Ruling coalition leaders Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu, accompanied by Premier-designate Viorica Dancila, held a meeting with ruling coalition MPs on Sunday, at the Palace of Parliament. The designated members of the Dancila Government also took part in the meeting.
The joint meeting held by the parliamentary groups of PSD and ALDE, in which Premier-designate Viorica Dancila and leaders of the two parties’ county branches also took part, took place against the backdrop in which Parliament’s confirmation vote is scheduled on Monday.
The meeting lasted approximately 40 minutes and focused exclusively on the governing programme and the endorsement of the new Cabinet.
After the meeting, Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced that the nominated ministers presented themselves to their colleagues, and Viorica Dancila presented some of the main points of the governing programme, the topics tackled including the new Government’s legislative priorities.
In what concerns the new Cabinet’s legislative priorities, Premier-designate Viorica Dancila listed last Tuesday the first measures she will adopt as Prime Minister. Asked what the most important measure she will adopt as Prime Minister is, Viorica Dancila said: “We can talk about an Economic Code, about an Administrative Code, we can talk about the education law, about the pension law.”
PM-designate Dancila talks with outgoing, nominated ministers to set up next communications strategy
Prior to Sunday’s meeting, on Saturday Premier-designate Viorica Dancila talked with the outgoing ministers and with the new ministers validated by the leadership of PSD.
“Today a meeting led by Mrs. Viorica Dancila, PM-designate, is taking place, attended by the new ministers nominated and the outgoing ones. It is a meeting that aims to establish the communication strategy in Parliament with regard to the confirmation hearings in the speciality committees, due on Monday, so that the message of the entire Cabinet is correlated as regards the statements for the media of each minister. At the same time, a few days are won for the ministries where the relay is to be handed over, so that the outgoing ministers together with the nominated ones have the opportunity to set the details related to the portfolio’s handing over,” the deputy secretary general of PSD Codrin Stefanescu announced on Saturday.
According to him, a larger meeting was scheduled on Sunday, to be attended by the Social-Democratic MPs and the heads of PSD branches.
The Deputy Secretary General of the PSD, Codrin Stefanescu, on Saturday specified for AGERPRES that the meeting on Sunday is a larger one, involving parliamentary groups and presidents of the county branches, in preparation for what follows on Monday.
“The MPs were asked to come earlier, in order to have 100 per cent attendance – so that everything goes well at the important vote on Monday. These meetings are part of the planning for the conclusion of all procedures for the confirmation vote and for the last procedural steps for the new government formula, for our interest here is not to lose even one day, and the Prime Minister and the ministers to start immediately to work as planned, according to what the governing programme established for each of them, and with Mrs. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila to constantly carry out such evaluations of ministers based on the planning that we made together regarding the governing programme,” the Deputy Secretary General of the PSD specified for Agerpres on Saturday.
Dragnea on UDMR’s support at confirmation vote: We hope they will back us
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday, at the end of the meeting that ruling coalition MPs had with the nominated members of the Dancila Government, that he hopes that UDMR will support the confirmation of the Government. Asked for his opinion on UDMR President Kelemen Hunor’s critical view on the governing programme, Dragnea said that “it’s very good that he is critical,” but stated that the programme is “largely” the same as the previous one.
“It’s very good that he is critical. The governing programme hasn’t suffered important modifications, it’s roughly the same [programme] voted,” Dragnea said.
He pointed out he had a discussion with the leaders of UDMR and he hopes they will support the confirmation of the Government.
“We had a discussion with UDMR, they will decide on Monday whether they will vote for the confirmation of the Government or not. We hope they will back us,” Dragnea said.
Asked whether he is nervous for Monday, when the new Government is to be confirmed, Dragnea said he is waiting the confirmation hearings and the confirmation vote “with excitement.”
“I’m always nervous, I’m very nervous every time my colleagues go in for hearings and so we are waiting with excitement for tomorrow’s hearings to conclude and, of course, for the vote that follows,” the PSD President added.
Kelemen Hunor: “Has anybody read the governing program? I was told it look like it was drafted at the Agriculture Ministry, between two beers”
The Chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor, urged the members of the party to analyze the governing program proposed by PSD-ALDE, “because all these agreements are for a long term”. “Has anyone read the governing program? I know that Balint read it and he told me that it looks like it was drafted at the Agriculture Ministry, between two beers. A decision will be made this week related to this governing program, and it would be very good if you will express your opinion, too. I would be very glad if you will read this governing program tomorrow morning and tell us your ideas by Monday morning. We also have ideas related to the coming period, which we would like to present. All these agreements are for a long term” Kelemen Hunor said on Saturday evening, at the 15th anniversary ceremony since the establishment of the Hungarian Youth Conference.
Statements of the ruling coalition leaders after the Sunday meeting
Dragnea says Sevil Shhaideh will not return to Gov’t; House office for Tudose to be discussed within PSD group
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Sunday that Sevil Shhaideh will not return to the Government. Regarding a potential office for ex-Premier Mihai Tudose within the House, the PSD President said the issue will be discussed within the PSD group.
Asked whether Sevil Shhaideh will return to the Government as secretary general, Dragnea said: “The answer is no.”
In what concerns a House office for Mihai Tudose, Liviu Dragnea replied: “I don’t know, we’ll decide within the House parliamentary group.”
Coalition leaders on nominated Education Minister Valentin Popa: He has good support
Referring to the grammatical mistakes that nominated Education Minister Valentin Popa makes, the leaders of the PSD-ALDE coalition stated on Sunday that he enjoys good support among university rectors. “I hope he would be a good example through the things he does,” Liviu Dragnea said, while Calin Popescu Tariceanu said Valentin Popa will have to be judged based on his accomplishments.
Asked for his opinion on the grammatical mistakes that nominated Education Minister Valentin Popa makes, Liviu Dragnea said on Sunday that Popa enjoys very good backing among rectors.
“I saw, also in the press, support from 45 Romanian rectors. It is very important to me,” Dragnea said.
Likewise, answering a question concerning the example that Valentin Popa gives to Romanian students by speaking Romanian incorrectly, Dragnea said: “I hope he would be a good example through everything he does as Education Minister, if tomorrow the whole Cabinet secures the confirmation vote.”
In his turn, ALDE President Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated that Valentin Popa enjoys “consistent backing” in the world of academia and should be judged based on his accomplishments.
“He has long experience in education and also enjoys consistent support, if I understood right, I believe all the rectors of higher education institutions have signed a petition of support. I believe these things should not take the centre stage, I believe we must see what the minister plans to do and judge him based on accomplishments,” Liviu Dragnea said.
A video recording in which nominated Education Minister Valentin Popa makes numerous grammatical errors appeared online several hours after he was nominated for a portfolio within the Dancila Government.
Petre Daea after UDMR criticises governing programme: I got drunk in 1968 and I get sick even now thinking about it
Referring to UDMR President Kelemen Hunor’s statement, according to which the governing programme looks as if it was written “at the Agriculture Ministry, between two beers,” Agriculture Minister Petre Daea stated on Sunday that the Agriculture Ministry deals with the raw material for beer. “I got drunk in 1968 and I get sick even now thinking about it,” Daea said.
Asked for his comment on Kelemen Hunor’s statement according to which the governing programme looks as if it was written “at the Agriculture Ministry, between two beers,” Petre Daea said: “The [raw] material’s headquarters is there (at the Agriculture Ministry – editor’s note). The barley for beer is there, the food industry is there. I got drunk in 1968 and I get sick even now thinking about it.”
Also on Sunday, Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated he did not talk with UDMR about the confirmation vote.
“I too like to use stronger words from time to time, but I believe that tomorrow UDMR will… I don’t know how they will vote, I understand that tomorrow morning, on Monday, they will hold a meeting at the level of parliamentary groups, in which they will decide. I’m open to dialogue at any time and my colleagues from UDMR know this,” Tariceanu said.
He pointed out he is relying on all the majority’s votes.
In his turn, Liviu Dragnea pointed out that the governing programme does not include major modifications compared to the one already voted in Parliament.
Tariceanu: We talked about the continuation of the fight against the deep state
At the end of Sunday’s meeting between Premier-designate Viorica Dancila, the nominated members of the new Cabinet, and the leaders and MPs of PSD and ALDE, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated that they talked about the continuation of the fight against the deep state so that they would win this battle as part of a Government-Parliament partnership.
“There is a will for the ministers to present themselves as well as possible tomorrow. They’ve prepared as well as possible to assimilate what we consider to be important points in the programme, and I have the conviction that the parliamentary groups will continue to offer the support needed for the future Cabinet to perform as well as possible,” the ALDE leader stated at the end of the meeting.
Tariceanu pointed out he talked to them about the desire to focus on the economic priorities.
“We also talked about the necessity to consolidate the rule of law, to return to normality, to continue this fight against the deep state, and I believe that through a solid Government-Parliament relationship we will be able to re-establish normality in Romania and to win the fight against the deep state,” the Senate Speaker added.
Likewise, he said that, this being the year of the Centennial, several major investment objectives are important, which should be put on the map in a clear and concrete fashion, as well as social-cultural objectives dedicated to the Centennial and which would be enjoyed by all Romanians.
“Mrs Dancila has mentioned three things that have been taken out from the governing programme. The first is the well-known solidarity tax. The second is the tax on food additives I believe. The third… I don’t recall. What I want to emphasise is that for 2018 we want a non-interventionist fiscal policy, so minimum intervention in the economy on the part of the state. The economy is doing well in 2018,” Tariceanu pointed out.