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May 26, 2020

Presidential candidate Johannis denies meeting with President Basescu

The presidential candidate Klaus Johannis, head of the National Liberal Party, stressed that he did not meet President Traian Basescu since 2008, and called media reports of a recent meeting with Basescu a manipulation.

‘On the evening of Monday, August 11, around 10.40pm, the TV station Antena3 broadcasted news alleging I have visited President Traian Basescu at his protocol villa. What Antena3 did is a manipulation and has nothing to do with reality. The pictures shown by the aforementioned are of my car, with me inside – but that’s all the truth in it,’ Johannis stated in a release to Agerpres on Tuesday.

He asserts that he did not visit the president that day, but he attended an event hosted by Duane Butcher, Charge d’affaires of the United States, at Villa Dante, a residence of the American embassy. Johannis also claims that several high-ranking Western diplomats attended the private event on the end of Butcher’s term in Romania.

‘I am surprised by the broadcasting of this completely false information mentioning a meeting with President Traian Basescu. I did not meet the president since 2008,’ Johannis pointed out.

‘Unfortunately, there’s a relentless effort in support of a negative campaign, based on completely false accusations. I will not, however, enter this game. As I have already announced on my nomination for the presidential race that I will sustain a clean, positive campaign, because people deserve respect, not disinformation and lies,’ he underlined.

PM Ponta: Discourse of candidate Johannis seems written by President Basescu or aides

Prime Minister Victor Ponta claims that the discourse of presidential candidate, National Liberal Party leader Klaus Johannis seems written by President Traian Basescu or his aides; Ponta asserts that Johannis wants to rebuild Romania’s economy with those who ruined it between 2009 and 2012.

Ponta, also running for president, wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday: ‘Mr. Johannis says he wants to bring 10 years of prosperity to Romania. Meanwhile, he allied and wants to make a government of Traian Basescu’s folks. That is, to be more clear, he wants to rebuild Romania’s economy using those who destroyed it in 2009-2012. Johannis’s discourse seems written by Traian Basescu or his aides. That’s what I heard yesterday in the voice of Klaus Johannis – a speech with Basescu’s messages, carrying on Basescu’s project, coming from a man surrounded at the very table where he was speaking by those who generated the economic catastrophe of the last 10 years.’ Ponta also mentioned the presidential election campaign. ‘It’s increasingly obvious that the coming elections will oppose us, who repaired the disaster provoked by Basescu and his folks, to Traian Basescu’s team wanting to do again just what they know,’ Ponta wrote.

Liberal rivals Tariceanu, Johannis attack each other

The head of the Liberal Reforming Party (PLR) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu commented on Monday night the candidacy of Liberal Klaus Johannis in the presidential election saying both Johannis and his ally, Democrat Liberal Catalin Predoiu are manoeuvred by President Traian Basescu.

‘The two-team running in this autumn’s election formed by Johannis and Predoiu has the sole purpose of playing Traian Basescu’s game. The two so-called political leaders and Rightists, Klaus Johannis and Catalin Predoiu are just puppets of the man living in Cotroceni [the seat of Romanian Presidency], dancing to his tune. Klaus Johannis does not represent the interests and wishes of Romanian Liberals in this race, after he continuously betrayed all that Liberalism means. The Liberal Reforming Party is the true continuer of the Liberal tradition and history in Romania, a chance for authentic Liberal values to exist in Romania,’ Tariceanu said in a release to Agerpres.

Indirectly replying, Johannis said on Monday night at Realitatea TV that PLR, founded by Tariceanu, is ‘sort of a new UNPR’ [National Union for Romania’s Progress, a junior partner in the ruling coalition] and ‘a satellite of PSD’ [Social Democratic Party, main partner in the ruling coalition]; he added that he does not understand the choice of the former Liberal leader Tariceanu.

‘Mr. Tariceanu should have stayed in PNL [National Liberal Party now headed by Johannis] and play his role of former chairman and colleague of ours. He got to lead a toy party obviously fuelled and maintained by PSD. (…) It’s a pity Mr. Tariceanu left PNL. He founded sort of a new UNPR, only with a different name, a satellite of PSD, which now speaks against the party, which now creates a structure aiming at competing with PNL. It’s just sad,’ Johannis said.

Johannis also denied fearing a possible co-opting of PLR in PSD’s ruling coalition might persuade more PNL members to leave.

I don’t believe in regionalization on ethnic criteria, says Johannis

National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Klaus Johannis believes that a regionalization on ethnic criteria in Romania is not doable.

‘Romania’s regionalization, if ever implemented, can be made only in administrative terms. In my opinion, an ethnic regionalization is not doable in Romania. Other countries have tried, their results speak for themselves. Meanwhile, everybody admits that if regionalization is made by overlapping the region’s border with an inter-ethnic border, this gives no results,’ Johannis told Realitatea TV news channel on Monday night.

When asked why the Saxons in Romania did not ask for territorial autonomy as well, as the Hungarians did, the Liberal leader said that at present, the Saxons’ community includes very few people, but they neither asked for autonomy in Transylvania when counting more people.

‘I am in favour of the Romanian national unified state. It’s an option of politician Klaus Johannis, an option of Klaus Johannis as an individual. I don’t believe in regionalization on ethnic criteria. Whether the administrative regionalization is good or not, we shall see, but talks are still underway,’ Johannis said.

Visit to Republic of Moldova

Klaus Johannis announced on Monday night that he is going to visit the Republic of Moldova sometime in the coming weeks.

He spoke at Realitatea TV about the close relations between Romania and the Republic of Moldova as a good thing, given the elements the two states share.

‘I think this special relation between Romania and the Republic of Moldova should be cultivated and carried on. I will be a president who wants a significant approaching between Romania and Moldova, and I want to start this as early as the coming week, when I am going to visit the Republic of Moldova,’ Johannis said.


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