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February 5, 2023

Democratic Left Foundation launches in Bucharest: A speech platform for left-leaning intellectuals of Romania, says project initiator

The Democratic Left Foundation (FSD) was launched on Friday in Bucharest in the presence of national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Victor Ponta, Chairman of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) Massimo D’Alema, PSD Executive Chairman Liviu Dragnea and over 150 guests from the academia, civil society and political quarters.

The FSD’s mission is to strengthen the left-wing messages in Romania, uniting the country’s voices that claim to embrace left-wing values, and raising up against the intellectual hegemony of the right-wing. Social equilibrium is one of the main principles underpinning FSD.

“The Democratic Left Foundation is a speech platform for left-leaning intellectuals of Romania,” project initiator Victor Negrescu told the opening of the event.

He said FSD sets mainly to promote the left-wing values and principles and create a framework that favours real ideological and thematic debates that will also regard public policies, particularly social policies.

Italy’s former Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema talked about the values of the European Left. “The European Commission should be political in nature and promote genuinely European values instead of the values of just one party,” he said.

Ponta said in his turn that Romania has more left-leaning people than initially thought. “I congratulate Victor Negrescu and all the colleagues that had this initiative, because there is much need of securing a framework for debates that touch on left-wing values and actual projects. (…) Europe needs left-wing projects,” the PSD national leader said.

He added that democracy means more than the parties that call themselves of the Left or Social Democratic. “Today, more than ever before, that is true in Romania as well. I believe those who find themselves in the left-wing, Social Democratic values are more than just the PSD. Sometimes criticisms against the PSD and the policies it implements not being Left-leaning enough are grounded,” Ponta said.

In his opinion, the Romanian society means more than what is seen on television, and the concerns should exceed the daily concerns of a government. “In a way, political leaders are prisoners because any time they want to talk about big, overall important things, the questions they are asked are ‘what is your take?’ ‘what happened today?’ or ‘what will you do tomorrow?'” said Ponta.

He underscored that a government like the incumbent Romanian one cannot lean exclusively on the traditional left-wing values.

“What’s more, I wanted to prove that left-leaning Social Democratic governance does not mean in the least economic inefficiency, but the contrary. The social measures a government takes are not electoral handouts. (…) The Social Democratic values are incumbent on the party that calls itself PSD, which does not always have them in its DNA. That is the meaning of FSD: to impose on those claiming to represent such values politically a genuine respect for such values, to make them believe in them and support them no matter the electoral or political costs entailed. I strongly believe that should be the main objective. Otherwise, there is another option, which I call, without wanting to sound polemical, ‘the law of the jungle’ option – every man for himself, the unfit should perish, the not-haves should be called lazy and those seeking government support should not be provided any. (…) A country which is ran without any social measures stands no chance of being developed in the future,” Ponta said, voicing hope that FSD will not be PSD’s foundation because such foundation existed but it did not work.

“There is a confusion being made in the Romanian society when equating the left-wing with PSD. The left-wing has always built its objectives and reforms on people’s needs and in doing so it has built for itself an action platform that helps it find solutions. But equating the left-wing with a party or some parties is not enough. (…) Let us campaign for the Romanian society not to turn itself into what Ponta would call a society of profits at all costs, a tough society where the haves do not care about the not-haves, the powerful do not care about the weak, the healthy do not care about the sick,” PSD Executive Chairman Liviu Dragnea said in his turn.

He added that FSD’s chance is to be the element, the organisation, the structure that can really generate and coalesce the left-wing movement. “PSD can be only its partner. And I believe PSD will be a sound, strong and serious dialogue partner,” said Dragnea, quoted by Agerpres.


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