Victor Ponta has explained that he, his wife, Daciana Sarbu, and his two children – Andrei and Irina – were going on holiday and would be back on 9 August.
‘This time I am not having any follow-up check in Turkey’, the PM stressed, referring to the information that he was travelling to Turkey for a second knee surgery. ‘That will be decided by the Romanian doctor together with the doctor who operated on me in Turkey, but at the end of August. This time I’m going on holiday with the wife and children. We are going abroad, but not to Turkey. I am going with my wife and with my children and I hope I won’t see any doctors, for I have seen enough’, he said during a telephone intervention on B1 TV on Tuesday.
‘Government or the Romanian state are not paying a penny for this’
The head of the Government was reminded that President Klaus Iohannis had blamed him for spending his holiday abroad, but Ponta said that, as long as his children were happy, he was ready to take the criticism.
‘Knowing that Irina and Andrei will be happy, I am ready to take the criticism, totally aware that there will be a wave of blames. But the Government or the Romanian state are not paying a penny for this’, Ponta also said.
During his leave, the PM has not appointed Gabriel Oprea as interim PM. He just delegated his duties to him from July 29 to August 9, according to a decision by Premier Victor Ponta published on Wednesday in the Official Journal.
‘The prime-minister will go on leave on 1 August and will be back to work on 17 August. During this period, he will delegate Deputy Premier Gabriel Oprea to replace him as the head of the Executive’, ziare.com quotes official sources as having said. Asked why Victor Ponta was not asking President Klaus Iohannis to approve a new interim period for Oprea, the sources noted that such thing was not needed under the current circumstances.
‘There are no Executive meetings during this period, as the Government is on leave, and this is why an interim prime-minister does not need to be appointed, that being the only legal form that gives the official in question, in the absence of the prime-minister, the right to call and chair Cabinet meetings. A delegation of competence will be enough for this holiday period’, the quoted sources further said.
The same sources say the next meeting of the Government is scheduled for August 19.
“This is the last meeting of the Government before two weeks of recess,” Ponta said Tuesday at the meeting that approved a budgetary revision for 2015.
PM Victor Ponta noted last week that he might \go to Turkey for a few days for a new surgery on his knee, in which case Gabriel Oprea would be, again, acting Prime-Minister.
‘It is very likely that IO may require a new surgery on my knee, but it will not be as serious as last time, it’s just something that could be done then’, Victor Ponta said on Romania TV.
The PM noted that ‘if there are a few days of leave, obviously Deputy Premier Oprea will be here to replace me without any issue whatsoever’.
PM Victor Ponta was admitted on 14 June to the Medipol University Hospital in Istanbul where he had surgery on his knee a day later. Ponta returned to the country on 8 July, after almost one month of absence. During that period, Gabriel Oprea acted as interim Prime-Minister.
Gabriel Oprea: ‘I have promised PM Victor Ponta to stay at work’
Deputy PM Gabriel Oprea said on Wednesday that he had promised PM Victor Ponta to stay and coordinate the activity of the Government for the period of his holiday, but noted that he would not adopt any ordinances as long as Ponta was away, and that he would just take care of the ‘current affairs’.
‘Since I did not take leave and stayed, it was normal that I should be delegated the authority. I have promised PM Victor Ponta to stay at work, it’s normal for someone to take care of the current affairs of the Government’, Oprea said.
The deputy prime-minister noted that he would not take any special measure during this period unlike his interim office.
‘We are not going to adopt any ordinance. Back then I was also coordinating the Cabinet meetings. This time I will be taking care of the current affairs of the Government, which is normal. It’s a good government that has a good performance. It can rule, I have said this, even better, but it’s normal for the public to know that someone is, however, here, at work’, Oprea also said.
He noted that he would, nonetheless, call command structures in meetings should the situation so require.