Ex-President Traian Basescu is as demanding as ex-Presidents Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu were discrete and without exaggerated property claims when they retired. Extended by over four months, the ‘negotiation’ on the free use of an official residence has been gradually turned into a subject where the Government and Prime Minister Victor Ponta count on scoring points in the image department. On the other hand, Traian Basescu is not giving up, does not lower his claims and, as he put it in writing to the Government, plans to take it to Court.
Threatened with a law suit by the ex-president, unhappy that his housing situation is not being resolved under the law, the Government made a ‘counter-offer’ to Traian Basescu in their negotiations for the allocation of a residence.
The villa stands on a total of 330 sq m, has over one hectare of land and was renovated last year. It is the Villa 1B in Snagov, which was given by RA-APPS to SPP. At the end of 2014, the Autonomous Regie for the Administration of State Protocol (RA-APPS) proposed to Traian Basescu a total of seven different properties to choose from.
Five of those are in Bucharest and have areas from 273.90 sq m to 440.65 sq m. The other two are in Snagov and are 2,189.39 and 472 sq m respectively.
Traian Basescu reproached to PM Victor Ponta that all RA-APPS’ official properties that had been offered to him by the Government to use free of charge after the completion of his term as president of the country did not meet his needs.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta in his turn said the housing situation of the former president would be dealt with according to the law and that he would look for a small RA-APPS home that would not disturb anyone.
On 13 January 2015, Traian Basescu filed a complaint on that. ‘If this request is not resolved at an administrative-institutional level I will have no option but to take the matter before a Court of justice, with all the consequences of such a judicial action, for the recognition of my rights’, Basescu threatens in his complaint.
Ponta: I am not going to spend any more time on Basescu’s squeamishness, he really ought to be showing more modesty and prudence
RA-APPS has no properties in hazardous areas where it would not be safe for ex-President Traian Basescu to reside – PM Victor Ponta says. He adds that he no longer wants to spend time dealing with Basescu’s ‘squeamishness’ and that the former president ought to be showing more modesty and prudence.
Asked on Romania TV about the fact that the Protection and Security Service (SPP) had said that, expect for the villas in Snagov, the properties offered to Basescu did not meet the legal requirements, Ponta said: ‘Wouldn’t you like to take a look and see for yourselves? Let us be serious. Do you actually believe RA-APPS owns properties in hazardous areas? They are all in Bucharest zone zero’, Ponta said.
The premier added that he would spend no more time on Basescu’s ‘squeamishness’ and that he ought to be showing more humbleness and prudence, since there are Romanians who have worked a lot more than he and never received anything for free from the state.
Warned that an ex-president entitlements are set by law, Ponta said RA-APPS never challenged that right, but it seemed more than ‘sordid’ to analyse now where Basescu wants to live on public money.
Prime minister, Victor Ponta on Monday night also wrote on his personal Facebook page that it is ‘sordid’ to discuss in this period about the protocol house which is to be granted, according to the law, to former President, Traian Basescu.
Prime Minister: I find it at least sordid to discuss now about Traian Basescu’s house
‘I find it at least sordid to discuss now about Traian Basescu’s house. The people were slashed pensions, salaries and we are now worried of the whereabouts Traian Basescu is going to live from the state’s money? A bit of modesty would do, because the citizens of Romania who have worked harder than Mr. Basescu do not benefit from such thing, either,’ the Prime minister posted on his Facebook account.
RA-APPS residences offered to Traian Basescu:
1. Primăverii Villa, 8 rooms – 273 sq m
2. Prezan apartment, 6 rooms – 279 sq m, courtyard 1,500 sq m
3. Orbescu Street apartment – 5 rooms – 440 sq m
4. Praporgescu Street villa, 9 rooms – 295 sq m
5. Barbu Delavrancea Street apartment, 5 rooms – 280 sq m
6. Villa 1 A Snagov – 324 sq m, courtyard 9,900 sq m
7. Villa11 Snagov – 2,189 sq m, courtyard 27,412 sq m
Benefits of an ex-president (source Law: 406/2001)
– official residence and office space for life
– security, protection and SPP-secured car
– a minimum of 3 bedrooms, reception hall, living room, spacious kitchen, bathrooms, garage, security annexes, public property of the state, in central or residential city area
– the official residence may not be the same as the one used during the term in office
– the budget covers for the president’s office: monthly adviser’s pay RON 2,700, secretary – RON 900, president annuity – 75% of the remuneration of the president in office
Housing circumstances of the other former heads of state
Ex-President Ion Iliescu lives in a house in the Primaverii district. He refused a protocol residence when he finished his term, but asked to be allowed access to the Scrovistea complex where he spends his holidays and spare time.
Ex-President Emil Constantinescu chose to live in a villa downtown Bucharest.
King Mihai received the Elisabeta Palace as residence in 2001.