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July 31, 2021

‘We are on the edge of the precipice’ – President Basescu warns Romanians

President Traian Basescu warned on Tuesday evening the country is on the edge of the precipice, and Romania risks being turned isolated, during a press conference at Cotroceni Presidential Palace in Bucharest.

The head of state revealed that the message from Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, whose visit took place at the end of the last week, was very serious.

Romanians should be worried, Traian Basescu warned, pointing to the threats to the rule of law that started in 2012.

“I want to deliver a correct message, the visit was not one for sending congratulations for ten years within NATO. Everything was related to the rule of law,” Basescu said. The president stressed that Victoria Nuland visited Bucharest to send a message as an emissary of the US government, as the US and the EU have invested very much in Romanian institutions so that they work in a mode similarly to the ones in any other rule of law governed state.

President Traian Basescu said the parliamentary majority has had a behavior meant to weaken the state of law.

The statement comes days after the Romanian officials said the discussions with Victoria Nuland were confidential and not meant to be released to the public.

“I want Romanians to understand that we are one step away to the precipice. If the parliamentary majority does it again and continues to attack the rule of law, by trying to amend the legal framework or through statements, Romanian risks becoming isolated for a long time to come,” Basescu said. He pointed out that the attacks against the justice system are reason for concern for political partners.

President Basescu stressed that if there are further negative signals related to the rule of law, measures will be carried out. “Politicians can no longer lie. The messages were expressed in a diplomatic way, but in a firm manner,” he said.

Basescu further appealed to USL leaders Victor Ponta and Crin Antonescu to understand the country has been brought to a difficult situation through the expressed positions against justice. “Nobody is taking them into consideration, but they are doing a bad thing,” he said, adding Romania is no longer trusted, as international political partners are placing in doubt the progress regarding justice independence. “I will fight for justice independence, this is my target until the end of my mandate as president,” Basescu said.

Referring to the soon to come IMF official visit to Bucharest, Basescu openly said he is against the new excise on fuel and he is going to oppose it further.

President Traian Basescu said the referendum on constitutional amendments to be held together with the European elections in May needs to take into consideration issues like the Constitutional Court decision 682/2009 regarding the cut in number of MPs to 300 and a unicameral parliament. “Crin Antonescu’s intention to amend the constitution will not pass through the Constitutional Court. I believe no draft for Constitutional amendments will get over the CC without taking into consideration the 2009 referendum,” Basescu said.

One should take into consideration that the head of state attacked the USL leaders on matters related to justice. One may ask where from does the president know what the CC decision would be.

Antonescu sharply replies, no ‘isolation’ message had been sent

Liberal leader Crin Antonescu sharply replied Tuesday evening to President Basescu’s statements, saying that the head of state has had misinformed Romanians. He posed as an emissary of Victoria Nuland. No US official has ever sent the message Romania is to be isolated, or is on the edge of the precipice, Antonescu said.

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