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December 6, 2021

Ponta and Antonescu lash out at each other via televisions

“Ponta went to Barroso to take the order, like waiters do,” the PNL leader said.  “Antonescu does not know how a government operates,” the premier answered.

The two co-presidents of USL, Crin Antonescu and Victor Ponta lashed out at each other, remotely, Monday evening, over the nomination of Klaus Iohannis as vice-premier, and also over PSD’s decision to form an alliance with UNPR and PC (the Social Democratic Union – USD) in view of the elections for the European Parliament, due to be held this year.
The series of sharp statements was started by the leader of PNL, who accused Ponta that “the next day after an overwhelming victory (allusion to the referendum for the impeachment of the president) went to sign a pact with Basescu and also went to “Barroso, to take the order, like waiters do.” “It is not me who did these things, so I should not be the target of the suspicion that I ignore millions of votes in order to make Traian Basescu prime-minister,” Antonescu said, quoted by hotnews.ro, on Romania TV, when asked about a possible change in his relation with President Basescu, also after the rumours about possibly appointing him as premier after the end of his mandate at Cotroceni. In the context, the liberal firmly rejected the speculations about a change in his discourse toward Basescu: “What you and others rely upon to come with such suspicions about PNL and myself? If until this autumn you will convince many people that Antonescu will appoint Basescu as premier, those people will probably no longer vote for me as president. It is inacceptable even to talk about it, because I do not have this reputation.”
He added that, “for 3-4 months,” he is under some form of “interdiction on Antena 3 (the TV channel controlled by PC founder Dan Voiculescu)” and this is a possible source of the perception that he became less combative against the president lately.
Asked about why he expelled from PNL senator Sorin Rosca Stanescu, a vocal critic of the president, and why he replaced Daniel Chitoiu, who made public the call made by Basescu in support of the CEO of CEC Bank, the liberal leader answered: “(…) Rosca Stanescu (…) was expelled from the party because he produced documents that proved to be forged. Mr. Chitoiu, his withdrawal resignation and resignation are unrelated.” Furthermore, Antonescu claims that nobody is entitled to grant him “any certificate of opposing Basescu.”
With regard to the discussion inside USL about the nomination of Iohannis as vice-premier, Antonescu admitted that he expected it would be attended by fewer people (allusion to Voiculescu): “Wed had been talking for three days like as we had proposed Klaus Iohannis, as Mr. Cristoiu (journalist Ion Cristoiu) said, in order to force Mr. Ponta”.
Asked to comment on the founding of USD, he answered that PSD and PC hide behind the newly-formed alliance, mentioning that the comment is “a friendly sting.” “It is not that I cannot get along with them because they founded the USD. It is them who founded the USD because we do not get along with each other,” the liberal leader explained.
In retort, Ponta ironically said about Antonescu that he does not know how a government operates, and this is why he proposed at the end of last week to nominate Iohannis as vice-premier and minister of Interior. The PM added that, “since he is friend with Basescu, (Antonescu) speaks the same language”: “(…) I am a very busy person and they (Antonescu and Basescu) have much spare time.” As for the founding of USD, he said that he discussed the matter with the leader of PNL prior to forming the alliance, and Antonescu had nothing against the name of the alliance.
Constantin: If things degenerate, Oprescu – an option for presidential elections
A surprising statement came from PC leader Daniel Constantin, who warned Antonescu that, if things degenerate, a variant take into consideration is the candidacy of Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu in the presidential ballot. In his opinion, Oprescu “can be a presidential candidate with many chances, perhaps with most chances.” “I was terribly scared by what Daniel Constantin said and I think I will come to my senses,” the PNL leader answered yesterday.

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