Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday evening on Antena 3 private television broadcaster said that at present he doesn’t feel comfortable with assuming a political role in a party, adding that he doesn’t plan on running in the 2016 elections and that this was not the reason for which he accepted the prime minister office.
“I don’t know what it means to be a prime minister of sacrifice, if sacrifice means to come and take on some risks, assume some objectives which you try to reach, with the risk of not being able to reach them because you may lack some elements for reaching them, then I assume this sacrifice and I have assumed it since the beginning. If this so-called sacrifice or not can bring something good at the end of this year [of tenure], I believe that it is a sacrifice worth making. I don’t regard it as a sacrifice, because I have assumed this decision of accepting this proposal,” Dacian Ciolos said, when asked if he is a prime minister of sacrifice or the future National Liberal Party (PNL) chairman.
The Prime Minister also mentioned on the other hand that he cannot see how he could be the future PNL chairman since he does not file his candidacy for such a position.
“I said that I do not plan on joining a political party and I do not want to run [in the elections] at the end of 2016. I assumed an independent prime minister office, with an independent government, and I am aware that the chance of this government of seeing through or initiating a few reforms and of also having political support for this is precisely its honesty from this point of view. If I try to use a possible capital won in this year of tenure, to use it as election capital at the end of 2016 it would mean to betray certain expectations and not to be honest with myself,” Ciolos said.
The Prime Minister added that in case he said he doesn’t completely reject the idea of going into politics he would be told that he is still considering it.
“No, I am not considering it, but you can never completely reject anything because you don’t know how things turn out, but no. I also said it in 2007, I also said in 2010 when I was appointed commissioner, I also said it in 2014 when I ended my commissioner mandate, that I do not plan to… I don’t feel comfortable with making party politics. When I feel comfortable or when I believe I can assume certain things, I assume them, when I don’t feel comfortable with assuming them I don’t do it just for the sake of it. Therefore, at present I don’t feel comfortable with assuming a political role in a political party,” Ciolos said.
He added that if the PM mandate proves to be a successful one it won’t be the success of one person.
“It will be the success of a new team, it will be the success of a new system. Therefore I don’t see why these things should be connected to a person or to the continuity of a person. I have assumed in front of Mr President and Parliament a one-year mandate, I shall carry my mandate through and then I will see what I will do. What I can tell you and I reiterate is that I do not plan on running in the 2016 elections and this is not why I accepted the prime minister mandate,” Ciolos underscored.
“Relationship with Iohannis one of mutual trust. Ponta, Tariceanu, Dragnea – friends”
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos stated on Wednesday that his relation with President Klaus Iohannis is one of mutual trust, and that with former PM Victor Ponta, Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu is one of friendship.
The Prime Minister also stated that in his opinion King Mihai I has the status of a symbol whose behaviour is dignified.
“Victor Ponta – I dare say he is a friend with whom I collaborated well during my time as a European Commissioner. (…) Liviu Dragnea, I would say the same, a friend and, I believe, as regards the talks we have on the governing platform, I could also talk about a relationship of trust. At least so far there was a relationship of trust and from the experience we had so far he appears to be a serious person with whom one can have a serious discussion. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu (…) was the one who made the first steps to advance the proposal for the position of European Commissioner (…) and we maintained a friendly relationship,” the prime minister told Antena 3.
Ciolos also mentioned that National Liberal Party (PNL) Chairwoman Alina Gorghiu is a very pragmatic and practical-minded person, while Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi is a pragmatic, practical person and one with whom he has enjoyable professional talks. Asked about Eduard Hellvig, whom he characterized as pragmatic and efficient, Ciolos said the Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) is a childhood friend, who was also born in Zalau, Salaj County.
Ciolos also said that Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dincu is a very keen observer of the Romanian society and a friend. The PM also said he had a good work experience with Traian Basescu. “We worked well during the time we interacted,” the PM added, according to Agerpres.
2016 will be year of predictability beginning and reform launching
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Wednesday evening on Antena 3 private television broadcaster said that 2016 could be the year of the beginning of predictability and of launching reforms in several areas, if the Government succeeds making more efficient some state-owned companies involved in investments in infrastructure.
Ciolos pointed out that the Government is aware that there are a few areas where it cannot make decisions on a legislative level, but at least it could launch a debate with the political parties aimed at setting some objectives for the period after 2016.
The Prime Minister said at the same time that 2016 being an austerity year is out of the question. “I don’t know if we can talk about an austerity year since pay raises have been decided on in certain areas,” the PM said.
He explained that austerity is also out of the question in respect to the administration reform, where measures on increasing efficiency are in view.
The Prime Minister also explained the need for investment. “If we only go with the money given for consumption and we have no investments we risk that in a few years’ time we go back to the situation of the period 2009-2010, with difficulties in economy. It would be a shame, as we are on positive trend in terms of economic growth,” the Prime Minister showed.
PM Ciolos to pay official visit to Germany on January 7
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos announced on Wednesday he is to pay an official visit to Berlin on January 7 at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“She invited me to Berlin and we set the date of the visit during the meeting (editor’s note: with the German Chancellor in Brussels) (…) as January 7,” Ciolos told Antena 3 private television broadcaster.
The PM stated his intention was to pay a visit to Berlin as soon as possible in order to present the Government’s plans and the governing platform in what concerns the economy sector.
“I would like Romania to play a more proactive role in its relations with the EU on a government level and not a reactive one as has been the case many times up until now. (…) Proactive in the sense of anticipating certain decisions that are in the works, certain draft laws, to anticipate, to try to identify the sore spots that might come up in talks, to take a stand as a member state on those topics and become involved in negotiation groups for the final positions and of decisions to be taken,” Ciolos said, adding that a proactive state is one that matters.
The PM also expressed his intentions to pay an official visit to the French capital at the end of January or early February at the invitation of French President Francois Hollande, adding that he is waiting for the investiture of the Romanian Ambassador to France in order to prepare the visit.
Moreover, Ciolos also stated also plans to pay a visit to The Netherlands, the country assuming the EU presidency in the first semester of 2016, at the invitation of his Dutch counterpart.
“I would like to discuss the priorities of The Netherlands as holder of the EU presidency and to see how we position ourselves on certain topics,” the Prime Minister said.