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July 31, 2021
POLITICS

PSD’s Dragnea: I’m open to dialogue with President Iohannis; cohabitation doesn’t bode well

Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said on Wednesday evening that he has no intention to respond to the “provocations” set out by President Klaus Iohannis in the speech delivered at the government’s oath-taking ceremony, adding that whereas he is open to dialogue with the head of the state, he rejects the concept of cohabitation because it doesn’t bode well.

Asked, during a phone-in call with a Realitatea TV show, if a bridge can be built between himself and President Iohannis and if cohabitation is possible, Liviu Dragnea answered: “I can’t stand this term because in my opinion cohabitation doesn’t end well. I for my part have expressed every day and on every occasion the desire to dialogue, but we must understand that it takes two for this, one is not enough.”

Referring to the comments made by President Iohannnis at the official installation of the new government, Dragnea said that he had a hard time trying not to react.

“As far as the President’s attitude is concerned, I cannot do more than I have already done and further do. It wasn’t easy for me to refrain from reacting this evening. I refrained from reacting instantly and I won’t react, because people don’t expect us to go public on TV and fight, this is not the reason why they voted us. They expect us to do good things for them, to improve their living standards. I won’t divert from this despite all provocations,” the PSD chairman underscored.

Liviu Dragnea added that he and PSD will “unreservedly cooperate” on punctual projects with the President of Romania and that several priorities exist regarding national interest.

“The most important thing that needs to be rapidly defined is: which are actually the components of national interest, what is the concept of national interest, which is Romania’s national interest. Although our relation was on the rocks, we immediately answered a request last summer and sent party members to contribute to the Cotroceni team working on the country project. (…) On the other hand, I want to tell you something. We cannot simply put on hold the Government’s or Parliament’s activity, because something must happen every day in Romania, people want to live today, they want to have clothing and money right now, children need books and clothes today, Romanians need medicines, they need education. We cannot wait. However, we are open to any kind of cooperation. Even if today in Parliament all my colleagues have been perfectly open and launched a full invitation to dialogue, the opposition’s reply is hard to reproduce, hard to characterize. Yet we soldier on, despite that,” Liviu Dragnea said.

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday that the new Government has complicated promises to fulfill and asked the members of the Sorin Grindeanu Cabinet to deliver on what has been promised in the electoral campaign.

“From this moment on, you are the Government of Romania. You have a hard mission, you have complicated promises to fulfill. You must deliver what has been promised in the electoral campaign,” said the head of state at the Grindeanu Government’s swearing-in ceremony.

Iohannis voiced hope that the government members will explain to him how particular measures will be carried out.

“I hope that one day you’ll explain to me how you will proceed to keep within a budget deficit of 3 percent, raise wages, cut taxes, the VAT and many other things. I really want you to accomplish all this,” said the head of the state.

On the same occasion, President Klaus Iohannis asked PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea to share the governing program with the members of the Cabinet.

“Mr. Chairman Dragnea, we have just learned from TV that you are the only one who knows the governing program from A to Z. I would kindly ask you to share it with them too,” the head of the state said after the swearing-in ceremony of the Sorin Grindeanu Cabinet.

 

“Embassies are told that PSD will subdue justice; there is no such thing”

 

Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea on Wednesday evening said that the foreign embassies in Bucharest have been lately sent the message that the PSD will subdue justice, adding that justice cannot be subdued in a democratic state, and he maintained that judges must be truly independent and protected.

He was asked to comment, in a telephone intervention on Realitatea TV private broadcaster the information according to which the new government aims to cut back the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) powers and the fight against corruption will be obstructed.

“Officially, unofficially, formally, informally, this kind of information is being sent to embassies, these two pieces of information, that Romania will enter an economic slippage, that this programme is unrealistic (…) and that the PSD will subjugate justice. There is no such thing! Who can subdue justice in a democratic state? What I have said and will continue to say, increasingly more determined, is that I truly wish that judges (…) be independent and protected,” Liviu Dragnea said.

According to him, judges must judge according to their own conscience and according to the laws.

“This is what rule of law is based on, well-paid judges, having at their disposal a very well organised judicial infrastructure of courts, not having a heavy load of cases, and feeling truly independent, judging according to their own conscience and according to the legal framework. However, we shouldn’t pretend we don’t see what has happened over the past few days. I hope no more things come up and I hope what has been seen over the recent days isn’t true. Let us never forget that the fundamental human rights and freedoms must be observed,” the PSD Chairman also said.

Moreover, Dragnea also underscored that the PSD’s governance programme is a serious and feasible one, and that the points it includes can be implemented during the four-year mandate.

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