compiled,” sources said. They also claim only members of the IMF and EC delegations and Finance officials were allowed to keep their mobile phones.
Antonescu: Romania’s agreement with the IMF, a “handicap”
Meanwhile, PNL president Crin Antonescu said yesterday in Sinaia, during a debate on ‘Romania for the business environment’ organised by PNL, attended by representatives of the business environment and by young liberals, that being in an agreement with the IMF “is not good” for Romania and this is an “unfortunate and temporary” situation and “a handicap,” because our country cannot really have an economic policy. He also blamed the way Romanian politicians approach the matter related to the agreement between Romania and the IMF, which he described as “a wrong approach,” because the decision makers of Romania do not have “a realistic and thorough discussion” about the IMF and the relation between the country and the international financial institution. “We cannot have a very thorough discussion about the development of the Romanian economy,” the PNL leader mentioned.

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