Personal attacks at top levels of the political scene

Senator Gabriela Firea sets in motion yet another series of harsh exchanges between the President and the Prime Minister.

PSD Senator Gabriela Firea, accompanied by her attorney, filed a criminal complaint on Wednesday with the Prosecutor’s Office at the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) against President Traian Basescu for threats and blackmail, following the latter’s official statement delivered late Tuesday at Cotroceni Palace, in which he called her “the blackmailer senator by profession” and alluded to potentially illegal activities conducted by her husband. “Both me and my family feel threatened,” Firea said.
The conflict ensued after the Parliamentary investigation commission on the Nana case – in which the President’s daughter is suspected of illegally purchasing land property in Calarasi County – led by Firea made part of its conclusions public. In this context, the President once again underlined that this commission was established as part of a political game and has no legal standing, since the Parliament does not play a role in investigating individuals. “If you have a problem, file a complaint with the Justice department,” the President told the commission members.
The complained filed Wednesday by senator Firea was signed by Social Democratic MPs, PM Ponta included. Although the Social Democrats were counting on support from their former and current coalition partners – PNL, UDMR, and UNPR – they were left to fight the battle against the head of state alone, because according to PNL leader Crin Antonescu, neither he nor UDMR chairman Kelemen Hunor or UNPR chairman Gabriel Oprea have signed the criminal complaint against Traian Basescu.
After the President’s press conference late Tuesday, Prime Minister Victor Ponta posted a comment on his Facebook page, saying “what Traian Basescu did today was completely degrading” and “such statements from the highest levels of the Romanian state are unacceptable.”
“Today, the citizens of Romania have witnessed once again Traian Basescu’s true character, all that he has stood for these past nine years – hatred, abuse, deceit, threats, and lack of scruples! That is what Basescu is – a dishonored President, a disgrace for Romania. (…) We continue our battle, even more decisively now! Still remaining: 35 weeks!” the PM wrote.
Ponta was joined by senator leader and father-in-law Ilie Sarbu and EP leader Hannes Swoboda, the latter of who stated the President of Romania has reached “an all-time low” by making “very unsubtle threats” to a PSD senator and her husband.
Swoboda remarked that such threats show President Basescu’s “utter disrespect” to the justice system. “The president of a country should be the first to appreciate the independence of the justice system, not the last, as the case seems to be here,” the European Socialist leader concluded.
In turn, Ilie Sarbu issued a press release underlining that “President Traian Basescu needs psychiatric treatment because he suffers from paranoid psychosis, and the only solution that could make him human would be an exorcism.”
Basescu: “PM Ponta has lost control”
In response to the Prime Minister’s surprising decision announced on Tuesday to move his office from Gov’t headquarters to the Ministry of Defense, President Basescu issued a statement from Cotroceni Palace, saying “the solution to hide in a bunker at the Ministry of Defense headquarters proves the Prime Minister has lost control,” “is unable to distinguish between institutions,” and is a “coward.”
“Victor Viorel is on the edge, he’s having a nervous breakdown. He feels only the Army can protect him from the fury of the tycoons (editor’s note – local tycoons, heads of PSD’s county branches). He certainly needs no protection from me; I’m not furious with him. I am at a stage – and have been for some time – where I pity him for what he has become. Unfortunately, he is dragging the country down with him,” Basescu pointed out.
Subsequently, the head of state explained in a TV show on Digi 24 that the cabinets of the President, Prime Minister, and the two Chamber Speakers are checked for listening devices every morning, and Victor Ponta’s justification that he moved his office to MoD because he was being “wire-tapped” is “a lie.” “Victor Ponta is always the one who strikes and offends first. (…) He is a liar and he is profoundly corrupt. (…) We will not break our agreement for the sake of political language. Our most pressing problem at present is the Prime Minister’s position in the fight against corruption, since he says he is sympathetic to all criminals,” the head of state emphasized, referring to the PM’s openly declared support to ‘local tycoons’ Adrian Duicu from Mehedinti and mayor of Constanta Radu Mazare, both under investigation by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA).
Not impressed by ‘PSD pack’
All in all, Traian Basescu said on Tuesday’s press conference that he is not impressed by the ‘PSD pack’ attempting to vilify him with the help of the Nana inquiry commission, or by the criminal complaint filed against him, suggesting instead that he might set a certain day of the week when he might go public with a bulletin on the corruption of the government. He said that he protects justice against political interference, emphasizing that ‘the Adrian Nastase era’ is over. ‘I’m not impressed by the pack, I will not take a single step back, I might even establish a certain day to release a weekly bulletin on the corruption of the government, to help the public opinion understand what the current coalition really means,’ said the President quoted by Agerpres. According to the President, the Nana inquiry commission should investigate what happened with the state-owned land at Fundulea Research Station and the prefects and mayors who carried out the ‘operation of plundering’ 2,000 hectares of land from there have to answer before the law, stating that if the investigation bodies are not given notice of this case, he will do it himself.

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