The session lasted only fifteen minutes. Victor Ponta was represented by Deputy PM Gabriel Oprea.
Yesterday, during a 15-minute session run by President Traian Basescu, CSAT (the Supreme Council of National Defence) approved the budget drafts for national security institutions. According to a Presidential Administration press release, budget drafts for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of National Defence, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SRE), the Special Telecommunication Service (STS), and the Protection and Guard Service (SPP), were approved at yesterday’s CSAT meeting. CSAT’s approval was based on legal provisions, according to which the approval must be granted before the Romanian Parliament joint plenum state budget vote. “The approval also took into account the views of special parliamentary commissions and assurances given by these heads of institutions that they would be able to reach their goal, given these budgets, before the following budget adjustment,” the cited source notes.
On the other hand, given the approaching National Day of Romania, members of CSAT approved the promotion in rank of several officers from the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Protection and Guard Service, the press release informs.
The most important absentee at yesterday’s CSAT meeting was Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Nonetheless, the Chief Executive delegated Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea to take part in the meeting. The PM was unable to attend because several meetings were scheduled, at the same time as the CSAT session, with various prime ministers who have come to Bucharest for the Summit between China and Central and Eastern Europe.
Bogdan Oprea, spokesman for the President, stated late Monday that the CSAT meeting had been scheduled on November 28 and the date had been approved by the Prime Minister, who is also the Council’s Deputy Chairman. Oprea also pointed out “any speculations on the date when this session was scheduled are absolutely untrue and malevolent.” According to the President’s spokesman, “the urgency of the meeting was based on the fact that budgets for national security institutions must be approved by CSAT before the Romanian Parliament’s vote on the 2014 budget.”
The 2014 state budget was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies, a Decision Chamber, only Monday, November 18, the same day the session was scheduled, and the written views of the institutions involved had been submitted to CSAT’s Secretariat by Friday, November 22, Oprea said further. “Considering the Romanian President will pay an official visit abroad on Thursday (editor’s note – tomorrow) and Friday, and given the urgency of the topics on the meeting’s agenda, the CSAT session could only be scheduled for early this week,” the President’s spokesman added.
The information on a CSAT meeting having been set up yesterday was released late Monday. Among the topics on the agenda were budget proposals for national security, as well as other topics of national security interest.