POLITICS

Gov’t distancing itself from statements concerning the transfer of EUR 35 bln abroad over the last 5 years. Agriculture Minister explains: “It was a metaphor”

Government Spokesperson Dan Suciu has distanced the Government from the Agriculture Minister’s statements about the transfer of EUR 35 bln outside the country over the last five years. Dan Suciu stated that Minister Achim Irimescu’s statements are personal interpretations based on press reports and Court of Accounts information, “it’s true, unclear and muddled.” Moreover, the Agriculture Minister explained that the statements about the transfer of money outside the country were “a metaphor” and the situation has nothing to do with Traian Basescu, whose term in office was concerned.

The Agriculture Minister recently stated in an interview that EUR 35 bln have been taken out of Romania in the last 5 years, during Basescu’s term in office.

“You are taking the money out of the country and – he was telling me – EUR 35 bln have been taken out of Romania in the last 5 years, ever since Basescu’s time. All Romanians, all the parties, let us be clear. EUR 35 bln have been taken out of Romania, the boys were telling me confidentially; from Romania, they were taken by truck to Switzerland. You are so stupid, that money [could have] produced for us instead of producing for Switzerland. You know that now in Switzerland you have to pay a commission if you deposit money, they are not paying you one,” the Agriculture Minister stated.

The Government Spokesperson pointed out that Minister Achim Irimescu’s statements were personal opinions and were based on information discussed publicly. “The other statements (about EUR 35 bln being transferred from Romania to Switzerland by truck – editor’s note) are Achim Irimescu’s interpretation of information circulated in the press and by the Court of Accounts. It’s true, unclear and muddled,” Dan Suciu stated for Mediafax on Saturday.

In what concerns Achim Irimescu’s statements about the irregularities related to imported food products, Dan Suciu said that there is an official point of view from the Consumer Protection Agency and the Agriculture Ministry.

Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu (photo) explained that his statements about EUR 35 bln transferred abroad by truck, over the last five years, were “a metaphor.”

“It was a metaphor. If you see the Court of Accounts statement [published] a few days ago, tax evasion represents 40 percent of GDP, namely EUR 60 bln. Some of that money probably ended up abroad. That’s exactly what was said in 2010 too, which I referred to,” Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu stated for Mediafax.

 

Basescu’s violent reply: Irimescu should be arrested unless he substantiates statements

 

His statements prompted a violent reply from Traian Basescu, who said that the minister should be arrested if he does not substantiate his statements.

“If Irimescu knows, it means he also has proof. If not, he is a common informer and such a punk should be arrested immediately. If he is right by any chance, it means the counter-intelligence service, so SRI, was conspiring with them. Such a money transfer wouldn’t have been possible without the Romanian counter-intelligence structures knowing about it. One or the other should be arrested immediately,” Traian Basescu stated on Romania TV.

In what concerns Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu’s statements about the sale of expired food products imported from other states, Traian Basescu stated on Sunday that these are lies and the same products are found in hypermarkets in Germany or France. However, he added that in case the information were real then Premier Dacian Ciolos, who was European Agriculture Commissioner, would have a big problem.

“Concerning Irimescu’s statements that we are eating garbage, well, his boss was agriculture commissioner. If Irimescu, who was a civil servant, below the average level, at the European Commission is telling us this, and Ciolos, who was European Commissioner, did not, it means Ciolos held it back, which is very serious. In case Irimescu is not some kind of irresponsible person and is a man who talks informedly, it means Ciolos has a big problem. Why didn’t Ciolos tell us this when he was a commissioner or now, after he finished his stint in Brussels, especially since he is coming from the office of advisor to the European Commission President, which means he has all the information,” former president Traian Basescu stated for Mediafax.

 

“If he is irresponsible not only should he be sacked but also committed somewhere”

 

Referring also to the statements according to which during his term as president EUR 35 bln was allegedly taken from Romania to Switzerland, by truck, Traian Basescu added that “if the man is irresponsible not only should he be sacked but also committed somewhere, it seems he has an ailment.”

“However, if what he’s saying is true, he should immediately go to the General Prosecutor’s Office and notify them about this. It’s serious to say the money was taken out by truck and I am convinced that Kovesi, the head of the General Prosecutor’s Office back then and the head of the DNA now, will be able to tell him if it’s true or not. If not, maybe he will try at SRI, where General Coldea was first deputy director during the period he talked about and is still in office. Or if not, maybe he will try at the head of the customs office or if not at the head of police, who are still in office,” Basescu said.

The former Head of State added that it is not possible to make such public statements unless you have elements and unless you informed state institutions. “However, if the man is right it means all the institutions I mentioned, none of which notified me, have responsibilities for what happened, I must admit. My opinion is that the man has mental problems, but I could be wrong and the man could be perfectly healthy and in that case it’s surprising he did not file a denunciation,” the former head of state concluded.

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