Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said on Saturday that for President Klaus Iohannis, as long as “the rate of convictions is higher than that of abuses,” the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) is in the black.
Tariceanu said that he looked at reactions in the aftermath of the visit to Romania of European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
“The first type of reaction is the one I saw at the Romanian politicians who have made a habit of criticizing their own country – it reminded me of communism and the visits of the party secretary. With proletarian anger they denounced Romania, spoke of activating Article 7 for non-observance of the rule of law, although Frans Timmermans has made it clear that no such step is envisaged. (…) Then I saw another type of reaction that I would call verticality and in line with European principles. It is the reaction of those who see the relationship with European officials as a partnership, not as subordination,” Tariceanu wrote on Facebook.
He pointed out that he had “a substantial and positive dialogue” with Timmermans and voiced appreciation for the “constructive attitude and determination expressed for accompanying Romania towards the lifting of the CVM.”
The Senate Chairman said no political considerations can justify turning a blind eye to abuse or the violation of citizens’ rights and freedoms.
“It is enough to see just one Romanian citizen being victim of abuse, arrested on the basis of fabricated evidence, serving jail time while innocent, to trigger alarm in society and take a stance for such abuse to never repeat,” Tariceanu wrote.
In his opinion, certain politicians, the head of the state included, just “recite statistics”.
“I keep seeing politicians, with President Klaus Iohannis in the lead, reciting statistics: the number of investigations has increased, the prosecutors report X rate of convictions, just like communist-era political instructors who talked about per hectare production. The breach of the Constitution by the DNA Chief Prosecutor, the abuses and doctored evidence, the innocent people who have been abusively arrested, they all seem unable to tip the scales against such statistics. Why is that so? Because to Mr. Iohannis these Romanians are mere statistical figures (…). For Mr. Iohannis, as long as the rate of convictions is higher than that of abuses, DNA is in the black,” Tariceanu wrote, cautioning also that Romania needs to “clean up its own home.”
“It is an illusion that European politicians will fight themselves abuses in Romania. The European institutions responsible for protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens – I mean ECHR – have repeatedly warned Romania, but it is the role of the democratically elected politicians to take action. This is what Parliament has been doing these months, a point I highlighted during talks with Frans Timmermans,” Tariceanu said.
He welcomed the “courage” proven by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, as “for the first time in 10 years, an expert who knows the judiciary system from the inside (…) has carried out an ample analysis with precise legal arguments, an analysis no one has dismantled so far. I’ve seen many ad hominem attacks against the Minister of Justice, but no argument to prove that Mrs. Kovesi has not repeatedly violated the Constitution, to mention just one of the main arguments put forward by the Minister of Justice,” Tariceanu said.
In his opinion, this report “has finally opened Pandora’s box and exposed abuses in the system.”