Ex-chair of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Crin Antonescu, presently Senator of the party and a very discrete public presence broke his usual recent silence and issued statements referring to PM Ciolos.
He declared on Tuesday evening at Romania TV that Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos is “a political character” who had done “high-level politics” and, if he indeed wishes to change anything in society and at the Romanian political class, he has two options: either joining a party or founding a new one. Antonescu brought up the hypothesis the PNL leadership would be overtaken by Dacian Ciolos, pointing out that, at this point, PNL is “nowhere”. In Antonescu’s opinion, Alina Gorghiu and Vasile Blaga “do not exist politically”.
“I think Mr. Ciolos had done high-level politics for many years. Being an European Commissioner means doing high-level politics, politics at European level and I do not think there is any Government in any format that could be free of doing politics. The story of the Government of technocrats, meaning that these people do not do politics, as politics is sometimes bad, is a lie that should not be maintained anymore within Romanian society, which is quite unstable democratically as it is right now. If Mr. Ciolos indeed wants to change something, he could very well do it from the inside or from the peak of a political party.
In any case, by leading a Government at this point, Mr. Ciolos is making politics. And once again I repeat, as Mr. Ciolos is a person I have an outstanding opinion on until he proves me wrong, I hope he would make politics inside a party, because it is the only way politics may be done on the long run and consistently”, Crin Antonescu declared for Romania TV.
As for the street protests that had determined Victor Ponta’s resignation, Crin Antonescu admited: “I am far from being a person who could ignore street protests and I never did such thing as a political leader, either. Nonetheless, the street should not appoint or dismiss Governments. The street may cast away one Government, and it is not the case that happened recently. Because, when a Government is forced to go due to street pressure, different things are supposed to happen than what happened now. It was Mr. Ponta’s option to resign so it is OK. Furthermore, to allow the street to appoint a Government is unacceptable.
It is true, indeed, that parties and PNL, first of all, temporarily quit their missions. At the point you go and claim to be a massive political party endowed with the ambition to rule, with an alternative Government, but you know, not now, it is obvious that other solutions should be sought and I do not think PNL should consider they are undermined.”
The former Liberal leader pointed out PNL should have presented a proposal at Cotroceni. “It is what any powerful party would have done under such circumstances, yet, if this capacity did not appear, PNL should not be angry, ostensibly or in a passive aggressive fashion, that a different formula was chosen.
A different formula that will become politics, sooner or later because, I repeat, governing is a political act. Mr. Ciolos is a political personality. (…) Sooner or later, this thing will also adopt the colour of a party. In one way or the other: either Mr. Ciolos will join the management of an existing party, or he will found a new party, an idea that has been circulated anyhow.”
Antonescu also declared that he was maintaining his decision to withdraw from politics. “I am firmly determined not to return. My decision is definitive. (…) My personal opinion on Ciolos is that he is both a competent and decent person and, due to my wish to see great things accomplished in politics, I would like it if Mr. Ciolos assumed a political role as soon as possible. (…)
As I see things, if Mr. Ciolos indeed wishes to change anything in Romanian politics, he is supposed to either assume the leadership of a party that already exists such as, let us not avoid it any longer, PNL, as I do not see him joining PSD, or to found a new party in order to apply these reforms”.
Antonescu criticised the party he had once led, saying that PNL “is nowhere at this point”.
“I am sorry to say it, but PNL is nowhere at this point. It is not holding the power, it is not in the opposition, it is not out on the streets and it is not inside its headquarters because they have no identity whatsoever, nor a genuine management, and this is not an insult to Ms. Gorghiu, or to Mr. Blaga”, Antonescu mentioned.
“PNL is going through a management crisis, as it lacks an identity, a leader who could be the President’s partner, but in order to be a partner, you are supposed to exist, which is not the case in this situation.
Mr. Ciolos could be an option but I cannot speak in the name of PNL. I think that ‘something’ is always better than nothing”, Antonescu added.