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April 12, 2021
POLITICS

Transalpina contract: Orban,Vosganian respond to accusations signalled to DNA by PM’s Control Body

PNL Deputy Ludovic Orban declared for Mediafax, regarding the notification sent to DNA by the Prime Minister’s Control Body regarding the Transalpina Contract signed while Orban was a Minister that it was not the first time Victor Ponta used his position to attack political competitors.

 

Orban: It is not for the first time that Ponta uses his position as PM to attack competitors

 

“It is not the first time that Victor Ponta uses his position as Prime Minister to attack political competitors and that he uses his position in the Government to gain a personal advantage, Orban mentioned about the accusations brought by PM Ponta’s Control Body referring to 2008, while Orban was Transport Minister.

The PNL showed that, based on what was revealed publicly of the report issued by the Prime Minister’s Control Body, he was “truly shocked that they decided to notify the National Anti-Corruption Directorate”.

“I find no illegal element that would concern me. I am accused of having caused a prejudice of almost RON 400 million by the decision I reached to build Transalpina, based on a contract that grants a loan to a supplier. The only element of this conviction presented by the members of the Prime Minister’s Control Body is mentioning a verbal discussion between me and a representative of a company, included in a note by an employee of the company, seeking approval”, Ludovic Orban declared.

He further mentioned that, were he to reach the decision to sign this contract of supplier-loan, he would only have decided not to support it out of the state budget, because there were no resources to cover such investment.

“Honestly, I do not remember accurately the discussions on this topic, but I admit that, perhaps, I did not oppose an eventual financing by the contract of supplier-credit. There is nothing illegal here, this kind of contract is perfectly legal and is used when the state budget or a company budget has no possibility to grant an immediate financing; therefore a third party is involved, usually a bank, that supports the works; after a given amount of time, the bank recovers its expenses from the company. To consider that the cost of financing by such credit is a prejudice would be an absolute novelty I ever saw in an official document. Then, all Governments that had requested loans, paid interests for the loans they requested and financed public expenses this way should be sent to prison”, Ludovic Orban also declared.

The Liberal mentioned that there was no element to create any suspicion that he was involved in any illegal decision.

“I have no reason whatsoever to refuse a request from DNA, whenever they think it I required, because this thing should be discussed. If the Control Body sends a notification, it is not necessary that DNA would decide that all required elements exist to start a criminal inquiry”, Orban also declared.

The Control Body of the Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that they would notify the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) for the violation of laws in the restoration contract of DN 67C Bengesti-Sebes (“Transalpina”) signed by the company Romstrade, showing that the project was promoted by former PNL Ministers Ludovic Orban and Varujan Vosganian and that it caused a prejudice of over RON 388 million.

The company Romstrade was managed at that time by businessman Nelu Iordache, presently tried for corruption crimes in this contract.

 

Vosganian: While I was the Economy and Finances Minister, I signed over 3000 documents that totalized EUR 150 to 200 billion

 

In turn, ex-Minister Varujan Vosganian responded to accusations submitted by the Prime Minister’s Control Body to the DNA. “As you may easily imagine, I was asked numerous questions by the press. I did not answer, because I do not know what to answer.

I have led the greatest Ministry in Romania’s history. I had over 160,000 subordinates from various fields, from the Fraud Squad and the Customs to financial institutions such as CEC and Eximbank, or companies of the energy and extracting fields. While I was the Economy and Finances Minister, I signed over 3000 documents that totalized EUR 150 to 200 billion. I signed over 70 per cent of the papers issued by the Government. I had an enormous responsibility and I assumed it, I would say, with a certain courage.

Therefore, I do not think that it is surprising that, seven years later, I do not remember anything about the respective document, mentioned by the Control Body. I understand that it referred to financing a road. A draft Government decree is included on the daily agenda distributed a few days in advance to Ministries, through their Secretary Generals. I find it hard to believe that the civil servants in the Ministry of Finances did not notice a draft decree that is claimed not to have had specialist approvals on the daily agenda, considering that it requested financial support from the budget. Government meetings are not held clandestinely, the daily agenda is published on the website of the Government, discussions are recorded by stenographic notes and approvals by the Government are not granted in vain. And if the project was included on the additional agenda, we should check the reason why this proposal was made and approved. Even in this situation, civil servants of the respective Ministries record discussions and point out possible inaccuracies. I do not know anyone of the people who receive financing for road restorations and I am not an expert in constructions, to give you technical explanation. But this Government Decree is public for seven years, and perhaps, if researches were done than or immediately after, all the documents would have been handy and our memories would have been clearer. Or if the Control Corps would have asked us then, we would have had the possibility to seek answers. Because I think that we should seek answers first and people to blame later”, Vosganian wrote on his Facebook page.

 

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