President Klaus Iohannis will participate on Thursday in the debate called “Romania at the Centennial,” that will be organised by the Presidential Administration and hosted by the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
“In the beginning of the year dedicated to the anniversary of the Greater Union, Romania’s President and the attendees of the debate will discuss about the vision of marking the Centennial, the manner in which the calendar of events is being prepared, but also how the projects are supported by the authorities. President Klaus Iohannis encourages and endorses the initiatives dedicated to celebrating the Centennial, which propose important outlooks and objectives for the European future of Romania,” a release of the Presidential Administration informs.
Also invited to the event were the initiators of some important projects and events dedicated to the Centennial, public figures of the academia and the cultural area, but also from the local public administration and the civil society,” the quoted source mentions.
PNL wants Culture Minister George Ivascu dismissed. PSD rejects demand
In the meantime, the calendar of events for the Centennial has become an apple of discord between the Opposition and the main ruling party. National Liberal Party (PNL)’s Gigel Stirbu, Chairman of the Culture Committee, asked the PSD on Wednesday, during the House plenary meeting, to dismiss Culture Minister George Ivascu, stating that otherwise the Liberals will table a simple motion against him. PSD’s House whip rejected the demand.
“The incumbent minister has taken the decision to cancel the former Culture Minister’s decision to validate the 2,048 Centennial projects filed by Romanian local authorities and NGOs, and decided that he himself will decide, in the following period, which are the viable projects,” Stirbu stated during the House plenary meeting, News.ro informs.
He asked PSD to dismiss the Culture Minister, pointing out that if that does not happen the Liberals will table a simple motion.
“I’m asking PSD’s representatives to consider withdrawing their political support for this gentleman or dismissing him. If this doesn’t happen, I’ll ask the PNL’s political group to table a simple motion against this minister,” Stirbu went on to say.
Culture and National Identity Minister George Ivascu was invited four times before the House Culture Committee. On Tuesday, even though he had announced via a secretary of state that he would take part in the hearing, he was absent and sent Gheorghe Popa to represent him instead.
Secretary of state Gheorghe Popa was tasked to inform the committee that George Ivascu will not take part in the hearing, further to the discontent of Committee Chairman Gigel Stirbu and other committee members.
The chairman of the House Culture Committee had demanded that Culture and National Identity Minister George Ivascu be heard in order to discuss the events, actions and projects promoted and handled by the Culture Ministry and meant to celebrate the Centennial of Romania and to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Daniel Suciu says PSD will not withdraw its political support for the Culture Minister
PSD’s House whip Daniel Suciu stated on Wednesday that the political support for Culture Minister George Ivascu will not be withdrawn.
The statement came after the Liberals asked the Social Democrats, during the House plenary meeting, to consider withdrawing their political support or dismissing the Culture Minister given the way he manages the Centennial projects.
“Mr Roman (PNL House lawmaker Florin Roman – editor’s note), the departed means dead and I won’t allow you to use such words at this rostrum. I was very careful concerning this aspect. I understand and I very much respect parliamentary procedures and it’s regrettable that a minister did not take part in a parliamentary committee [hearing], but because I have the experience of a prior mandate I want to tell you that at the Environment Committee, for instance, we waited five months for a minister to come and offer explanations. These things are valid coming from both the Right and the Left. The chairman of the Culture Committee was telling us that we, the PSD, should undertake to withdraw the support. No, we won’t. Politically, you’ve just informed us that you will table a simple motion on this topic. I wish you good luck and rest assured that the Centennial is not only the PNL’s or PSD’s. You should know that any politicised discussion about the Centennial does nothing but deepen this political dispute, and 2,000 projects were not cancelled, they will remain under assessment in order to have a unitary character, not just for Alba Iulia, for PNL or for PSD,” Suciu stated at the House plenary meeting.
PNL House lawmaker Florin Roman, deputy chairman of Parliament’s joint committee focusing on the Centennial, said on Wednesday that the Culture Minister does not understand that the Centennial projects must undergo a tender procedure that can last several months.
“The Culture Minister runs away and disappears from the public space during an extremely important moment. (…) This man didn’t spend one day in public administration, he can’t understand that all these projects must undergo a tender procedure that can last months. This man is unable to understand that, if he wastes more time, he won’t be able to do anything because he’d break the law. You should wake Mr Ivascu up, you should wake the ministry’s staff up! I’m looking to the left side of the room. Tell this man three months have passed since we voted the budget in Parliament and in three months he was unable to sign the contract for the Union Monument. (…) If the Culture Ministry fails to respect its commitment, fails to respect the budget law, the monument law, we’ll put up a 3D hologram in Alba Iulia (…) and we’ll write – this is where the monument promised by the departed and sleepy Culture Minister should have been. Bring this actor to his senses, tell him real life is different,” Roman pointed out.