JUSTICE POLITICS

Calin Popescu Tariceanu: I reject certain publications’ manipulations that I would back Romexit

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu claims he is a convinced pro-European and rejects the allegations that he would support Romexit.

“I was the Premier of the Government that managed to take Romania into the European Union. With effort, with a lot of personal effort. And I have the satisfaction that I did what I think was good for my country. I’m a convinced pro-European. Romania is part of the most advanced liberal democracies and Romanians are in the position to benefit from the advantages of an area of freedom and prosperity that is truly unique in the world.

“Ten years after that moment, Romania must be a strong member of the European Union. I want to reject the manipulations that have appeared in certain publications, according to which I would support a Romexit.

“I’ll tell you what I support: us being a respected member, without a CVM with a moving goalpost; rules that apply to European citizens on the labour market being applied to Romanian citizens too; being able to allocate our resources for development based on our own interests; not being considered an export market and a source of cheap labour force; foreign companies having an honest fiscal behaviour, so on and so forth. Is that too much? I let you be the judge of that.

“I cannot accept us being treated as a second-rate country.

“What I said was: now I’ve better understood why the United Kingdom ended up choosing Brexit – because they realised that the most important decisions are being taken in Brussels by European civil servants who have no legitimacy, instead of being taken in the British Parliament. And the British people – a people with history, dignity, courage, who fought wars, who built a global empire – have this proud behaviour and after all a behaviour of responsibility toward their own destiny and they took this decision that we after all cannot criticise, nor approve. It’s their business, we can only analyse it.

“I made this analysis from this angle, namely that they know their national interest.

“I’m convinced that Romania has its own national interests too and is a sovereign country. I want the other EU member countries to respect us because we too respect them.

“I noticed with regret that the statements I made in some television talk-shows were spun and used for propaganda which has no other purpose but to create instability and tension,” the Senate Speaker points out in a communique posted on Facebook.

 

Tariceanu on DNA’s Justice Ministry probe: Intolerable interference in Gov’t activity. CSM’s reaction

 

On Tuesday, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu criticised the probe that the National Anticorruption Directorate’s (DNA) is carrying out at the Justice Ministry (MJ) regarding the adoption of government emergency ordinance (GEO) no.13, claiming that this represents the Prosecutor Office’s intolerable interference in the Government’s activity and that this investigation is an “anomaly.”

“I’m extremely concerned about the DNA move to probe the way in which legislative acts were drafted at Government level. This means the Public Ministry’s intolerable interference in the Government’s activity. The Government, as you know, is a separate branch of government and Parliament exercises the role of overseeing the Government,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated.

“Investigating the Government’s political decisions is unheard of in any country in Europe, and has been also unheard of in Romania, in the last 27 years, for the prosecutor’s office to interfere in the way the Government drafts legislative acts. The responsibility for these acts is political and the Government must eventually give account of itself before the electorate. This is the only censure the Government has,” Tariceanu added.

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s public statements, which sketch out the picture of a non-independent judiciary, represent statements of extreme gravity about the Romanian judiciary, a Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) communique shows.

“The Supreme Magistracy Council, in its capacity as defender of the independence of the judiciary, deems that the public statements which sketch out the picture of a judiciary that is not independent and of magistrates who are carrying out their activity abusively, on political orders, by breaking the legal framework and civil liberties, represent statements of extreme gravity about the Romanian judiciary.

“The Supreme Magistracy Council expresses its concern and, at the same time, its disagreement with the public voicing of such opinions, which surpasses the admissible limits of freedom of expression.

“Such statements can affect not only the independence, imagine, credibility and prestige of the magistrates and of the Romanian judiciary – which has engaged in an ample effort of reform and fight against corruption since the accession to the European Union, an effort positively appreciated at European and international level – but also Romania’s external prestige and credibility.

“The current context – determined by the adoption of legislative acts which directly affect the judicial authority’s activity, and the civil society’s reactions to this process – justifies in no way the launching of statements that surpass the public political discourse’s admissible limits.

“The Supreme Magistracy Council – while respecting all citizens’ right to opinion and without infringing on the freedom of expression of any person or of the press – invites the representatives of state authorities, press institutions and civil society to adopt a balanced and reasonable approach to public debate, as a sign of assuming the democratic position and the balance between branches of government, in line with the principles of separation of powers, firm and loyal cooperation between institutions, independence of the judiciary, and with the effective observance of the limits of the right to free expression.

“The Supreme Magistracy Council assures the public opinion that it will undertake firm public reactions in what concerns both the defence of the judiciary’s independence and the adoption of measures that entail rendering the whole corps of magistrates accountable,” the CSM communique reads.

Former Justice Ministry Secretary of State Oana Schmidt Haineala showed up at the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on Tuesday, to be heard as witness in the case concerning the way the emergency ordinance amending the Criminal Codes was drafted, News.ro informs.

Former Secretary of State Constantin Sima was heard in the same case on Monday, also as witness. Sima stated he did not contribute to the drafting of emergency ordinance no.13/2017, which was repealed by the Government on Sunday, five days after it was adopted.

CSM’s Section for Prosecutors decided last Friday to put an end to prosecutor Constantin Sima’s and prosecutor Oana Schmid Haineala’s assignment at the Justice Ministry, at the request of Romania’s Prosecutor General, who pointed out that the measure must be taken to ensure that the DNA’s probe will proceed “in conditions of impartiality.”

Following CSM’s decision, the Justice Ministry announced that prosecutor Oana Schmidt Haineala asked the Prime Minister to terminate her capacity as Justice Ministry Secretary of State.

Sima and Haineala became Justice Ministry Secretaries of State on January 16. Justice Minister Florin Iordache had delegated his prerogatives to Constantin Sima, for the period of February 1-7, before Sima’s assignment at the Justice Ministry ceased.

The National Anticorruption Directorate has started a probe into the way the emergency ordinance amending the Criminal Codes was drafted, following a complaint filed on January 24 by Mihai Politeanu, Elena Ghioc and Razvan Patachi, members of the ‘Initiativa Romania’ association.

About this case, the DNA pointed out that procedural actions are being carried out regarding complaints received from several persons for possible guilty acts related to “the way some legislative acts were adopted.”

 

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