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May 6, 2021
POLITICS

PM Ponta: ‘All I want is to complete this term’

Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Tuesday evening that he made a firm decision not to step down as far back as last Sunday and the he does not intend to change his mind.

Asked by Antena 3 private broadcaster if there is at least 1-per cent intention for him to resign as prime minister, Ponta said: ‘I already made the decision, when I very clearly enunciated it on Sunday. (…) I do not change my mind thousands of times. I had that idea, I thought it over, I discussed it with the people I trust and made the decision [not to resign].”

He added that the motion of censure that could topple him does not stand a chance.

He said the recent attacks have very seriously affected him at a personal level.

“The coalition [was not affected], but they have enfeebled me very much, but I have the capability of grinning and bearing it to carry out my tenure. (..) They have very seriously affected me personally. There is no worse thing in the world, and I believe all the people looking at us now know what I mean when saying I am unjustly accused. You know what Romanians say: at least I know I did it, but when you know it is not so you are very much affected, and from that perspective I have been very seriously affected,’ said Ponta according to Agerpres.

Prime Minister also stated that he’s seen these days how President Klaus Iohannis has fought for the National Liberal Party (PNL) to have its own Prime Minister and that Romania was thrown back in the era ‘when battles were fought with files used as weapons.’

‘I see a President, Mr. Iohannis, with whom I cooperated, and with whom I intend to continue to cooperate, who promised to practice a different kind of politics than the type we were used to … but I haven’t seen him these days. These days I saw him fighting for PNL to have its own Prime Minister. What I want to say in reply is that it will [have a Prime Minister – e.n.] eventually; first it was the USL [Social Liberal Union, which used to be an alliance between the PSD and PNL] that had a PM, now it’s the PSD [Social Democratic Party], then it will be the PNL’s turn to have it, this depends on the people’s votes.’ For the only thing that really matters is people to know we have a government that must work day and night for us (…) So, why is it that, every time when things seem to go in the right direction, when everybody praises Romania, we must return to years ago and fight wars with files all over again, for no other reason than causing Ponta to leave, so that Gorghiu or Predoiu could come instead to replace him?’ Ponta told Antena 3 private television broadcaster.

The head of the Executive also added that he didn’t want to argue with the current president, but to cooperate with him, although he said the felt ‘a little bit like in Traian Basescu’s era.’

However, in Ponta’s opinion, the file in which his name is involved is not a political file, but one that is used politically by the PNL.

‘I am not saying that this is a political file. We are all equal. The only problem is that it is used in the political battle,’ said Ponta.

 

‘You won’t be seeing the scandal you’ve seen before’

 

Prime Minister Victor Ponta also said that his message for the European leaders whom he will have the chance to meet in the future is that he will do his best for the “Basescu’s regime era” not to come back to Romania, mentioning that the Congress of the Party of European Socialists will be carried out in Budapest on Friday.

“On Friday there is the Congress of the Party of European Socialists in Budapest, where leaders of my political family are coming, but I believe that there is something else that is more important. Since January until today I have met very many European leaders, European Commission President, Mr Juncker, the European Parliament President, prime ministers. Everyone, with no exception, told me: “It is so good that we no longer have what we had before in Romania, with Basescu, with scandals, with the prime minister.” I was asked “How do you collaborate [with President Klaus Iohannis].” “I collaborate very correctly with the President, the President collaborates correctly with me. Look, the country is going well.” There was none who forgot to say: “It is so good that things are no longer how they used to, when all they did was complain (…)” What am I supposed to tell them now? When I told them: “Of course we have learnt our lesson. You won’t be seeing the scandal you’ve seen before,” the Prime Minister said when asked if he had external reactions about what is happening in Bucharest.

In reply to a question on what he will send the other European leaders when he meets them, Ponta said: “I shall tell them that I will do my best not to turn back to those times.”

“I believe that was bad for Romania back then. And I believe you are allowed to make one mistake, but to make the same mistake all the time is unacceptable,” the Prime Minister added.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Tuesday evening that the same day he met ambassadors of EU member states as well as diplomatic representatives of the US and Canada in Bucharest to introduce his opinion on the current political state in Romania, adding that he was joined in his meetings by the chairs of the two chambers of Romania’s Parliament.

“I was together with the chairmen of the two chambers, Mr Tariceanu and Mr Zgonea; we met all the EU ambassadors plus the diplomatic representatives of the US and Canada and introduced our opinion. That does not mean we are the holders of truth, but, since it is about our partners, it was normal for us to tell them how we see things: what is happening, what happens in the future, how the majority works, what our stand is on the rule of law, justice, economy and the International Monetary Fund. Romania has an agreement with the European Commission, which I hope we will not lose as a result of the ongoing political crisis, because that would entail huge costs. That was a perfectly normal and rational thing to do,’ Ponta told Antena 3 private broadcaster.

Asked about the feedback from the foreign diplomats, Ponta said, ‘That was an information-sharing meeting.”

They did not have to tell us anything; they noted down and sent home,’ said Ponta.

He added that his main message to the foreign media, which he met also on Tuesday, and the diplomatic corps in Bucharest was that Romania is a stable country.

“The meeting with the foreign media and the others had two objectives. After all, we are from this region, where there is Russia and the war in Ukraine; we are the country with the highest economic development that has the most strategic military projects – the ballistic missile shield, NATO commands and all the other things. And my main message to the foreign media was: we are a serious and stable country. Secondly (…) there is a big problem that is specific of Romania: it is not the foreigners that find fault with Romania; it is not the foreigners who come to tell us that they thought we are bandits and corrupted. They come and say some Romanians – Macovei, x, y z – told us that you are a country of corrupted people and thieves. Is that so? Well, Sir, it is not so! That is something other countries do not do,’ said Ponta according to Agerpres.

 

‘I wish I don’t turn my family into victims of my political career’

 

Asked on Antena 3 TV if he still wanted to be prime-minister for another four years after next year’s election, PSD leader Victor Ponta answered: ‘If you ask me tonight, I trust you know the answer. All I want tonight is to complete this term, do my duty to the very many people who voted for me and stop turning my family into victims of my political career’.

 

“Russia would be the only one to open a champagne’ for ‘a prolonged crisis’ in Bucharest”

 

Prime-Minister Victor Ponta says in an interview for ‘The Guardian’ that he will resign if he is convicted by a Court, explaining that he will be able to demonstrate his innocence in court. Ponta rejected the calls to resign, explaining that Romania must be a ‘stable and predictable’ state in ‘the most sensitive’ region of Europe today, stressing that ‘Russia would be the only one to open a champagne’ for ‘a prolonged crisis’ in Bucharest.

Asked if he would resign if found guilty in court Ponta answered: ‘If I am found guilty by a Court, yes, of course I will. That’s absolutely clear’.

However, the Romanian PM is sure he will be able to demonstrate he’s innocent in Court, stressing that the magistrates have not yet heard his part of the story.

‘The tax authorities and the National Integrity Agency have checked me in all ways, the conclusion being that everything had been perfectly legal. I will present those documents to the prosecutor. I will give all explanations and I am certain that everything will be clear by then’, Ponta said.

‘We hope to end this small, yet intense political crisis so that we can return to work, as Europe wants Romania to be stable and predictable in this region. I believe that Russia would be the only one to open bottles of champagne if Romania is in a prolonged political crisis’, Victor Ponta added.

Ponta reassured that his priority was to keep political stability in Romania, expressing hope that his Government will be able to go back to ‘important projects’ including a new Tax Code and resumption of negotiations with the IMF.

‘An artificially created political crisis would be an unhoped-for gift for Russia’, Ponta stressed, evoking the complicated regional context with the ‘crisis in Ukraine, R. Moldova and even Greece in the background’.

Prime-Minister Victor Ponta is under investigation for falsification of documents, complicity in tax evasion and money laundering in the Turceni – Rovinari case, offences allegedly committed when he was a lawyer. DNA also asks the Chamber of Deputies to approve the investigation of the prime-minister for conflict of interests as well.

President Klaus Iohannis has asked Ponta to resign twice, but the PM refused.

 

 

‘The only ones who can ruin good things in economy are politicians’

 

Romania is now “in an extraordinary moment” in regards to economy and the only ones who can ruin these “outstandingly good things” that can happen in economy are politicians,” Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Wednesday.

“I wanted to send a very clear message to all European partners present in Bucharest that Romania is now in an extraordinary moment in regards to economy (…) and the only ones who can ruin these outstandingly good things that can happen in economy are politicians and I hope we don’t do that,” Ponta said at the meeting of the Board and General Assembly of the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, at the Palace of Parliament.

He also told the European guests that Romania has managed, after 2008, “to come back where it started from and to go on the right direction.”

“We have taken the measures which the business environment asked us for. Mr Jianu [former minister-delegate for SMEs, Florin Jianu] can tell you how many times he told me about that 9 per cent VAT for all-inclusive, for tourism services, or the 9 per cent VAT for food products, for food services. I also told them I want us to adopt the Tax Code, over the next two weeks, to show stability very clearly, and, starting January 1, the measures provided in the Tax Code to come into force and to continue to generate confidence regarding investments,” the Prime Minister underscored.

 

I have checked personally and I have not any visa withdrawn by the U.S.

 

Also, Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Wednesday he personally checked with the United States Embassy and confirmed his US diplomatic or tourist visas were not cancelled.

“To stop one more miserable disinformation of the [Communist secret police] Securitate-style propaganda – I have checked personally and I have NOT any visa (neither diplomatic, nor tourist) withdrawn by the United States! What a filth!’ Ponta wrote on his Facebook page, thus denying a rumour circulated recently, after the National Anticorruption Directorate opened a case against him.

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