Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on Tuesday that he asked Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu to resign his ministerial office, calling it an honourable act to get out of the situation created at this ministry by a press release.
“We suddenly woke up to a statement and a post on the Ministry of Defence website, some indications from the centre to the local units that somebody had to do some tricks with money, that there is no money for wages although some money is needed now and some later on. I must confess I was shocked, I was with Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Chairman Dragnea at the table. All three of us had gone for a meal after the vote in Parliament. All three of us learned about this alert in Romania, that there is no money for defence. First, I called the minister of Finance, who was equally shocked, and then I called the minister of Defence. You see, somebody failed a communication and I understand that something like that had been in the making since Friday. I left the table and all came to work. I asked the minister to come and explain himself, I asked for his resignation. I told him the resignation would be an act of honour to get out of this situation,” Tudose told TVR public broadcaster.
He also mentioned that Tutuianu wrote his resignation, which he accepted, then informed Liviu Dragnea, and he called President Klaus Iohannis to send the papers for the acting defence minister’s office.
“I have a normal relationship with President Klaus Iohannis, we have consultations on foreign policy and defence policy”
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on Tuesday that he has “a normal relationship” with President Klaus Iohannis, pointing out that they have consultations on “foreign policy” and “defence policy.”
Asked on TVR 1 national television channel how he would describe his relation with the head of state, the Prime Minister replied: “A normal relation, between a prime minister and a president of this country. We talk, we have consultations on foreign policy, on defence policy. He is Romania’s President.”
At the same time, when asked how President Iohannis received the news on DefMin Adrian Tutuianu’s resignation, PM Tudose pointed out” “He said it was my decision and if I sent him a replacement, everything would be all right. I told him the name, he said: ‘All right, I expect the papers.'”
On the other hand, the PM maintained he has a friendship relation with Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea, whom he was at the table with when the media announced that there would be problems in respect to the wage payment in the military system.
“I have no worries related to the streets protests, this is a democratic way of protesting”
Head of the Executive stated that he has “no worries” related to the street protests, since they represent “a democratic way” of protesting, as long as they are civilized.
“I have no worries. This is a democratic way of protesting. As long as the protest remains civilized (…) it’s ok. (..) What I don’t understand is why there are two people who are standing there all the time using a megaphone. They occupied the area, (…) it’s ok,” Tudose told the TVR 1 national television channel.
Asked whether he discussed with the protesters to find out what were their complains, the head of the Executive said: “I never tried (…) This is like any pretext is good enough.”
In this context, the Prime Minister gave assurance again that he will take into account the opinions expressed in relation to the modification of the Justice laws.
“Mr. Tudorel Toader had a long round, a very long round of consultations, in fact, with all the actors involved in this process. Then Mr. Tudorel Toader resumed the discussions he had. Then Mr. Tudorel Toader went to Brussels. After that he came out publicly and communicated the conclusions. But after he came out publicly the scandal broke out, because, certainly, some rushed to comment, as though the laws had already passed. Then he sent them to the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), where they are now. When the approval comes from there too, or the opinion, only then these laws are going to be submitted to the Government and after that there will follow a public debate (…) We will take into account everything that was said and has a procedural quality – (…) and since we are speaking of the Justice laws – as reflected in the Government’s decision, but the Government’s decision is only a small part of this process, because, in fact, the Government takes note and submits them to Parliament,” said Tudose.
“The meeting between US Ambassador to Romania and Minister of Justice was a very normal thing”
PM Mihai Tudose believes that the meeting of the Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, on Tuesday with the Ambassador of the US in Bucharest, Hans Klemm, was “a very normal thing”.
“Today’s meeting seemed like a normal thing to do, with a joint statement released in the end, so … (…) they talked for two hours and spoke about the same thing. (…) Throughout history it also happened the other way around, namely to talk for ten minutes and then discuss about something else. Because they are our partners, and I mean Brussels too here, they must understand what we are doing, they must know what we are doing, how we are doing it, because we are part of a whole that matters. We are a piece in a bigger mechanism,” Tudose told TVR 1 national television channel.
According to the head of the Executive, the dialogues of the Romanian officials with the ambassadors represent “a means of communication” with the countries they represent.
“We wanted to become members of the European Union, we wanted to become members of NATO. The German Ambassador is not just the Ambassador of Germany, he is also the representative of a country that is our ally in the European Union and NATO. The American Ambassadors doesn’t just represent the country across the Atlantic Ocean, but also an important partner of us, a strategic partner in military terms and also a strategic partner in many other aspects. While maintaining the dialogue with these people we are maintaining a means of communication with their countries. (…) The manner in which these dialogues take place, the manner in which these people behave sometimes, this is a different story, a different discussion,” said Tudose.
Asked whether he thought the aspects that were pointed out by the ambassadors seemed right to him, and could be regarded as prejudgements, the head of the Government said: “No, sincerely no, definitely no.”
Tuesday’s meeting between Ambassador Hans Klemm and Minister Tudorel Toader represented “a good occasion for an open exchange of viewpoints,” said a joint statement of the US diplomatic mission to Romania and the Ministry of Justice (MJ).
After the meeting held at the Ministry of Justice headquarters, the US Ambassador stated that the discussions he had with the Minister of Justice were in the spirit of cooperation.
He added that he and Minister Toader had a very complex talk on Tuesday morning, in a positive spirit, as it should happen within the Strategic Partnership. He mentioned that during discussions, the Justice Minister talked about his vision and his responsibilities as minister. I want to underline that the discussions were held in the spirit of cooperation, we exchanged information and viewpoints and I expect to continue to work with the Minister and the Government in the future too,” said the American diplomat.