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April 18, 2021

Ponta in dialogue with Antonescu: Romania’s future president will no longer have Basescu’s power

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday evening had a telephone intervention in a live TV show on Realitatea TV private television channel, where former National Liberal Party (PNL) Chairman Crin Antonescu had been invited to publicly voice his hope that the fact that none of the Social Liberal Union (USL) Co-chairmen had personal arrangements with Traian Basescu will be proven, but also the certainty that the future head of state ‘will no longer have the power’ of the incumbent president of Romania.

‘We separated after three years of political project, as Mr Antonescu was absolutely convinced that I am Basescu’s man or sold to him, in an arrangement with Basescu, and I was convinced that Mr Antonescu had an understanding with Basescu. I am voicing a single hope: that it will be proven that we were both mistaken and that nothing of this suspicion of ours was real. There is a little time until December,’ Ponta said.

However, Antonescu insisted on pointing out that, as far as he is concerned, there has never been an arrangement with President Traian Basescu, which the Prime Minister has ‘always’ known.

‘You have always known that I have never had an arrangement with Traian Basescu and I am glad that you state it now much clearer than you could have said it at a different time. It is better later than never. I did not say you had an understanding with him, I even tried to explain why you probably cannot stand him. (…) But I voiced my fear that in the future you could be the greatest evil and not Traian Basescu, because, in case you win, you will have the entire power of Traian Basescu,’ Antonescu said, adding that he was at the Prime Minister’s disposal for a ‘quiet talk, with arguments about what it has been and what it is supposed to be in Romania,’ and not a discussion between two possible opponents.

Antonescu highlighted that the most important thing was not the former USL Co-Chairmen proving that they had no understandings with the head of state, but ‘what is important is that no one in Romania who takes Traian Basescu’s place do anything of what Mr Traian Basescu has done.’

In his turn, the Prime Minister underscored that in his opinion anyone who will be president of Romania starting December ‘will no longer have Traian Basescu’s power.’ ‘This is a very good thing,’ he pointed out.

‘I believe that the future president, Ponta or whatever his name may be, will no longer have Basescu’s power. Traian Basescu had too much power and he misused it. Anyone who has so much power will misuse it at some point. I only fear one thing: I fear Traian Basescu, without being president, may be left with more power than a person removed from office in 2012 deserves,’ Ponta added.

The Prime Minister also confessed that his telephone intervention was owed to that fact that he had not seen the former PNL chairman for a long time and he wanted to greet him.


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