PNL has officially confirmed Stelian Tanase is their proposed candidate for the position of interim Head of TVR, Cristina Pocora, spokeswoman for PNL, stated for Mediafax. She pointed out PNL leader Crin Antonescu has informed Prime Minister Victor Ponta on PNL’s official proposal to appoint Stelian Tanase as Head of TVR, adding the PSD leader has agreed with the proposal. Pocora underlined other USL party leaders have also been informed. PNL’s new proposal was generated by the Parliamentary plenum’s failure to vet Rares Bogdan on Tuesday for the position of interim Head of TVR, as many PSD MPs did not attend the session.
Early Thursday, prior to the official announcement, TV stations Realitatea TV and Antena 3 promoted Stelian Tanase as PNL leaders’ favorite for the position of interim Director of TVR. However, Tanase stated no real propositions had been offered to him. “This is not news. Every time the TVR Director is replaced, everyone jumps on my case, as I am the favorite in the race. It’s always the same story. (…) There is nothing serious at the moment, no offer has been made and no specific discussions have been had,” Stelian Tanase stated, as cited by Mediafax. However, when asked if he has discussed the matter with PNL leader Crin Antonescu, Tanase replied he talked with the latter late Wednesday about the future of public television. “It cannot be said I have to say yes or no, or that I have agreed to anything (…) Of course, they are in a great hurry, but I am not,” Stelian Tanase added. When asked if he would be interested in running TVR, he said, “It depends on what is required of me. No one has laid the good out on the table.” Likewise, PNL leader Crin Antonescu was not eager to confirm the news immediately after it had surfaced. Early Thursday, he said the Liberals had outlined a proposal with regard to the future interim Head of TVR, which would be made public later that day, after one last discussion with the person in question.
Before Tanase was nominated, Valeriu Zgonea, Chamber of Deputies Chairman, said PSD would agree with any proposal for interim General Manager of TVR made by PNL and he underlined it is important that no void is created at the helm of TVR. Even if they nominated “grandma,” he added, it would be no problem.
Stelian Tanase has produced several political and cultural talk-shows for TVR, Antena 1, and Realitatea TV. In September 2010, he was appointed General Manager of Realitatea TV and is currently a Professor at the Political Science Faculty of the Bucharest University. Tanase has also won many television and literary awards.
PSD offers reassurance it will attend the plenum session
MPs will convene Friday at 12.00 p.m. in a joint session to appoint the interim Director of TVR, and at 11.00, the Culture Commissions are scheduled to meet. Valeriu Zgonea, Chamber of Deputies Chairman, pointed out “the issue of adopting an emergency ordinance was discussed” at a joint session of the Permanent Bureaus, but it has not been published in the Official Gazette. “The issue of adopting an Emergency Ordinance was discussed, but it has not been published in the Official Gazette yet. Therefore, the Permanent Bureaus are only analyzing Law 41, Art.21, according to which we must call a plenum session and meet a quorum. There is also the Commission’s report on the proposal for interim General Manager for no more than six months, which will be voted on; the vote is cast with vote ballots,” Zgonea explained. When asked what will happen if the Emergency Ordinance is not published in the Official Gazette by Friday, Zgonea replied, “We can also do this Monday or Tuesday. It isn’t a problem.”
The leaders of PSD MPs have given assurances that the Social-Democrat MPs will be present at the vote on Friday. “I am sure I asked them all to come. I can confirm this. We will see tomorrow how many of them will come! I hope there will be a quorum,” Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea pointed out. Parliamentary sources quoted by Mediafax have revealed that Zgonea has sent to the MPs text messages asking them to attend the joint plenum meeting on Friday: “Your presence is very important. Thank you, Valeriu Zgonea.” Marian Neacsu, the leader of PSD MPs within the Lower Chamber, stated on Thursday that he has “convened all MPs” and that at least 140 of them will definitely show up.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced at the beginning of Wednesday’s Government meeting that the Executive issued an emergency ordinance ensuring the legal framework of the appointment by the joint Parliament Bureaus of an interim management at TVR, only in case there was no quorum for the election of the public television leadership on Friday. “It will be a proposal, I hope there is quorum and it is approved. If it does not pass, based on this ordinance, therefore only as a backup plan, the joint Parliament Bureaus can appoint an interim management on maximum 60 days”, Ponta explained. Parliamentary sources quoted by Mediafax pointed out after the emergency ordinance was approved that no Liberal minister is among its approvers.
PNL President Crin Antonescu commented on Wednesday the PSD’s boycotting of the joint plenum’s vote for Rares Bogdan, stating that Victor Ponta “lost control,” adding nevertheless that he hopes this is a temporary situation and pointing out that he “encouraged” the PSD leader from this point of view. Prior to that, Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea had stated that the “anger” started off from the fact that PNL “broke the vote on the mining law fourfold,” that law being the Ponta Government’s priority.
Ponta – Antonescu exchanges
Meanwhile, the exchanges between Antonescu and Social-Democrat Premier Victor Ponta continued on Wednesday evening too. Premier Victor Ponta stated on Wednesday that PNL President Crin Antonescu had a certain commitment towards Rares Bogdan and Cozmin Gusa, whom the Liberal had told, according to the Social-Democrat, “you will have TVR if you no longer have Realitatea.” “He had a certain commitment towards Rares Bogdan and Gusa. “You will be on TVR, you will have TVR if you no longer have Realitatea too,” and he took it very personally. Mr. Antonescu took it very personally. They were two people with whom he had talked a lot lately, in a way he took the commitment “we will nominate Rares Bogdan at TVR.” And, out of reasons that are less important for the public, this didn’t happen yesterday (Tuesday – editor’s note). So the tension appeared last evening over the fact that Rares Bogdan was not appointed,” Ponta said on Romania TV.
Antonescu’s reply was not late in coming, the PNL President stating on B1TV that he has nothing to do with Cozmin Gusa and Rares Bogdan, pointing out, when referring to the Premier’s statements on this issue, that this is Victor Ponta’s “entirely mistaken impression. “It’s completely out of line. (…) It’s Mr. Ponta’s completely mistaken impression. I have no links with Cozmin Gusa and Rares Bogdan. He is simply a journalist I proposed, who was backed by Victor Ponta until the day of the vote,” Antonescu said.