Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos told LCI French TV station in an interview on Thursday that “there is always a concern about what might happen” in France in the context of terrorist attack risk, but “that will not prevent thousands of Romanians from going” to the EURO2016 European Football Championship for the opening match on Friday between France and Romania.
Asked if there is concern in Romania about the security measures taken by France related to the risks for terrorist attacks, Ciolos replied, “Yes, of course. (…) There is always a concern about what might happen; however that will not prevent thousands of Romanians from coming here.”
About the ongoing protests and strikes in France, Ciolos said they “are part of the French social culture.”
“Therefore, I am not surprised to see strikes and protests. I haven’t paid particular attention to the reason of these strikes, but France is known for this social culture that is extremely powerful and for its trade unions, who are well-organised and very incisive, so to say,” said Ciolos said, who on Thursday started a two-day visit to Paris.
He added that the French should not care about what Europeans think about the picture their country is projecting by these strikes and protests, but they should care about “how the problems can be solved domestically.” “I believe that is more important,” said Ciolos.
Romania hasn’t taken measures against Russia; I am worried about destabilising conflicts
The missile defence shield in Romania isn’t targeted against Russia, Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos reiterated on Thursday in an interview to LCI French TV station, voicing concern “with the existence of conflicts destabilising the region,” adding that this is why “we must think about defence against possible threats.”
“Romania is NATO’s border. We are in an area where there are conflicts not generated by Romania or EU countries. Russia is a big neighbour, but Romania hasn’t taken measures against Russia. The missile defence shield isn’t targeted against Russia,” Ciolos said in reply to a question about the recent threats voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin against Romania.
He also said that Vladimir Putin is the one who took “that measure that created the situation we know in Ukraine.”
“I am concerned in the first place that there are conflicts destabilising the region and of course we must think about defence against possible threats. However, if we look back in history, Romania isn’t characterised by aggression, and it will not start being so now,” he added in the interview.
The Romanian prime minister also said that the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw will be an opportunity to discuss the positioning of the North Atlantic Alliance on its eastern flank. “Measures must be taken to deter any possible conflict on NATO territory,” concluded Ciolos.
“Romania no collection of soccer stars, yet it’s a team”
Romania’s soccer team is no collection of starts, but it is a team, Dacian Ciolos also told French LCI (La Chaine Info). He was optimistic about a possible victory versus France, in the Friday night opening of the UEFA Euro 2016.
“The best will win. And I believe Romanians are better. Romania is not a team of stars or personalities, but it’s a team. They are young, it’s a new generation. Their ambition is to make the team stronger and show that Romania is a team,” Ciolos answered a request to anticipate the match result.
He added that “soccer is a huge passion” in Romania and that he expects to see “some thousands of Romanians in the stands for this opening match and the other matches of the team.”
The premier also stressed that it is an important moment for Romania, after many years of missing final tournaments. “It’s a new generation. Romanians support it,” said Ciolos, who started on Thursday a two-day visit to Paris.
Social security benefits for EU workers in UK, a matter of principle
The Premier told French TV station LCI that the social security benefits to which European Union workers are entitled while working in the UK and which the UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants to limit are “a matter of principle.”
In the case of Cameron’s requests as part of negations with the EU to limit access of the EU workers to the social security system of the UK, “it is not a matter of humiliation to some or others, but a matter of principle,” said Ciolos.
“The matter now is whether or not the fundamental values and principles of the European Union are being adhered to. The free movement of workers is one of the principles. Equal treatment inside the European Union is also such a principle. Consequently, I see that as a matter of principle,” Ciolos said Thursday ahead of a two-day visit to Paris.
He added that he had several opportunities to discuss the subject with Cameron. “I can understand there are abuses, but there are also tools to avoid such abuses or treat them differently,” said Ciolos.
“There is talk inside the European Council of tackling this subject. We have been seeking solutions. The UK does not want to welcome workers coming from the European Union, but there are such immigrants coming from former British colonies. As a matter of fact, I have told Cameron that a difference should be made, because a Romanian, a Pole or a Bulgarian in this instance is not an immigrant, but a European citizen who goes to work to the UK, the same as a Britton investing in Romania, for instance. And it is quite another thing when somebody comes from outside the European Union. We have to consider things under different legal frameworks,” said Ciolos.