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November 27, 2021

PM Ponta met his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi, had audience with Pope Francis

The two premiers discussed the relations between the two states, the economic and trade relations, but also European politics.

‘I have thanked him and reiterated the importance Romania attaches to the way in which the more than one million Romanians living in Italy lead their daily life, our satisfaction with the fact that in the educational system of Italy [there are] those lessons of Romanian which are taught two times a week by Romanian teachers supported by Romania’s Government. Obviously, the support for the integration of the Romanians living here, for guaranteeing their rights, equal rights with the rights of all the other European citizens,’ said Ponta, quoted by Agerpres, on Friday, after the meeting he had with the President of the Council of Ministers in Italy.
The Premier made it clear that he had an exchange of opinions with Matteo Renzi connected to the Romanian-Italian economic partnership and said that in Romania there were over 35,000 Italian companies, from big investors to smaller ones. He added that, during the talks with the Italian Premier, they also approached subjects of European politics.
On the other hand, the Romanian Premier said that he congratulated Renzi for the position he holds and added that he belonged to the same generation with his Italian counterpart: ‘I can’t help being very happy that Mr. Renzi, as actually I had made a bet some time ago, set the record in point of age for the holder of the position of prime minister. (…) I am happy it is a new generation of politicians in Europe and I am proud to be one of this generation and to have good relations that must influence the way the Romanians in Italy live and the relation between the two countries’.
PM meets European socialists, says Schulz has chances to become future EC President
On Saturday, the chairman of PSD participated at the works of the Congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES) that was officially designated a common candidate for President of the European Commission (EC).
On this occasion, Ponta stressed that PES leader Martin Schulz has an important chance to become the future President of the EC. ‘For Romania it is important that Martin Schulz has been visiting us so frequently, he knows the country, (…) he also visited my constituency in Targu Jiu. Of course I will support him in the campaign and, with 12 Prime Ministers and another seven governments whose deputy PMs belong to our political family, Martin Schulz obviously has an important chance to be the future President and change Europe for the better, together with us,’ he said. Ponta also stressed the importance of the EC President not being elected just by a group of politicians or technocrats.
Romanian PM, received in audience by Pope Francis
Victor Ponta was received on Saturday by Pope Francis in audience. With his occasion, Ponta gave Pope Francis one of Gheorghe Hagi’s T-shirts and a basket with bio products. ‘I have brought three gifts. One of them was from the Patriarch [of the Romanian Orthodox Church], an icon, the second was from us, an inspiration from the gesture made by Brazil’s President, who brought one of Pele’s T-shirts. We have our Pele, we have Hagi, and a gift I give to all people I meet, heads of state and government. … A basket with bio products as I think that Romania must take pride and must promote this wealth we have,’ he said.
The Premier In his turn, the Premier told that he and the members of the delegation have received some gifts from Pope Francis, including an icon for his son, which birthday was on Saturday. He added that the meeting with Pope Francis was ‘an extremely moving moment’ and conveyed His Holiness a friendly message: ‘I have told him that Romania is a country in which not only do they observe all the rights of all religious denominations, but there is really a capability to live together, to work together, to do things together. … (…) I the I have assured him that Romania will go on being a country in which Orthodox believers, Roman Catholic ones, all people who share any kind of faith can live together without any problem and all international rights and standards are observed’.
Ponta also met in Rome Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State. The premier was accompanied by his wife, MEP Daciana Sarbu, Minister of Environment Rovana Plumb, MEP Corina Cretu and Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean.

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