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September 17, 2019
POLITICS

First Iohannis-Ponta meeting after heated exchange: Full openness for dialogue, mutual respect and Government-Presidency collaboration for the progress of Romania, says PM

Premier Victor Ponta went to the Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday, after the Government meeting, in order to talk with President Klaus Iohannis after the two were involved in heated exchanges over the last three days.

“The meeting with President Iohannis, full openness for dialogue, mutual respect and Government-Presidency collaboration for the progress of Romania,” Victor Ponta wrote on his Twitter account at the end of his meeting with President Iohannis, which lasted approximately 30 minutes.

The Presidential Administration pointed out that the agenda of the talks between Klaus Iohannis and Victor Ponta, “which took place in an institutional framework,” included the management of the migration flows in the Western Balkans, Romania’s stance on this issue and the current stage of the preparations to take in refugees.

“The agenda of the talks, which took place in an institutional framework, included the situation of the management of migration flows in the Western Balkans region, Romania’s stance on this issue and the current stage of preparations to take in refugees.
At the same time, the strengthening of cooperation between regional states and rendering efficient the exchange of information between states in order for our actions to be better correlated was also discussed,” the Presidency’s communiqué reads.

The aforementioned source points out that during the meeting the two officials tackled other current issues too.

Likewise, the Prime Minister presented “a series of current issues related to the implementation of the budget,” the Presidential Administration’s communiqué points out.

The new dispute between Victoria Palace and Cotroceni Palace appeared after Victor Ponta attended on Saturday in Sofia a trilateral meeting with his Bulgarian and Serbian counterparts, a meeting in which they talked about the possibility of closing their countries’ borders to the wave of immigrants. On Sunday, before leaving for Brussels to attend the mini-summit convened by the European Commission on the topic of refugees, Klaus Iohannis stated that the Premier did not consult him, did not have a mandate to commit Romania and “took a leisure walk to Sofia.”

The climax of the dispute between the President and the Prime Minister was reached on Monday. The Premier stated that the

President leaves for Brussels like “a deaf girl for a hora dance,” is silent and does nothing and that he wants to change the Government at any cost. The President’s reply came during his press conference on Monday evening.

Asked for his comment on the Premier’s statements according to which the President does nothing and is silent in Brussels “like a deaf girl in a hora dance,” Iohannis replied that he is doing his duty and that the Head of Government imagines that by adopting such a “bellicose” attitude he manages to make the public opinion forget that he is indicted for forgery, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering.

“I am doing my duty, but in what concerns the Prime Minister’s statements Mr. Ponta is very bellicose lately. My opinion is that he believes that through this attitude people forget he is on trial for tax evasion and complicity to tax evasion and money laundering,” President Iohannis said.

His reaction came after Victor Ponta stated on Monday that someone has to make Romania’s position publicly known, given the fact that “the President is doing nothing” and sits silent in Brussels “like a deaf girl in a hora dance.”

“I want to enlighten Romania’s population and citizen Klaus what the refugee situation is. At this moment there is a trend at European level, started first by Hungary but it can continue in the case of Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany too, a trend to close the borders, and so my duty toward Romania’s citizens, because this is why I’m Prime Minister – I have a duty toward citizens, I went to talk with our main partners at regional level, namely Bulgaria and Serbia, in order for us to have an action and coordination over what is nevertheless the biggest challenge at this moment,” Ponta said at the PSD headquarters before the party’s National Standing Bureau meeting.

Having started on Sunday with the President’s statements in Arad, statements according to which Ponta did not have a mandate for the meeting in Sofia, the dispute continued on Tuesday morning too with a new reply from the Prime Minister, a reply posted on Facebook.

“I am willing to collaborate with President Klaus Iohannis and I’m not “bellicose.” I will attend the talks and I will treat him with the respect he treats me. Unfortunately, Mr. Iohannis often tends to treat us arrogantly, “as the master treats his serfs.” But I owe him nothing and I have no reason to show up ‘hat in hand,’” Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook.

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