The standard salary scales bill will receive special treatment on Thursday, being set to be signed by the leaders of the ruling coalition – Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu-Tariceanu – but also by Premier Sorin Grindeanu as well as the PSD lawmakers present in Sinaia.
After PSD Senators met at a party retreat in the Danube Delta two weeks ago, it is now the Lower Chamber lawmakers’ turn to do the same. They chose to meet at the mountainside, in Sinaia, during a trip that will start on Wednesday evening and will end on Friday.
Taking advantage of this meeting held by PSD’s Lower Chamber group, the PSD leader also convened the party’s National Executive Committee (NatExCom), its meeting being set to start at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Dragnea and Tariceanu want the standard salary scales bill to top the bill of the successive meetings – PSD’s NatExCom, the ruling coalition meeting and the meeting of PSD’s Lower Chamber group – that will take place in Sinaia on Thursday.
In this sense, Dragnea has invited Tariceanu and Grindeanu to Sinaia, in order to hold a ruling coalition meeting with a single point on its order of the day – the signing of the standard salary scales bill.
Dragnea has already announced that the standard salary scales bill is being finalised, and the bill will be signed as parliamentary initiative, with the debate set to take place in Parliament.
This is also the reason why Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was no longer invited at the ruling coalition’s meeting, since a discussion on judiciary topics would risk overshadowing the standard salary scales bill, even though Dragnea recently pointed out that the result of the evaluation that Toader carried out will be discussed within the coalition, and not necessarily whether Toader will be kept within the governmental team or not.
Nevertheless, even if it is not discussed within the coalition, the judiciary and the situation of Minister Tudorel Toader could be issues raised during the NatExCom meeting, where other topics could concern ex-Premier Victor Ponta and Lower Chamber lawmaker Catalin Radulescu, considering the public dissatisfaction that PSD President Liviu Dragnea publicly expressed about the three.
Based on the statements made so far, it does not seem radical measures will be adopted at the NatExCom meeting in what concerns a possible withdrawal of political support for Toader or kicking Victor Ponta out of the party. In what concerns him, Catalin Radulescu “self-suspended” his party membership.
Nevertheless, PSD President Liviu Dragnea wants the NatExCom to adopt a public statement on the topics of the day. Dragnea also publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with PSD Senator Ioan Denes, whose statement about homosexuals stirred controversy in the media.
Dragnea publicly told the party’s members who make statements about homosexuals to recall the fact that PSD is a tolerant party. He pointed out that this topic will be discussed “on a sterner tone” in Sinaia and expressed his hope that the mountain air will boost their capacity to understand that there must be room for everyone in Romanian society.
Tudorel Toader not invited at PSD’s CExN or at ruling coalition meeting in Sinaia / Justice Minister: If invited, I’ll go. I won’t go to justify myself
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was not invited at PSD’s National Executive Committee (NatExCom) meeting or at the ruling coalition meeting that will take place in Sinaia on Thursday, ruling coalition sources told MEDIAFAX on Wednesday.
The mentioned sources pointed out that Tudorel Toader has not been invited, so far, at the meeting in Sinaia, considering that a discussion on judiciary issues would risk overshadowing the talks on the standard pay scales bill that ruling coalition leaders will sign later on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader pointed out he will show up before the ruling coalition, if invited, but pointed out he will not do so to justify himself but to make himself properly understood, pointing out that he does not fear a reshuffle.
“If invited, I’ll go (before the ruling coalition – editor’s note). But keep in mind – if invited. I won’t go to justify myself, but to make myself properly understood,” the Justice Minister said.
Tudorel Toader also stated he does not fear a reshuffle following his decision regarding the chief prosecutors.
“I have no reason to be afraid, regardless of the decision,” Toader added.
Serban Nicolae about Ponta’s statements: It is abnormal to repeat calls to maturity . The expectation on Kovesi’s and Lazar’s dismissal was created by Minister Toader
PSD Senator Serban Nicolae stated on Wednesday that the party’s stability and credibility could suffer because of some statements released in the public space by “important leaders, who have a certain visibility”. Ponta’s attacks could be subject of debate in the Executive Committee.
“It is not on the agenda of the Executive Committee’s meeting, but it doesn’t mean that discussions cannot occur, any colleague could raise the issue. In my opinion, there is no usefulness in Victor Ponta’s statements. He said that he is responding to attacks. It didn’t seem to me so. Well it’s hard to say who punched first. It seems frivolous to try to find out all the time who said something first. I believe these dialogues held through statements made in Media or online are harmful, PSD has a totally different responsibility, especially in this period, being a government party. You cannot discuss about salaries, pensions, unitary Pay Law, and at the same time to say parasite things about personal relationships, fishing parties, wine bottles and other similar things” PSD Senator Serban Nicolae stated.
The PSD Senator believes that an “overall” analysis is needed at the party level.
“It’s hard for me to make an analysis right now. I haven’t made such an analysis. It’s not one of my concerns, but at a certain point we will have to make an overall analysis at the PSD level, because when important leaders, who have a certain visibility, release messages that don’t have any connection with the party’s activity, even if they try to explain it, even if they try to nuance it, the party’s credibility and stability could suffer at a certain time. We’ll discuss these things openly, collegially. Somehow, it’s abnormal to repeat calls to maturity for each of the political leaders, or let’s say for those who have a certain visibility related to PSD in the public space” Nicolae added.
The Chairman of the Senate’s Legal Committee, Serban Nicolae, also stated on Wednesday that “the expectation on Kovesi’s and Lazar’s dismissal” was created by the Justice Minister and that PSD wouldn’t dare to make such a proposal.
“The expectation on Laura Codruta Kovesi’s and Augustin Lazar’s dismissal from their positions as a result of the evaluation report was created by Minister Toader himself. It wasn’t requested by PSD or by the leaders, or by the parliamentary groups, or by individuals, because no one could dare to make such a proposal. The Justice Minister couldn’t consider such a proposal. He created this expectation from the perspective of an assessment that was judiciously made, and with a conclusion of its kind. But I’ve said before, the dismissal of a Chief-Prosecutor or of a leading person in the Public Ministry shouldn’t be decided in these circumstances and relying on CCR’s decision. Things have been mixed. You saw that the tactical field in which judges and prosecutors are involved, which shouldn’t be accepted anymore in any case, is mentioned many times. I heard a discussion related also to DIICOT. At least in the recent period, under Chief-Prosecutor Horodniceanu, DIICOT wasn’t involved in any scandal or public debate, as a concern of the society, on the contrary, there are enough reasons to believe that things begin to go well there” stated PSD Senator Serban Nicolae.
Senator said that “he has doubts” that PSD could withdraw Tudorel Toader’s political support, but he believes that the assessments should be made “more thoroughly” and “based on very clear criteria”.
“One of the Justice Minister’s priorities should be the duty to perform assessments more thoroughly and based on very clear criteria. Let’s see what will happen to the pending cases regarding chronology. Let’s see if there are malfunctions regarding prioritization and the chronological order in which the cases are operated, (…) why changes and permutations occur. How many prosecutors are allocated for one case, because at least DNA always claims the insufficient number of prosecutors” PSD Senator also stated.