President Traian Basescu declared that Romania will have an EC portfolio „to be proud of” and pointed out that the discussed list, which included an „unconvincing” portfolio, according to Corina Cretu, was a “joke started in Brussels”, which allegedly “scared” PM Ponta. “As for Victor Ponta’s claims referring to the Commissioner – ‘how the President sabotages little Corina’ -, I want you to know that all my discussions regarding the position of Commissioner, regardless of whom they involved, were focused on the necessity of providing a representative portfolio”, the Head of the State declared in the press conference held at the Cotroceni Palace on Monday evening.
“I can tell you that Romania will have a portfolio to be proud of, and Victor Viorel (Ponta, editor’s note) got scared by a joke and was afraid that I ruined his complicated negotiations. This is ridiculous. I’d tell you more, but regulations require confidentiality at this time. It is an attribute of the Commission President”, the President further added.
PM Ponta replied to the President’s “Brussels joke” later on Tuesday, saying that if the Humanitarian Aid portfolio for Romania was a joke, that means “all stooges” who aired this piece of news in Romania did not understand it was practically a joke.
According to the Head of the Senate Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the President had admitted during press conference of Monday, at Cotroceni, having been interfered in the activity of the Commissioner without any rights to do so. “We have information released by Traian Basescu himself, that he interfered and tried to sabotage Corina Cretu’s appointment as Commissioner for Regional Policy”, Tariceanu declared. “Brussels is not a proper place for such jokes on serious matters, it is not a location for comedy, politics is not a joke, it targets thousands of millions of people at a European level. Nobody affords joking, as the President does here (…),” the President of the Senate added.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, congratulated Corina Cretu on Tuesday morning, when he announced on his Facebook page that Corina was appointed European Commissioner for Regional Policy. Afterwards, the Facebook post was deleted. Posed a question whether Romania, represented by Corina Cretu, will be granted a position in the Commission for Regional Policy, PM Victor Ponta declared yesterday that EC President Jean-Claude Juncker would announce on Wednesday the portfolios for each member state.
FM Titus Corlatean also expressed his concern on the commissioner’s scandal, saying, unfortunately, the abject way of going in for politics in Romania was also used in the commissioner’s issue.
Basescu demands immediate resignation or dismissal of the Head of Gendarmerie
In the same conference of Monday evening, the head of the state demanded that the Head of Gendarmerie would be immediately requested to resign or dismissed due to “excessive obedience” in managing the respective institution. “Whether there is any hierarchy left in thi state or PSD is still inclined to let the state function based on hierarchy within military structures, I, the president of Romania, demand the immediate dismissal of the Head of Gendarmerie”, Basescu stated. “How are we supposed to trust the Gendarmerie, as long as it allows the harassment of journalists representing mass media unfavourable to authority or considered as such by authority, and yet provides an entire division when a clown hired by a TV station is annoyed by motorcycle rustle, as long as the clown is a supporter of Ponta? How are we supposed to trust this institution? I publicly demand the immediate resignation or dismissal of the Commander of Gendarmerie”, the president declared.
However, Traian Basescu said he had noticed that several regulations had been issued and there are institutions placed under political control that can seriously influence the fair presidential elections due in November.
“The regulations I am speaking of are the emergency ordinance no. 28 from 2013 saying that the amounts earmarked the town halls shall no longer be published in the Official Journal, but there shall only be issued orders of (Regional Development) Minister (Liviu) Dragnea, who shares the money as he thinks fit; such lack of transparency in the use of the public money merely makes me think the PSD wants to use the public money in order to bribe the mayors to back Victor-Viorel Ponta in the elections,” said Basescu in speaking of Ponta’s candidacy for president.
The Romanian leader explained that “another regulation that seriously violates the constitution, while at the same time modifying the law on the election of the president of Romania are the emergency ordinance no. 45 from 2014 which modifies the structure of the Central Election Bureau and the structure of the polling stations and also the ordinance no. 55 from 2014 that has launched the time of defections for mayors and local councilors from one party to another”.
He cited other elements likely to influence the fair elections such as the functioning manner of the National Audio-Visual Board, the Ombudsman and the Interior Ministry, the Gendarmerie in particular. “The prime minister’s representative, the lady who chairs the Audio-Visual Board has absolutely nothing to do with the fair, close observation of the manner that the electoral campaign is conducted on the television. Another element denting the chances of fair elections is the Ombudsman. This man (Victor Ciorbea – editor’s note) is an appendix of the Government, as he is the only one who can challenge the urgent orders at the Constitutional Court; this man has simply abandoned his mandate. On the other hand, he had no qualms in challenging regulations relating the national security,” Basescu underscored.