In Romania, not giving a damn has a slang version: putting one’s feet into something. As any slang expression, it is hard to translate and I can understand the translator working on this editorial is swearing at me (with further untranslatable slang). Why would anyone stick their feet in anything else than their shoes and why would you yell it loudly, as if you said something that was announcing an universal and undoubtable universal truth? Yet, given the fact that the Romanian is said to have been an innate poet (frequently a misunderstood one, too), Romanian has one of the most impressive collections of slang in the world and, therefore, the expression must be respected and taken as it is, as it is intensely used in various environments. Actually, it may be considered as an equivalent of “Je m’en fiche” of Champs-Elysees, of “I don’t give a damn” around the Big Ben and of “Das ist mir scheißegal” in the country of the Benz and it only means the complete absence of caring.
What are we supposed to do when the country is led by a Prime Minister who does not care and “puts his feet” in governing it? Because it is precisely what Victor Ponta does, by undergoing a knee surgery and relieving himself for one month from the work of coordinating the ministries of this country.
The issue is not that the Prime Minister underwent a surgical operation – anyone may suffer such inconveniences from time to time – but that he commits one mistake after the other – and even his greatest fans – perhaps himself, as he is looking at his own face in the mirror by night, while he is washing his teeth – have realized that he had screwed up. Badly.
As a Prime Minister, after you leave your country for a previously unannounced visit to the Arab states and, despite of being admonished by the President for this wrong step, you do it again and attend the opening of the European Games in Baku, defying the boycott by European leaders and, once again, failing to announce anyone about tour intentions; after leaving to another country to undergo surgery because, as medical documents show, “you experience pain in your knees”, not in your head, choosing to differ even from the Dutch Ambassador’s wife, who underwent surgery for a similar complain, in the same range of time, in Bucharest and after you use a lie as an apology on a national TV station, also dragging the Health Minister in your game, what crediblity to you have in the eyes of Romanians? What should Romanians understand, other than the fact that you do not give a damn?
According to art. 107 in the Romanian Constitution, the Prime Minister is leading the Government and coordinating the activity of its member, respecting their attributions. He also presents the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate reports and declarations related to Government politics, discussed with priority. Coordinating and presenting are obviously activities you do with your fingers on the keys of your computer, by phone, or using your brain. Not with your feet or legs.
Thus, it is fairly obvious that Victor Ponta could have easily completed his attributions, similarly to Secretary of State John Kerry, who broke his right femur in a bicycling accident in France, returned to the U.S. for treatment and continued to work from his hospital bed. It is obvious that the Prime Minister could have undergone surgery in Bucharest and could have continued working from his hospital bed or from home. He nonetheless decided to do it in Turkey and to explain his absence from the highest position in the Government by claiming that he needed to complete a series of post-surgery procedures, yet he could have done so outside of the hospital, had he returned home after the surgery. Therefore, any excuse used by the Prime Minister fails painfully. Just like the pathetic excuse used on a national TV station, that sounded like this: “Nicu Banicioiu (the Health Minister, editor’s note) told me that a floor of the University Hospital got blocked for Ms. Dutch Ambassador. I suppose that two floors of the Military Hospital could have been blocked for me and I do not want this thing to happen.” He said it under the circumstances that there are dozens of witnesses, including Ms. Ambassador, a reputed journalist of Realitatea TV and highly acclaimed medical doctors stating that things are radically different, and the Health Minister is completely misguided, caught in a dirty game.
Therefore, the thing we may conclude is that there is only one reason for Victor Ponta, released from the Turkish hospital as early as Sunday, can do nothing to restart his job as Head of the Romanian Government is that he cannot use his feet at this point and therefore he cannot stick them deeply into what he does. By silently invoking, through his gestures, an “I am no longer able to stick my feet into my work in the Government, I take some time off”, he leaves for a months, leaving an interim behind to manage things as he can and a lawyer to walk once in every few days his documents to the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate, seeking him for explanations in a file where he is accused of false documents, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering. Should these be mere coincidences?