*Dragnea allegedly asks PM Sorin Grindeanu to resign, tells him he will withdraw his political support
The fate of the Grindeanu government will be decided on Wednesday at the PSD National Executive Committee meeting that will discuss the evaluation for each minister, as well as possible reshuffles.
Social Democratic Party (PSD) chairman Liviu Dragnea has allegedly asked Premier Sorin Grindeanu to resign, following a meeting he had with him and with members of the Government on Monday evening, at the party headquarters in Baneasa, Dragnea threatening to withdraw his political support and being dissatisfied with the delays registered in the implementation of some measures included in the governing platform, official sources told News.ro.
Thus, during the talks that took place on Monday evening at the PSD HQ, Liviu Dragnea allegedly reproached Sorin Grindeanu with the delays registered in the implementation of some measures included in the governing platform, including the failure to implement the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund, and he allegedly asked him to resign, telling him he will withdraw his political support, the sources told News.ro.
In fact, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday evening that the changing of the Government as a whole is not ruled out, in case the party reaches the conclusion that doing so is necessary, Dragnea pointing out that this is not the option he wants.
Asked whether the changing of the Government is possible, Liviu Dragnea answered: “I don’t know yet. I don’t want us to reach this solution. (…) If we reach the conclusion that we have no other option, we’ll propose this too, but I don’t want us to reach that point.”
Asked about the party’s reaction in case Sorin Grindeanu refuses to resign, despite a possible PSD decision, Dragnea answered: “I don’t think Sorin Grindeanu will act like Radu Vasile. I don’t believe we’ll reach that point but, I repeat, I don’t know whether this will be proposed.”
Also on Sunday, Liviu Dragnea stated on RomaniaTV that the process of assessing the members of Government has been completed within PSD, the package of proposals for the remedying of delays registered in the implementation of the governing platform set to be finalised later on Monday.
Prior to that, Premier Sorin Grindeanu had stated, in a Facebook posting, that today Romania has many more opportunities ahead, which can decisively direct it on the road of progress and prosperity, but that this calls for stability and predictability. He reminded that the December 2016 elections showed that Romanians want the same thing – “a stable Government with wide parliamentary support” – and the confidence conferred by Romanians “cannot be deceived with new changes, new political crises, possibly other elections – in a word, instability.”
Interior Minister on possible proposal to take over PM’s office: I haven’t been offered this office
Answering a question regarding the allegations that she is on the short list for the PM’s office, Interior Minister Carmen Dan stated on Tuesday that taking over this office was not a proposition she received and there were not talks in this sense.
“I found out from the press, there was no discussion in this sense. All I can say is what everyone knows – the Government has been through an assessment. I focused on answering correctly in what concerns the Interior Ministry and my opinion is we did our duty and I believe this was seen within the coalition too,” Carmen Dan said when asked by journalists, on Tuesday, whether PSD leader Liviu Dragnea told her she is on the short list for the Prime Minister’s office.
Also asked whether she would accept the office, if she receives a proposition, Carmen Dan avoided giving an answer, stating she did not receive a proposition to take over this office: “Why are we discussing speculations? The office was not offered to me.”
Badalau: I didn’t heard anybody yesterday evening, asking Grindeanu to resign; there are extremely many problems in the Government
PSD Executive President, Nicolae Badalau, says that he didn’t heard anybody asking PM Sorin Grindeanu to resign at the party meeting of Monday evening, but he mentioned that the party discovered that there are “extremely many” problems in the Government, and PM is the one who assumes the entire Cabinet.
“No. Yesterday evening, we had a very constructive discussion on the government program with the PM, and CEX will make a decision (…) I didn’t heard this (e.n. – anybody asking the PM to resign). Maybe I was out of the room, but I didn’t hear this. It was an analysis of the government program, which involved both politicians and technicians” stated Nicolae Badalau, when asked if PM Sorin Grindeanu was asked to resign at the meeting of Monday evening.
Asked how many ministers failed to pass the assessment test within the party, Badalau said that he doesn’t know this, but he mentioned that “extremely many” problems and failures of the Government were found.
“You are asking me something I don’t know. I don’t test the PM. We discuss serious issues, we discuss about the government program. There are failures, indeed. There are many issues out of the schedule. In the end, PM is the one who assumes the entire Government” Badalau added.
Also asked which are the ministries where the problems have been found, the PSD Executive President said that these are “the Finance Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry and the Transport Ministry”. “There are a lot of them”, he added.
“Including the Agriculture Ministry?” the journalists insisted. “Including it”, Nicolae Badalau confirmed.
Ponta: I support PSD Gov’t and not making fools of ourselves. Gov’t belongs to Romania, not to Teleorman or to a person
Ex-PM Victor Ponta stated on Tuesday, in Parliament, that he supports the PSD Government and said that the Social Democrats should not make fools of themselves by toppling their own Cabinet. Ponta pointed out that the Government belongs to Romania, not to Teleorman (referring to Dragnea’s county – editor’s note) or to a natural person and that, in his opinion, the reasons for replacing the Premier are only personal reasons.
“The Grindeanu Government should continue its activity and we shouldn’t make fools of ourselves. After we made fools of ourselves last year – PSD, not me, because I didn’t vote – by backing the Ciolos Government, I don’t want us to make fools of ourselves now by toppling our PSD Government,” Ponta stated.
Asked whether, in his opinion, there are reasons for the Government to step down, the ex-Premier said: “No. None. Personal reasons, but personal reasons in politics are very wrong when you implement them.”
Concerning the fact that the Government is reproached with failure to implement the governing platform, Ponta replied: “Come on, let’s be serious.”
Asked what could be done if the Premier refuses to resign, the Lower Chamber lawmaker said: “They should get used to the idea that the Government belongs to Romania, not to Teleorman, not to a natural person, and that the Government must work for Romania. For the time being, if there are problems with the ministers, they should change the ministers who are not good.”
Victor Ponta said he supports the Government.
“You know what’s funny? Back in February-March, I was told I wasn’t supporting the Government. I support the Government, I see others are attacking it,” he added.
Asked whether a new PSD Government would have the same credibility, Ponta answered negatively: “Categorically not, and the PSD that topples its own Government would no longer have the same credibility. Where did you hear something like this before? In PNTCD’s case, right? In 1999. Well, are we PNTCD, what’s this?”
Asked whether there is still room to turn back, the ex-Premier replied: “Yes, simple. The ministers who didn’t do their job and who were at any rate not nominated by Grindeanu – Mr Dragnea nominated the ministers who didn’t do their job – are changed with better ones. I believe any change is good if you bring someone better. If you bring someone worse, then you’d better not do it.”
“I support the PSD Government and I support not making fools of ourselves,” Ponta emphasised.
Ponta: Dragnea wants to topple PSD Gov’t and place all cards in Iohannis’s hands. A fundamental mistake
Ex-Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated on Monday that replacing the Grindeanu Government would be a fundamental mistake, with long-term consequences, a decision that could place “all the cards” in the hands of President Iohannis.
Victor Ponta responded to a comment on his posting concerning the causes of PSD’s failure in the elections in Targu Jiu, a comment that was inviting him to express his opinion on the advisability of replacing the Grindeanu Government.
“I said very clearly what I believe (and the other Social Democrats agree, but they fear expressing it because of Liviu Dragnea): Dragnea and his group mistakenly backed, in 2016, a Government that was not PSD’s; in 2017, Dragnea wants to topple a PSD Government and to place all the cards, once again, in Klaus Iohannis’s hands!!! These are fundamental mistakes that will have consequences in the long term!” Ponta wrote.
Only Agriculture, Labour and Interior ministers pass PSD leaders’ assessment
Interior Minister Carmen Dan, Labour Minister Olguta Vasilescu and Agriculture Minister Petre Daea are allegedly the only Social Democrat members of Government whose activity passed the PSD leaders’ assessment, official sources stated for News.ro.
According to the sources, the conclusion of the assessment of the ministers and of the stage of implementing the measures included in the governing platform is that only the Agriculture, Labour and Interior ministers observed the deadlines and fulfilled their duties.
Official sources also stated that the rest of the ministers and Premier Sorin Grindeanu failed to pass the assessment.
In fact, Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated on Tuesday, at the Palace of Parliament, that she passed the PSD’s assessment and that, at any rate, she was not nervous about it since the ministry she leads observed all deadlines for the implementation of measures.
Interior Minister Carmen Dan also stated that the results of the assessment were favourable in what concerns the ministry she leads: “The Government has gone through an assessment. I focused on answering well in what concerns the Interior Ministry and, in my opinion, we did our job and I believe this was seen within the coalition too,” Carmen Dan said.
PSD leader Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday evening that replacing the Government, as a whole, is not ruled out if the party reaches the conclusion that doing so is necessary, pointing out that this is not an option he wants.
Asked whether replacing the Government is possible, Liviu Dragnea said: “I don’t know yet. I don’t want us to reach for this solution. (…) If we conclude we have no other option, we’ll propose this too, but I don’t want us to reach that point.”
Liviu Dragnea said that the assessment report will be published after it is finished, adding that its conclusions will include any reshuffles proposed.