Purchasing an aircraft for traveling dignitaries comes straight after the PM’s decision to set up a special commission that will handle the entire procedure, so that the plane be purchased by the end of the year, was published in the Official Gazette.
The decision comes after discussions in March, within CSAT, and is related to an aircraft with a flight history of 3-4 years.
According to the PM Dacian Ciolos’s decision, which was published in the Official Gazette on Monday, a special commission headed by Minister of Transport, who is its chairman, will be set up, the main goal being the development of a normative act on the financing of the aircraft’s purchase.
“The Commission is responsible for: promoting, under the law, the memorandum which require the approval of CSAT for the format regarding the gradual creation of the aerial capability for special flights; issuing a normative act to provide funding for the purchase of an aircraft during 2016 , to be promoted by the contracting authority, under the law; developing special procurement regulations (…) monitoring, by the involved institutions, of the necessary steps for making the aircraft able to operate starting to January 1, 2017, namely the settlement of maintenance and operation costs, as well as making proposals for the necessary budgetary allocations in the draft of the state budget for 2017 “, reads the document published in the Official Gazette.
The committee will include representatives of several institutions – Prime Minister Chancellery, Presidential Administration, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Special Telecommunications Service (STS), Protection and Guard Service (SPP), the National Agency for Public Procurements, the Authority of the State Heritage, and the Civil Aviation Authority.
In late April, Transport Minister, Dan Costescu, sparked controversies by stating that several aircrafts are going to be purchased for “special flights”.
Subsequently, he mentioned that Government will purchase a second hand aircraft for traveling dignitaries, depending on what money will be available on the occasion of the budget rectification.
“We are still buying one aircraft, do not be worried that we are thinking to buy 3 or 5 aircrafts, as it was wrongly construed – I repeat it for the colleagues, 3 or 5 is the European standard, and we are a country which aims to implement these standards – we will purchase one aircraft. Budget will be settled on the occasion of the budget rectification, which will be performed in the middle of the summer” added Costescu.
He furthermore said that in August we will know exactly what kind of aircraft we will buy and, according to the procedure, subsequently to the budget allocation, the National Agency for Public Procurements will begin the public procurement through RA-APPS, which institution will be the owner of the aircraft.
Transport Minister, Dan Costescu, stated in the mid-March that in the last CSAT meeting it was agreed that, by the end of the year, Romania has to buy the first presidential aircraft, which should have most likely a flight history of 3-4 years and, in the future, the special fleet has to reach at 3-5 aircrafts.
The discussions related to purchasing an aircraft available for the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries (President of the Chamber of Deputies and President of the Senate) are older; a similar committee was also created by the former PM Victor Ponta, without any result.
In May 2015, former PM Victor Ponta was announcing that Presidency and Government have created another committee which was going to negotiate with Tarom in order to purchase an aircraft for special flights, namely an ordinary aircraft which should have been used by the President and Prime Minister for travelling abroad.
The presidential aircraft which the ex-president was using have been disabled because of its age and very high maintenance costs.
Dragnea about the presidential aircraft: We don’t have money for salary increases, but we do have money for stupid things. Iohannis “is a wizard”
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday, at Sibiu, that although Romania is a rich country, it doesn’t need a presidential aircraft in this moment, appreciating other investments, including the increase of the salaries and pensions, as being priorities.
When asked on how does he comment about the fact that Romania’s Government doesn’t find resources to increase professors’ salaries, while President Klaus Iohannis wishes to have an aircraft for which there are enough money, Liviu Dragnea stated that he thinks Romania doesn’t need this at the present moment, although “it is a rich country”.
“We don’t have money for salary increases and for good things, but of course they find money for all kind of stupid things. I don’t think that right now there is any Government or President who thinks to purchase a presidential aircraft. I don’t think Romania needs this thing at the present moment, but after pending problems such as salary and pensions increases, or other pending investments”, stated PSD President Liviu Dragnea within a press conference held at Sibiu.
Liviu Dragnea expressed his concern about the fact that at the half of the year there are no new projects and, “unfortunately, everybody has his cap of pearl”, referring to the President Klaus Iohannis, who wished to have “my Government”, and now he would like to have “my plane”.
“Unfortunately, the only public investment plan working in Romania is the one that we, PSD, have left, namely the one for local development, made by me. There is a hard work on 2,000 sites. Otherwise, unfortunately, there’s not working anything in any other program, at any ministry. We will enter in the last month of the semester and half year is lost. Also in terms of European funds, nothing is open, nothing is submitted. In the matter of the state budget, nothing was performed, too. All of us are human beings. We know that the whole country is waiting for the investments in the middle infrastructure, roads, rails and many other works. Unfortunately, everybody has his cap of pearl. My Government, my country, my plane… Of course! My Parliament!” also stated PSD President, Liviu Dragnea.
Liviu Dragnea arrived in Sibiu on Wednesday in order to participate to a Political Bureau and then to the launching o f the candidates for the local elections in Sibiu county.
PSD president Liviu Dragnea said on Wednesday, at Sibiu, that President Klaus Iohannis is “a wizard”, since he succeeded to obtain votes in the circumstances in which he kept 100 streets of clay in the city.
“I remember that during the presidential year they said that Klaus Iohannis must be voted as president, in order to do in the whole country what he did in Sibiu, in the municipality of Sibiu. I tell you I do not want him to do this. As far as I know, there are still 100 streets of clay in Sibiu, in the municipality of Sibiu. I don’t want to have this situation I Romania. (…) I’ve heard things that, I am honestly telling you, 99 percent of the Romanian citizens which are not residents of Sibiu don’t know. There are things missing in this municipality, but existing in the most of the Romanian municipalities. I hope that the residents of Sibiu will be able to break this spell. Because it was a spell, a real spell” stated Liviu Dragnea at Sibiu.
According to the PSD President, Klaus Iohannis has shown “hidden talents”.
“A person who convinced people living in a municipality which is appreciated and respected in the country and not only in the country, to give him their votes by continuing to keep one hundred streets of clay, proves that has hidden talents, which we don’t have, although we are engineers and we are more competent in this matter. We are talking about real things. I was using the term of “spell” because when you make a professional and very clever manipulation, it can be defined as a spell. I mean people are the ones who are bewitched by the charm of a candidate, not that he would be a wizard, God forbid”, stated Liviu Dragnea at the press conference in Sibiu.