POLITICS

Ponta: Next week, Tariceanu and I will file a draft law on presumption of innocence

Ex-Premier Victor Ponta, Social Democrat member of the Lower Chamber, stated that next week he will file in Parliament, alongside Senator Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, a draft law that would transpose in Romania the European Directive on strengthening human rights and the presumption of innocence.

“Next week (…) we will file in Parliament a draft law that basically transposes in Romanian legislation the European Directive on respecting human rights and the presumption of innocence. The one that comrade Pruna, from the Securitate, said she does not want to transpose because rights are a luxury in Romania. (…) That never happened before, I was Prime Minister for four years, he [Calin Popescu Tariceanu] was for four years. It’s a European directive that concerns human rights and that Ms. Pruna refuses to transpose. Calin Popescu Tariceanu, member of the Senate, and I, member of the Lower Chamber, will file it again,” Victor Ponta stated on Romania TV on Wednesday evening.

Victor Ponta, who resigned after the Colectiv tragedy in November 2015, says he felt good while being away from political responsibility, however he pointed out that the existing problems have prompted him to return at the forefront in order to prevent people from being “fooled” with the “let’s not vote for PSD” principle.

 

Things going very badly in the country

 

“Things are going very badly in the country. I’ve decided not to give up, to fight this nonsense that is being served to us at every election. That’s how we ended up with Basescu President too, because some people said anyone should win but PSD. Romanians fared well while PSD governed, and these slick guys are saying “Basescu is no good, Iohannis is no good, but let’s not vote for PSD.” Why should we always vote contrary to what’s good for us? It’s a disaster in the country. Based on the current figures, 2017 could be just as bad as 2010,” Victor Ponta stated on Romania TV.

The ex-Premier emphasised that Romania risks having a very high budget deficit in 2016 and pointed out that the best example of the incompetence of “Mr. Iohannis’s Government” is the public sector salary law, whose failure prompted thousands of teachers to protest and ask for the Government’s resignation on Wednesday.

“I think these resignation calls are coming too late. Last year, in Romania, with the same people, with the same things, we hiked by 25 percent the healthcare and education employees’ salaries, we lowered the VAT and we closed the year with a deficit of 0.5. Now I keep hearing “there is no money.” But where did the money go? They’ve also published the economic growth, budget deficit and investment data for 2015. I don’t want to talk about how good we were and how bad the others are. I want to show how bad 2017 will be unless they start governing. Last year there were EUR 5 bln in European grants; this year – ZERO. Investments represented 7 percent of GDP; this year – ZERO. After the first quarter of 2015, the budget surplus stood at RON 6 bn, that’s why we were able to amend the budget; now it stands at RON 130 M. The only thing that kept working was the famous PNDL, started by Dragnea, it’s the only programme that is still working this year,” Victor Ponta added. “In 2016 the deficit will surpass 3 percent of GDP,” the ex-Premier added.

 

Romania, country without leadership

 

Victor Ponta stated that Romania looks like a country without leadership.

“I’m fighting Iohannis because he gives me the opportunity. Any person who watches how Iohannis does politics, how he says so many silly things when he talks and how he remains silent when he should talk, can see this. In what concerns me, the fact that Mr. Iohannis was able to use the death of innocent people, a tragedy that could have happened in Sibiu too, the fact that he had the cynicism to use that for a political goal, showed me that he is worse than Basescu. After 4 years of pensions, salaries, investments, to come up and say “some innocent kids died, we have to install another Government”… What is the link? I’m not calling Mr. Iohannis a man with a landlord’s character by chance,” Victor Ponta pointed out. He added that the fact that the President and members of his family are not held accountable after a court ruled that one of his homes in Sibiu was bought on the basis of false documents and of the use of false documents shows that he is “a puppet.”

Asked who is leading Romania in his opinion, Ponta answered: “I know Iohannis doesn’t. To me it rather seems a country without leadership.”

 

Ex-Premier criticises Ciolos Gov’t again on Facebook

 

Ex-Premier Victor Ponta posted on Facebook on Thursday a new message in which he criticises the activity of the Ciolos Government.

“How does Romania look in 2016 (after it was the country with the highest economic growth and social development in the EU in 2015). The absorption of European grants is nil after 5 months. Budget revenues are in freefall, all investments are blocked given the suspension of SEAP [Electronic System for Public Procurements], agricultural subsidies have not been paid although it’s June already, the energy system is buckling under the pressure of imports from the Czech Republic and Hungary, physicians are arrested and teachers are protesting against the lies they are told in what concerns their salaries,” Ponta wrote on Facebook.

Likewise, Victor Ponta launches an attack on Justice Minister Raluca Pruna, stating that she has “a mentality typical of the communist Securitate.” Victor Ponta’s statement comes after Romanian magistrates have sided with lawyers in solidarity against the Justice Minister, following her statements about the so-called “absolute immunity” that lawyers will enjoy in Romania after the amendment of Law no.51/1995, “something unprecedented in the EU.”

“What is the Romanian Government doing in this situation!? It allows a Justice Minister with a typical communist Securitate background and mentality to send Romania back to the 1950s. Congratulations to the judges and lawyers who have the courage to oppose these anti-democratic tendencies!” Victor Ponta added.

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