The no-confidence motion tabled against Prime Minister Viorica Dancila by the Opposition was defeated on Wednesday by the Parliament, as no sufficient votes were cast. There were 166 votes for and 4 against.
The vote was secret, expressed with balls, and at least 233 favorable votes were needed, while PNL, USR and PMP have some 150 MPs. PSD, ALDE and UDMR MPs were present but they didn’t cast their vote.
During the debate, hundreds of people were protesting in the Izvor Park before the Parliament House, asking for the government to resign.
Protesters, some of them with loudspeakers, were chanting ”Demisia, demisia” (Resignation, resignation); “Justitie, nu coruptie !”(Justice, not corruption); “Jos Guvernul” (Down with the government), “Pui de hoti si de mafioti” (Offspring of thieves and mobsters); ” Fara penali” (No convicts at rule); ” Dragnea, nu uita, puscaria e a ta” (Dragnea, remember jail is awaiting); ” ”Iesiti afara, tradatori de tara” (Get out, you country traitors); “DNA sa vina sa va ia” (May the National Anti-Corruption Directorate come and get you).
PM Dancila at the debate in Parliament’s plenum: Did not expect motion to be sequence of lies
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated on Wednesday in Parliament’s plenum she was not expecting the entire no-confidence motion, signed by the National Liberal Party (PNL), Save Romania Union (USR) and People Movement’s Party (PMP), to be “a sequence of fabrications.”
“I was not expecting the whole motion to be a sequence of fabrications, a presentation of almost another reality, made in bad faith. I understand the role of the opposition and its obligation to criticise the Gov’t. This is part of the essential mechanism of democracy. But the way in which today, without any rational arguments, the opposition is undermining the Government’s entire effort based on some allegations devoid of logic and realism, makes me believe that this motion only stands for a political game,” Dancila stated at the debate of the censure motion “Ousting the Dragnea-Dancila government, a national emergency!”
The Prime Minister said she carefully read the text of the no-confidence motion and declared herself “disappointed”. She added that she was hoping, despite the political adversity, for “a constructive approach of criticism”, to the citizen’s benefit.
“I was hoping we would be warned, corrected, even pulled at the sleeve regarding certain measures which might seem questionable from your perspective. You mystify reality to serve your own political interests. You present the bad as being good and the good as bad. In your speech there is no room left for nuances. Everything is black and white. Everything the power does is bad, and everything you do is good. These are the premise and the conclusion of the motion, which betrays an incredible arrogance with respect to the doubtful performance you had when you were governing. You refuse to admit even the most obvious good things that have happened during this government,” Dancila said.
She added that for the opposition, the increase of the Romanians’ wages is “a populist measure that will bring the chaos in the economy”, and the rise of the minimum wages “an antisocial and anti-economic measure.”
“For you, the exceptional economic growth Romania had last year is the result of the government’s incapacity and incompetence. (…) In your view, the decrease of the government debt is actually a rise of the debt. Whatever this government might have done, whatever it might do, no matter how well things might go, for you it is impossible to get out of this paradigm of catastrophe, disaster and circus presented in Romania’s Parliament.”
Moreover, the premier affirmed that “many lies are circulating in the public sphere” about the amendments to the justice laws.
“We are unfortunately witnessing the amplest misinformation and intoxication of public opinion after the Revolution. There are many lies circulating in the public sphere and which obviously count on the emotional triggers that might catalyse a hostile, outraged and radicalised social reaction to the effort of the parliamentary majority to transpose into the criminal legislation the decisions of the Constitutional Court, of the European Court of the Human Rights and last but not least the Directive 343 of 2016 regarding the presumption of innocence,” Dancila further said.
Dancila reproaches no-confidence motion supporters switching to ad-hominem attacks when Gov’t performance no longer deniable
Premier Viorica Dancila’s message to the initiators of the no-confidence motion was that when they could no longer deny the pension and wage rises initiated by the government, they “took issue with the physical aspect, hairdo or clothing style of their political opponents.”
“When you could no longer deny the benefit of pension and wage rises, you took issue with the physical appearance, hairdo or clothing of your political opponents. When you could no longer deny the economic performance of this government, which was also acknowledged by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, you started making offensive comments regarding the training of your opponents,” Dancila said at the Parliament plenary meeting for the debate of the no-confidence motion titled “Ousting the Dragnea – Dancila government, a national emergency!” initiated by the Opposition.
The PM said that the Opposition representatives remain “prisoners to conflicting politics” without realizing that the Romanians “are fed up with scandal and hate the wrangling” that beset Romanian politics. Dancila voiced her confidence in the intelligence of the people “who have repeatedly proven that they don’t not fall for manipulations” and that they are able to discern the truth.
“When this term comes to end in 2020, the Romanians will draw the line and, with their specific wisdom, will rightly grasp the essence of things when they will turn out to vote. The equation will be as simple as possible. You cut, we have raised pensions and wages. You closed down, we have reopened and built schools and hospitals. You heightened, we have lowered and even scrapped taxes. Under your ruling unemployment was at its highest, with us it hit a low. You dismantled, we have created hundreds of jobs. You generated one of the steepest decreases, we – one of EU’s biggest economic growth,” the PM argued.
Dancila added that, apart from attacking the government, the Opposition should present the Romanians the alternative they have to offer.
“Many of us know it perfectly well! It’s the same alternative that you once before served the Romanian citizens, it is the alternative of benefit cuts and austerity. The program of the National Liberal Party (PNL) insists on cutting the minimum national wage to one thousand lei, that is even 25 more than the cut operated by the former PDL governance. Moreover, the PNL economists strongly claim that raising the minimum wage is an anti-economic and antisocial measure. And this while the minimum wage in Romania is still among the lowest in the European Union, despite the successive increases during our rule,” the PM said.
“Each Romanian must have freedom to decide where to keep their pension money”
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated on Wednesday, in the Parliament, that each Romanian must have the freedom to decide where to keep their pension money.
“The issue of nationalizing Pension Pillar II has never been raised nor could it be raised because the funds accumulated there belong to Romanians, and the right to property is guaranteed by the Constitution. What we want is for each Romanian to have the freedom to decide where to keep their pension money and I find it difficult to understand how it is possible for a party claiming to be a liberal to militate for the lack of choice, the imposition by the state of the place where the money should be kept. The issue of dismantling or nationalizing the Pillar II has never been raised, and it would not have been technically possible,” Dancila said at the debate on the no-confidence motion against the Government, signed by the National Liberal Party (PNL), Save Romania Union (USR) and People Movement’s Party (PMP).
Dancila said that the insinuations there is no pension money anymore and that the nationalization of the Pillar 2 is wanted represents the most serious misinformation in the no-confidence motion.
“I can understand up to a point that the opposition’s purpose is to challenge what the power is doing. I can understand the political schemes you are doing in this respect, but I draw your attention to the fact that for pensioners it is not a game for you to say that there is no more money for paying pensions until the end of the year. For a pensioner, whose health or even life depends on their monthly pension, it is not a game when you are lying to them there is no pension money anymore. It is an irresponsible lie and please stop lying to the pensioners. You embarrassed yourself when you foretold that there would be no more pension money after November. How long do you want to persist in this lie? ” she asked in the Parliament.
The prime minister also said that the Government is not responsible for the trend of inflation, which is under the “care and responsibility” of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Wednesday in the Parliament.
“The Government is not (…) responsible for the trend of inflation. You know that this is under the care and responsibility of the National Bank of Romania, which, in fact, officially admitted that the inflation we are discussing was not generated by governmental policies,” Dancila declared at the debate on the no-confidence motion.
“We fight for Romania all the way” – message shown by Liberals during PM speech
National Liberal Party (PNL) MPs laid down in the plenary chamber of Parliament, during Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s speech, a huge banner with the message “We fight for Romania all the way”.
At the beginning of Viorica Dancila’s speech regarding the motion of no confidence, Opposition MPs laid down on the podium behind the stand several boxes that had the same message : “We fight for Romania”, but also a diploma inscribed with: “The Hammer and Sickle award for Liviu Dragnea”. The boxes were later on disposed of by the Chamber of Deputies staff.
The Prime Minister’s speech was interrupted several times by the chanting of Opposition senators and deputies. They asked for the resignation of the Prime Minister.
“I had the decency to listen to the no-confidence motion, please have the same decency”, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila replied.
Politicians’ statements during the debate
ALDE’s Vosganian: No-confidence motion cannot be tabled without saying what government vision you have
Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) deputies, Varujan Vosganian criticized on Wednesday the opposition for the anti-governmental demarche, stating that you cannot table a no-confidence motion without saying what government and vision you have and without knowing figures.
“That was not a no-confidence motion, it was the behavior of football fans with all these placards. (…) Indeed, you cannot table a no-confidence motion without telling what government you have, what vision you have and without knowing figures, because, believe me, arithmetic is fundamental and the fact that you do not know the arithmetic suggests you to file the motion, because the simple arithmetic shows that you have as many votes as protesters you had in Victory Square yesterday together with you. ALDE respects its understandings on the support for the governing program. Any measure that goes beyond the governing program will have our own conditional support, that is, to the extent to which we are informed in advance and we have afterwards a consultation and a negotiation in this regard,” Vosganian said in the Parliament, at the debates on the motion.
He added that personalities from the 1990s, such as Corneliu Coposu, Ion Ratiu, Radu Cimpeanu, Sergiu Cunescu, Stefan Augustin Doinas, Alecu Paleologu, although they lived hard political times, never did they come with placards “hung on their necks in Parliament and never did they boo in Parliament. ”
PNL’s Turcan: Never did a no-confidence motion have higher stakes. Today we can save Romania, or we can institute the Republic of Teleorman at the whim of one person
PNL First Vice President Raluca Turcan stated during the joint plenary meeting that a no-confidence motion has never had higher stakes than now.
“We knew that Liviu Dragnea steals votes. You have ordered the stealing of the signatures of some Romanians dissatisfied with one of the bad economic measures you have taken,” Raluca Turcan started her speech, referring to the fact that, while Premier Viorica Dancila was giving her speech, a box placed behind the Premier, containing the signatures that PNL had collected from citizens who do not want the Pillar II Pension Fund scrapped, was taken away.
“Did you read your speech beforehand? Because if you didn’t someone has made a terrible mockery out of you. You have managed to lift lying at the rank of the already famous incompetence that characterises you,” Turcan told Viorica Dancila.
The PNL First Vice President emphasised the stakes of the no-confidence motion.
“Never did a no-confidence motion have higher stakes than now. Today we can save Romania, or we can institute the Republic of Teleorman at the whim of a single person,” Turcan said.
She pointed out that Romania is already paying a high-enough price for the decisions that Liviu Dragnea has taken along with an incompetent Government led by Viorica Dancila, and Romania has ended up being considered a problem-country where democracy is infringed upon and the commitments taken on accession to the EU seem thrown in the dustbin.
Turcan said that Romania has chosen the European path precisely to get away from the curse of whimsical rule, but what the ruling power is currently offering is precisely “governance by whim, and a law in which criminals hold the supremacy.”
“Today’s motion is no longer about the resignation of Ms Dancila, today’s motion is about the dismissal of the Dragnea regime, which has declared war on European Romania. The choice is simple and dramatic at the same time. You must choose between Romania and a group of influential politicians who are using state policy in favour of their personal interest. You must choose between the European Romania and a Romania on the periphery of Europe, at the disposal of central and local satraps who dictate as they please. No Government has ever won against its own people. Today I will not call on the honour of the Prime Minister, because there is no point,” the PNL First Vice President stated.
Raluca Turcan warned Viorica Dancila that nothing will save her from being held accountable for “complicity to crime.”
USR’s Barna: After Ion Iliescu, Liviu Dragnea is the worst thing that happens to this country. USR will vote for the censure motion
The Save Romania Union (USR) Chairman Dan Barna stated on Wednesday in the plenary session of the Parliament that after Ion Iliescu, Liviu Dragnea is the worst thing that happens to this country, and the Dancila Government is only trying to save him from jail. He mentioned that his political party will vote the motion and urged the other parliamentarians not to choose “the dark past”.
Barna began his speech by saying: “More than the fate of the Government lead by Viorica Dancila, a Prime Minister who makes us be ridiculous rather than shaming us before the world, today we are deciding what kind of a country we will be”.
He spoke about a Romania that should be fair, in which “theft is not honorable for us” and “in which papaya is not an acorn”, about a European country.
“After conviction and after resuming the protests against Liviu Dragnea, the Save Romania Union has become the victim of a campaign of intimidation and incitement to hatred. We have to cope with an avalanche of fake news trying to create the image of a lying wave of violence invented in relation to the USR members. It’s a terribly similar campaign to the propaganda of the Iliescu regime against the hooligans in the university Square. At that time, the protesters were fascist gangs and legionnaire remains. Now, moreover, we are Soros’ followers and agents paid by USA and European Union”.
He also made remarks on the ban on USR to invite people in Parliament. You have turned the Parliament into the Military Unit ‘Liviu Dragnea’, through a collective punishment as in the communist period of the ‘50s”.
“PSD had the buttons most of the time in these 28 years. The real responsible politics is the one that doesn’t cause people come out in the street. When the population is so dissatisfied that it massively protests, the politician failed”.
He said to the PSD voters that they were “lied” once again. “The people you voted are doing nothing for you. We, those from USR, are not the ones who are responsible because the people you voted cannot ensure you a better living. We’re not the ones who are responsible because the country is going wrong. Our protests are not against you”.
“After Ion Iliescu, Liviu Dragnea is the worst thing that happened to this country. We’ve lost at least 20 years because of a communist craving for power, and now we are risking to lose other 20 years because of an offender trying to get rid of jail”.
This government’s situation is so precarious, Barna added, that even the word “incompetent” is “too sophisticated”. Romania needs a “competent government that serves the citizen, a real government, not a puppet government manipulated by a convicted offender”.
“Save Romania Union will vote for the censure motion against the Dancila Government. We believe that this motion is one of the last chances to avoid Romania to turn into a dictatorship similar to Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, or Viktor Orban’s Hungary. It is the only way ahead, to Europe, to our common good, as a nation. Choose with us for Romania’s future, not for its dark past!”.
UDMR’s Kelemen: The Opposition apparently wants to take over power, but has no solution sketched
During the debate on the no-confidence motion, UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated that the Opposition apparently wants to take over power but has no solution sketched, not even a draft governance programme, and accused a sterile battle for power.
“The changing of the governmental majority cannot be the result of some backstage arrangements,” Kelemen Hunor said.
In UDMR’s opinion, apart from criticising the Government a no-confidence motion should also have an essential component that would clearly show what comes next: what the governance programme of those parties that really want to take over the executive power is, who the candidate for the Premier’s office is and on what majority he relies, who are those who will lead the main ministries, and the direction of the main public policies.
“The Opposition apparently wants to take over the governance, but it has no sketched solution, no answer assumed by all signatory parties,” the UDMR leader claimed.
He criticised the fact that there is no talk of a vision, not even a draft governance programme is being presented, and there is no talk of the citizens’ complete lack of confidence in state institutions.
Kelemen Hunor added that “turning all principles and concepts into slogans, the impossibility or even the refusal of rational dialogue, represents an immense danger.”
He accused “the sterile battle for power.”
Basescu’s advice for PSD: Topple your own Gov’t, you can do it, and appoint a Gov’t we wouldn’t be ashamed of in the EU
Ex-President Traian Basescu has stated during the joint plenary meeting that if the Government is not toppled by the Opposition’s no-confidence motion then it would be better for the PSD itself to topple it. He wondered how could Premier Dancila stand next to the Austrian Chancellor to draw up the strategic lines for the next 18 months in Europe. Basescu said it will be difficult for the Opposition to topple the Government today, but sarcastically claimed that if “Ponta the saviour” will not cut it either then the PSD should topple the Government to save us from embarrassment in the European Union.
In his speech, Traian Basescu claimed that the no-confidence motion has no chances today, except maybe with the help of “Ponta the saviour,” adding that we need a Government that would not embarrass us because Romania holding the EU presidency will only happen again in 14 years.
“Dear colleagues, it will categorically be very difficult for the Opposition to pass the motion today. Maybe it would pass with Ponta the saviour. But, if it doesn’t pass, listen to what I’m telling you: topple your own Government, you can do it, and appoint a Government we would not be ashamed of in the EU, because we will lead the EU. Keep in mind that we will have this chance again 14 years from now,” Traian Basescu added.
He said it will be very difficult for the Premier and members of Government to hold talks within the European Union’s committees, and ironized the Economy, Transport and Education ministers.
“I will talk to you about the near future, which explains our position as to why the Dancila Government must fall. And if it doesn’t fall via the motion then it would be good for you to topple it. Starting on July 1st, Romania enters the trio. Trio at the level of the EU means that the Premier of Romania, alongside the Chancellor of Austria and the Premier of Bulgaria, will establish the main strategic lines for the next 18 months in the EU. Question: do you think Ms Dancila will be able to sit next to the Austrian Chancellor and discuss the Brexit issue? You think she will have some ideas on migration at EU level? You think she will be able to say something about the EU’s strategic projects? And here’s another problem: while Ms Dancila enters the stage on July 1st, on January 1st the whole Government enters the EU stage. As you know, apart from the European Council there is the Council of the EU, which has ten bodies. These bodies are chaired by the ministers of the country holding the Presidency. And I’ll ask you: there is the Transport Council. How do you think the Romanian Transport Minister will be able to discuss Europe’s infrastructure issues, when he hasn’t built a metre of expressway in Romania? There is the European Affairs Council. Do you imagine [Economy Minister] Andrusca at the head of the table discussing with all EU ministers about tariffs on the U.S.? Education Council, Youth, Culture and Sport. How do you think the Education Minister and Ioana Barna (Ioana Bran – editor’s note) will preside when the EU’s education issues will be discussed there, when they are not solving the ones in Romania,” Traian Basescu said.
Pambuccian: MPs belonging to national minorities will vote as they see fit
The MPs belonging to national minorities other than the Hungarian one will vote at the no-confidence motion as they see fit, Varujan Pambuccian, leader of the group, announced on Wednesday in a joint plenum of the Parliament.
“Our parliamentary group consists of 17 deputies, representing 17 organizations. We do not have a consensus on this motion, each will vote as they and their organization think fit. We will participate in the vote, we will secure the quorum and everyone will vote as they think fit,” Pambuccian said.