Romania is very close to have a “political police”, on Sunday night asserted the Social Democratic Party (PSD, main at rule) national leader Liviu Dragnea, adding that he has “big hopes” that the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI)’s head Eduard Hellvig will resist “any temptation”.
“Romania is this close – not there yet – this close to wake up in a reasonable time with a political police. This is very tough notion. We are not in the situation to actually having a political police, but we are very close to have such thing. I have great hopes in Eduard Hellvig, the SRI director, I know him, he has a pretty modern conception, I hope he will resist any temptation, because temptations are very big. Through what he did so far looks that things as approached are OK,” Dragnea told the private TV station Antena 3.
According to the PSD leader, in Romania is a lot of manipulation and influence upon certain institutions that should be totally independent, so that each and every one of us should be guaranteed that, in Romania, if one breaks no law and steals not, that one could sleep well.
Appeal to the ECHR for the “Referendum” file
The Social Democrat leader also announced on Sunday night when talking at the Antena 3 private broadcaster about the “Referendum” criminal case that he will appeal to the European Court for Human Rights.
Quizzed on what he is expecting from his second criminal file, Dragnea answered: “My hope never dies. I’m serious. As it was the case with the Referendum (…) Now I can go to the ECHR and I’m going to go to the ECHR (…) Now I’m really going to the ECHR, I won’t get into details (…) But, this file too, and the one with the Referendum (…) eventually God decides, but when one feels not guilty, totally not guilty, one cannot have but hopes that someone, at some point will break the ice, someone will break the ice and say <>”
When referring to the speculations regarding his connections between him and the Tel Drum company, Dragnea said: “Ever since 2004 it is a topic of public talk, articles, checks, investigations. They found no connection whatsoever, because they have nothing to find there (…) This is like the case with the hotel I have in Brazil (…) I’ve overheard someone in a broadcast last night (…) saying that I have EUR 500 million in Brazil. It is something to laugh at, and it is to cry at, too, because I’m very sorry that people are suffering because of me.”
Dragnea’s message to judicial overhaul protesters: Let’s hold dispassionate debate
The message Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea conveyed on Sunday evening to the protesters of the announced plans to amend the Justice package is that “the most sensitive issues” need “dispassionate debates”.
Asked at a televised show at Antena 3 private broadcaster what is his message to the protesters of the judicial overhaul, Dragnea replied: “Let’s wait and try, maybe we succeed in holding dispassionate debates in Romania on the most sensitive issues. (…) We should all try to resist the temptation for knee-jerk reactions. … Just look at the current situation. Someone just comes up with a set of proposals and the mere idea of a proposal triggers attacks, verbal violence and a barrage of criticism.”
According to the PSD leader, these proposals are just the “beginning of a process”.
“Let’s have patience and sit down for civilized debates. This is just the beginning of a process, and on the other hand, there are these huge and silent masses in Romania awaiting for these things to happen and their numbers are rising,” Dragnea said.
He said he is willing to take up “all the risks” in order to see this process carried through.
“The system doesn’t yield easily. (…) These are years of construction, years of building seen or unseen, obscure connections, and this is not necessarily about the people who are there, this is about a concept which was devised in 2005 or maybe in 2006, and which has been put into practice year in, year out. It is not easy, but with patience, and with my willingly taking up all the risks, this process of restoring the system’s health must be carried through,” said Dragnea.
Asked whether he is targeted for being sent behind bars, Dragnea said: “This is no longer a secret to me. (…) I cannot get down on my knees, if I have to die, I’ll die standing upright. That is, one cannot pass through life, through certain public offices and leave behind a trail of fear, of nervousness. This no longer applies to me. I very much believe in what I proposed in the election campaign,” Dragnea concluded, professing his loyalty to his political program.
“EU funds absorption target attained by year-end”
The European funds absorption target will be attained by December 31, as per the assurances given by ministers in charge Sevil Shhaideh (Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds) and Rovana Plumb (European Funds) during Saturday’s talks, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea announced on Sunday.
“This weekend me and the Prime Minister discussed with several ministers the state of budget collections. There’s a steady, reliable growth that provides us the guarantee and the certainty that the level of revenues to the general government budget will be the normal one, as projected, and there won’t be issues as far as budget revenues are concerned. We also discussed the level and the stage of European funds absorption. (…) I asked the ministers to better inform the public opinion, to report what they found when they took over. I know they put in a lot of work, but it’s good for people to be informed, to know about the delays they found there, about the acts and procedures that hadn’t been completed despite falling due and which prompted delays. Both ministers responsible for European funds, Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, said that the European funds absorption target will be attained by December 31, 2017,” Dragnea told private TV broadcaster Antena 3.
According to him, the absorption target was set forth in PSD’s governing program and in the electoral campaign based on the assumption that “not a single day will be missed in 2017”.
“Unfortunately, this wasn’t so, and the delays of 2017 added to the delays of 2016. Of course, they worked hard and all the issues have been solved with a little delay. Nevertheless, the two ladies say that they are sure we will achieve this target. There’s a serious absorption rate at Agriculture, both for direct payments and the National for Rural Development Program,” added the PSD leader.