On Monday, Premier Dacian Ciolos presented a government platform he believes could be functional after the December 11 parliamentary elections too, through the continuation of the change started with the appointment of the Government he has led over the past year.
Ciolos’s platform became viral on Facebook, with over 4,000 signatures of support in the first hour after its launch, with thousands of shares and likes. European Grants Minister Cristian Ghinea was the first to sign the petition.
I promised I won’t run in these elections and I won’t get politically involved during this term. My decision remains firm, and the Government I lead remains an independent one.
The Premier’s mandate I started in November 2015 had the objective of ensuring the country’s political and economic stability. At the same time, it’s purpose was to give the political parties the breathing space needed to reform, to win back people’s confidence, to open more toward society.
Some parties do not seem to have taken this path. This year of exceptional, politically independent governance was for them just a way to buy for time, in order to allow the energies unlocked by #Colectiv to simmer down. In essence, their manner of relating to people, to voters, has remained the same.
I wanted us to show that Romania can be governed differently too – with honesty, fairness, integrity. I believe there can be a different way of managing the public interest in Romania, openly, in dialogue with the people, starting off from the idea that the general interest is better served by a professional, not a politicised administration. This is what I started doing this year. Not all went well, but we tried to honestly correct the mistakes made.
But, precisely because I now have this experience, I believe that the change can continue. From my point of view, a governance platform for the period after December 11 should be developed on the basis of publicly assumed principles, backed by political parties, politicians, civic groups or civil society’s organisations, businessmen, by each of us, those who believe this change is necessary.
In 2018, Romania will celebrate the Great Union’s centenary. 100 years have meant dramatic cycles, from totalitarianism to democracy, from wars and profound crises to NATO and European Union accession. If we want Romania to grow, we need a profound state reform. We need a profound renewal of the political class, new principles that we, as society, should adopt beyond political commitments and election cycles.
That is why I propose the #Romania100 Platform – Romania 100 years later – 10 principles of governance for citizens, accompanied by a portfolio of national projects which I believe should be continued or started by the next Government. A platform to regain our confidence in Romania and in ourselves,” Ciolos wrote on Facebook.
Ciolos’s proposal in the platform: A corruption-free Romania with a responsible political class
“A corruption-free Romania, with a responsible political class, governed by common sense, having a say in the European Union and NATO” is the proposal Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos launched on Monday evening, dubbed the “Romania 100” platform.
At the basis of this platform lie 10 principles assumed by the premier.
A “Romania without corruption” is firstly backed by PM Ciolos, who says that no political force in Romania should thwart the fight against corruption, weaken the judiciary and the rule of law. Corruption means poverty, corruption sentences us to underdevelopment. Therefore, he adds, the fight against corruption must be assumed by each and every one of us, individually, with the feeling that when one of us pays or receives bribe, asks for or offers an unfair advantage, they become part of the system that corrupts and kills Romania. At its centenary, Romania needs a powerful, independent judiciary, says Ciolos.
The PM also advocates a Romania with a “responsible political class” and a Romania “governed with common sense.”
“Following the 11 December elections, Romania will risk having its top echelon made up of people who are criminally investigated, criminally convicted, who can no longer represent the future. One hundred years since the Greater Union, Romania deserves a decent political class, capable to become a role model of ethics and honesty, not of populism and demagoguery (…) The short tenure of the current government showed the limits of the change under an opaque, highly politicized, unreformed administration. Romanians deserve a strong, reformed state, with a competitive, professional, open, for-the-people administration,” stresses Ciolos.
The Head of Government emphasises the importance of a country where “each and every one works and is fairly paid” and a “Romania with no poverty.”
“The healthy economic growth and the living standard could be maintained should we create more jobs. Salary, pension rises are possible only if enough people work. (…). We need investors, consolidated domestic capital and foreign capital as well (…). One child out of three drops out of school. We have one of the most inefficient welfare systems in Europe. Instead of being supported, the poorest of us are made fun of, they are used as mass electoral manoeuvre. Romania needs a new concept of social inclusion,” explains Ciolos.
Another principle refers to “a Romania with a competitive economy,” since Romania has no expressway across its mountains and we are the poverty pole of Europe, with huge development imbalances among regions. All of this is the result of inconsistency, of inability to carry through projects and have strategic approach, of the arbitrary systems to disburse public funds with the purpose to “buy out” mayors for the electoral campaign (…) Romania needs a vision of multiannual development, to unite national budget resources with European grants,” adds Ciolos.
The Premier also stresses the importance of the education and healthcare systems.
“Today in Romania we have an education system partly discredited by party interests and non-values, an underfinanced system. We have a system that excludes the poor and the ones living in rural areas, where technical and agricultural high schools were neglected, where many universities became manufacturers of diplomas. (…). Too many physicians are leaving Romania. No new hospitals have been built in Romania; a development plan on modernizing the hospital infrastructure has been absent in the past 26 years,” says Ciolos.
The Premier is in favour of “a Romania that has a say in the European Union and NATO” and “a Romania of all Romanians.”
“In 2019, the centennial Romania will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. (…) We have the strength to become the Eastern anchor of the united Europe. We have the strength to remain the most reliable partner of the United States of America in Eastern Europe. Also, we have the historic, moral duty to keep close to us, on a European path, the Romanians from the Republic of Moldova, to prepare our people to find their bearings in any form the next generations from here and from across the Prut River may want to. (…) Most of the Romanians who have left the country to work abroad are doing this because they lost faith that they could do better at home. We have a duty to respect their decision, to protect them and support them wherever they’ve chosen to live, but we also have the obligation to not estrange them from the country and to encourage them to return home (…),” the Premier concludes his platform.
President Iohannis : I suppose he wants to show he is willing to go further
President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday said that the platform presented by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos is “very good” and that, most likely, the latter wants “to go further.”
“This platform presented by Mr Dacian Ciolos is a very good platform. It includes matters we all want, there are principles which is good to be guided by in political and economic life. Overall, it is a platform of principles and values which I find good. (…) I suppose Mr Ciolos hasn’t come up with this platform only to show the world he has a healthy way of thinking, but he wants to show that he is willing, at least this is what I understood, to go further. In what capacity? This, of course, is up to the voter, in the first place,” Iohannis replied when asked about the platform of principles launched by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.
He insisted on underscoring that December 11 is the date of parliamentary, not “governmental” elections.
“The Government is formed afterwards, through procedures involving me and the political parties in the Parliament that will be formed,” the head of state said.
Asked if the platform is the answer he expected from the Prime Minister, President Klaus Iohannis showed that it is a good step.
“This platform is a good step, because parties will be able to decide to support this platform or not, but I believe other steps are also needed,” Iohannis showed.
The head of state pointed out that he also discussed this platform with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Monday, during their weekly meeting.
“Mr Ciolos told me that he planned to launch this platform. We didn’t have a debate on this platform. It is a document of his, which he presented, and remains so, and I hope it will be a serious starting point for debate in the elections campaign,” President Klaus Iohannis said.
PSD’s Dragnea: A list of illusions, plagiarising a Ponta Gov’t document
National leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea calls the “Romania 100” platform released by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos a list of illusions that might be expected from a respectable NGO and that seems to be plagiarised.
“I have read that document. In my opinion, it is a list of illusions. I would have expected such document from a respectable NGO, not from an incumbent government. Besides that, they talk and, as usual, they used well-crafted words. There is a big difference between their words and their actions. I still have some questions: why are they not cutting pharmaceutical drug prices? Why does Romania have to pay 11 million Euros for “La Sagesse de la Terre”? Why did Romania have to lose billions of Lei in untapped European grants since the absorption rate was zero? Why are they watching the floods on TV and when people are fishing out other people from the flood water they are holding reception parties at the Government House?” Dragnea said at the Parliament Palace.
He added that “since they worked so hard to come up with that document,” he would have expected the document to be original.
“I have noticed Dacian Ciolos and the President very nervous about the law on the analysis of plagiarism complaints, but theirs is a plagiarised document. “Romania 100” is a concept approved by our government in 2014 under a government decision. It is an official document. They were not able to come up with some original title. (…) What they are doing is enunciating illusions, although they are in office, telling us what they wish would happen. It is just that they do not answer essential questions like why did they fail to achieve these things in one year. (…) They say one thing and do something else,” said Dragnea.
He added that the original document put forth a substantive, serious concept, because “Romania 100” was designed for the current generation to pay respect at least to the Greater Union centennial by doing something serious like infrastructure, administrative reform, healthcare reform, education, cutting of red tape.
Ponta: Ciolos plagiarised me. He wants to be PM without running for office
Ex-Premier Victor Ponta reacted on Facebook to the platform launched by Ciolos and claims, just like Dragnea, that Ciolos plagiarised him, adding to the posting links to press articles that noticed the same thing, for instance an article titled “Ciolos ‘plagiarises’ Ponta and announces his program linked to 100 years since the Great Union,” an article published by zf.ro after Mediafax.
“Ciolos plagiarised only the title, not the rest (yet) – neither did I plagiarise the rest from him!
“1. The “Romania 100” platform launched in 2014 was a national platform for all Romanians, regardless of their political affiliation. The one launched by Mr. Ciolos now is just a political slogan for PNL and USR (which clearly represent only a minority);
- The USL platform I ran with for the office of Prime Minister in 2012 was a document hundreds of pages long, drafted by hundreds of people over a period of over a year, presented and debated in the mass-media for a long time. Mr. Ciolos’s platform is a compilation of slogans the likes of “let it be good so it wouldn’t be bad,” which do not in fact contain the most important aspect: HOW are you going to do what you propose?
- In 2011 I announced I was engaged in politics and I was running for the Prime Minister’s office backed by USL. Mr. Ciolos first lied to us saying he is a technocrat and would stay in office only for a year, now he wants to be elected Prime Minister WITHOUT RUNNING FOR OFFICE.
- I ran on behalf of USL in order to represent Romanians. Mr. Ciolos commits that unbelievable abjection of justifying his personal ambitions through the death of innocent people at “Colectiv” (on the day of the accident Mr. Ciolos was calmly drinking his coffee in Brussels, earning a salary of 20,000 Euros because he switched sides from Tariceanu to Basescu with no hesitation)!
Now I understand what unites Iohannis and Ciolos – cynicism and the capacity to politically use the death of innocent people!
Poor Romania. Or is it Bad Luck?” Ponta wrote on Facebook.
Heated exchange between Alina Gorghiu and Clotilde Armand: Please stop talking on behalf of USR
National Liberal Party (PNL) President Alina Gorghiu had a heated exchange with Save Romania Union’s (USR) Clotilde Armand when she intervened by phone during a talk-show on B1TV to discuss the platform launched by Dacian Ciolos. USR’s representatives reproached her with the fact that PNL’s actions prevented her from becoming District 1 Mayor and asked her to no longer talk on behalf of USR.
“It’s a platform we were expecting. It’s a necessary, normal platform which fortunately, or unfortunately for some, shows that Romania is in a way divided along two paradigms. One which supports this set of principles that Dacian Ciolos backs too, and here we are talking about PNL, about USR, about the Prime Minister and his team. And another part of Romania which recently came up with requests the likes of ‘let’s suspend the Constitution’ and ‘let’s no longer vote on DNA requests,’” Alina Gorghiu said.
“The moment he launched the idea of the platform he also said he calls on PNL and USR to make this set of principle a viable one and to implement it immediately after December 11,” the PNL President added.
“Ms. Gorghiu, if I may, PNL was allied with PSD up until 2 and a half months ago. I’d ask you to no longer talk on behalf of USR, you did so on Facebook, you did it before too, I’m asking you, please talk about PNL not about USR,” Clotilde Armand responded.
“Nobody should panic, I’m not talking on behalf of USR, I’m glad you’ve collected the signatures for the electoral race,” Alina Gorghiu stated.
“These signatures… during all these years PNL could very well have made them unnecessary, could have avoided placing this huge hurdle to democracy. We have remained an anti-system party and we are realistic in the sense that we will not have 50 percent of the Parliament now. Two and a half months ago I would have been mayor and we would have won 4 years of governing Bucharest had PNL been a little bit more responsible. We are realistic people, we are backing Mr. Ciolos and we want to avoid 4 years of disaster for Romania,” the USR representative said.
“This is exactly what I wanted to say, we should know that both we and Ms. Armand are interested in seeing Romania evolving well politically. I’m absolutely convinced that the common denominator which is called backing Mr. Ciolos can work, and even if we don’t have much in common, the objective of a responsible political class implementing a sustainable governing programme is a joint objective,” Gorghiu replied.
“You are saying I’m sorry you didn’t win the elections and [yet] you didn’t allow, you weren’t in favour of a vote recount,” Clotilde Armand pointed out.
“If I had to choose between you and Mr. Tudorache, I’d choose you a million times. Politicians have to get over the moments of the past in order to be able to build a future together. If it makes you feel any better, or if it helps you in any way, you should know I haven’t forbidden any of my colleagues to endorse, with their signature, USR’s involvement in a democratic competition,” Gorghiu stated.
“I believe it would have been illegal to do so. Any citizen has to be a democratic person and allow more parties to have candidates. I’ve personally said I’ve signed for PSD, for PNL and for all parties,” Armand replied.
“I have no dispute with Ms. Armand. It’s her personal war and I wish her a lot of success,” Alina Gorghiu concluded.