One can say 2017 started well.
And when I’m saying this I’m talking about the political situation in the country, not so much about Romanians.
Because, in my view, as a Romanian, the political reality – or what it was always meant to be – almost never matched my reality as a Romanian taxpaying citizen.
But, politically speaking, at a first glance, one can say the year that just ended, 2016, closed just short of the start of a veritable high-level political crisis.
The reason is already well known – the escalation of political tensions because of the conflict between President Klaus Iohannis and PSD President Liviu Dragnea, against the backdrop of the nomination for the future Prime Minister’s office.
However, after all, all is well when it ends well, right?
Sorin Grindeanu (photo) and his Government are the long-awaited revelation at the end of the year and the start of the new year.
From now on, we can say – isn’t it? – that we have (theoretically and virtually) entered an era of political rearrangement in which the long-awaited rebalancing between the left wing and what is left of the right wing would take place and things would start moving on a positive and upward trend for the country.
Liviu Dragnea has obtained what he wanted – POWER. Territorial. Parliamentary. Executive. And a new dose of hope and confidence from the electorate who voted for the left wing and for the miraculous and unbelievable platforms for Romania’s economic-social relaunch and reset in the following years, platforms that the leader of this side of the political spectrum had promised throughout the elections campaign.
Consequently, Liviu Dragnea, who demonstrated and continues to demonstrate outstanding tenacity, engaging in a veritable marathon throughout the winter holidays and continuing now with forming and installing his long sought-after and disputed Government, should – theoretically, I repeat – start relaxing and collaborating with the political Opposition. And in an entirely special and necessary way with President Iohannis. In order for things to start rolling and specially to start working and becoming viable, and the promised platform to be set in motion and show its fruits as soon as possible for all Romanians and for the country. (I hope the sarcasm is understood.)
However, the first political signs and signals of the first days of this new year do not seem to be the best and most encouraging in this sense, despite Liviu Dragnea’s whole ado and ambitious exertions.
At first glance, the list of ministers nominated for the future Government (surely, given the way things are in Parliament, not just proposals but facts), a list drafted secretly and hastily, in line with the already well-known and established style of the left wing’s leader, includes names and faces that do not bode well for the country. Not to say they are not encouraging for the elimination of one of the main psychoses that has seized the nation in what concerns the virulent and terrifying term “the establishment and its people.”
Sorin Grindeanu, the appointed Prime Minister, tops not only the Government’s list but especially the list of those who came from the “establishment.” At least that is the talk on the halls of power in what concerns the new Premier.
Then, on the same list, in the good sense of the inertial evil that maintains Romania among the leading countries whose Governments and political hierarchies are based on the system of inter-party oligarchies and brotherhoods of political clans, there are the faces of individuals who, throughout the 28 years of Romanian politics, were part, more or less visibly, of various state structures and who held, are holding and, as can be seen, will continue to hold key positions as levers through which these brotherhoods are operating. The only thing that recommended them every time were their closeness – more or less, intimate or recommended and healthy – to one of the political leaders of the various political periods and political parties – Teodor Melescanu, Olguta Vasilescu, Daniel Constantin, Carmen Dan, Ana Birchall, etc.
In this case, nothing new and nothing unexpected because, as we have already got used to for some time now, we are talking about the “Dragnea power house.” Whose characteristics are completely atypical from what could be seen so far in the left-wing area and even more difficult to foresee and anticipate at this moment.
Secrecy and an extremely incisive, steamroller-like action that apparently nothing and nobody can stop is the only trait that nevertheless remains the invisible and leading thread of the way things are enfolding.
And, even more importantly than that, we are talking about PSD and the political formula that has been so well grounded and consecrated throughout the more than two decades, a formula in which the leader of the dominant group within the left-wing party sets the rule for the subordinate and isolated groups (those that could still be existing, although I’m convinced Liviu Dragnea made sure they no longer do) within the party and, of course, sets the rhythm and direction for the political Opposition.
An Opposition that is inexistent at this moment, as has been seen since December 11. All the more so now, when the right moment would have been for it to prove it is truly politically opposing, the so-called Opposition limited itself only to making a series of sterile statements that were not only absurd in this current context but outright embarrassing. See the statements of Ms. Turcan, the substitute of PNL’s sought-after president, the statements of Mr. Nicusor Dan, whose party colleagues are writing MPs’ journals, probably thinking that this is the way of making Opposition within Parliament, and, last but not least, the statements of Mr. Traian Basescu, more preoccupied with protocol rules, his cancelled Moldovan citizenship and Igor Dodon than with Liviu Dragnea and the new Government.
Starting with some consultations in which they did not nominate a Premier, albeit formally, and culminating with these moments in which the members of PNL, PMP and USR are doing nothing else but making statements, nobody, but absolutely nobody has taken on the role of the Opposition and I haven’t seen anyone in the last two days addressing in Parliament – in a serious, responsible and politically professionally way – what this new Government has started to mean.
Liviu Dragnea could not openly and officially assume the rights of winner of all political battles so far.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. Liviu Dragnea has assumed the whole war loot and, on top of that, continues to confiscate on the go all of the state’s power positions in an unexpected, unbelievably convenient and profitable way, in a much more advantageous manner than if he had held, officially and in the fullness of constitutional rights, the position of Prime Minister.
So… in these first days of this new year. The situation is this:
The biggest challenge of this year (probably of the years to follow)?
Liviu Dragnea, Liviu Dragnea, etc.
The Romanian President’s status?
A completely isolated one. More formal than ever and at risk of becoming even more formal than this, as long as anything can be voted in Parliament, including a more advantageous form of government. For Mr. Dragnea and his interests, I hope it’s obvious. Mr. Dragnea has no interest in maintaining a dialogue with President Iohannis; I would say President Iohannis’s wise interest would be to maintain a dialogue with Mr. Dragnea other than one through text messages, obviously in case he still wants for a political balance to exist and for him to be Head of State in Romania.
The status of the other political parties?
I believe that these other parties should first make their existence felt. And a first step in that direction would be precisely organising and expressing the opposition I mentioned earlier.
Points that could experience changes and that I will address more closely in future editorials.
I wish you a New Year full of wisdom. And not just political.
Happy New Year!