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October 2, 2022

Basescu on Dragnea – Iohannis trade-off: Mihai Tudose’s appointment against 2 pct for Defence

Former President Traian Basescu says that Mihai Tudose’s appointment as Prime Minister was part of a trade-off between President Klaus Iohannis and leader of the Social Democratic Party Liviu Dragnea, who guaranteed that the government would allocate 2 percent of GDP for the Army’s equipment.

“Tudose’s appointment was part of the deal package. That is, I appoint the PM you want, despite plagiarism allegations, but you give me 2 pct for Defence, that was the understanding.” Now I don’t know if Mr. Iohannis discussed with the right person, because, in my opinion, in two or three months Mr. Dragnea will no longer have any authority over Tudose, so [Iohannis] will have to resume talks with Tudose. But rightly, for President Iohannis, for his honorability, it’s vital that Romania spends the two percent of GDP this year,” Traian Basescu said on Thursday evening at the B1 TV show.

In his opinion, President Iohannis would be discredited if he doesn’t get from the government the 2 pct for Defence, while Dragnea’s mindset in relation to the head of state is: “You either behave, or you don’t get the 2 pct.”

“Iohannis pledged the 2 pct and paraded it internationally, earned kisses and praise for this, but not without good reason, not in a populist manner, he did it because the Romanian Army really needs this endowment and must staunchly hold to it,” PMP Senator Traian Basescu said.

According to him, Liviu Dragnea probably imagines that he has helped Iohannis in exchange for his freedom. “That’s what I imagine is going on in Dragnea’s head. But if the investigation of the anticorruption authority goes towards Dragnea’s doom, Iohannis will stay aside,” Basescu said.

The former head of state considers that the government can allocate 2 percent for Defence and at the same time raise wages and social benefits only provided that it takes out a loan.

“With borrowed money they can do both,” Basescu said, adding that it is possible for Romania to receive Patriot missiles and pay for them over time.

“The Americans have the capacity to deploy a few Patriot missile batteries to Romania (…) against staggered payments by Romania,” said Traian Basescu.

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