The joint plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate rejected on Thursday the no-confidence motion called “Enough! The Dragnea – Dancila Government, Romania’s shame!,” initiated by the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP).
The leader of the Social Democrat MPs, Daniel Suciu, mentioned that a number of 161 Parliament members voted in favour and 3 voted against. In order to be adopted, the motion required a minimum of 233 votes in favour.
The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Parliament members attended the session, but did not cast a vote.
Scandal in the plenary hall: PSD MPs step out, PNL inquires about gendarmes on site
The Social Democratic Party (PSD) deputy leader, Daniel Suciu, said on Thursday, after the Social Democrats stepped out of the plenary hall, that the Opposition representatives “do not even have a quorum and are trying some cons,” adding that “it is a first when three or four parties submitting a censure motion run away from their own motion.”
He specified that PSD MPs will return to the plenary hall.
The leader of the PSD deputies requested in Parliament’s plenary session a recess for consultations and told the Social Democrat MPs to leave the meeting room.
The proposal came after the National Liberal Party (PNL) deputy leader, Raluca Turcan, asked for two declarations on Justice and the economic situation to be put on the agenda before the debate on the censure motion.
PNL Deputy Florin Roman criticized the presence of the gendarmes in Parliament on Thursday and asked the representatives of the Government who called them and whom they protect.
“I would like to know why today, when we all came to work, Parliament – full of gendarmes, outside Parliament – full of gendarmes and hiding in Parliament. Are you afraid to go out among people? I want to know, since I am a deputy, who has requested the presence of gendarmes outside Parliament and inside Parliament. I want to know whom these gendarmes protect. Do you know that right now, when you are smirking and making bad jokes, do you know that these are crimes in Romania ? Do you see this picture? It is the compensatory appeal that you granted. Look what happens to a young woman in Romania, and the gendarmes are in Parliament to defend the criminals in the parliamentary majority, not in the street,” Roman said in Parliament’s plenary session.
He showed from the floor of the plenary hall the photo of an assaulted young woman and after he had finished talking, placed it on the table in front of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.
PNL’s Turcan: I find it devastating to have PM who is reason for jokes on WhatsApp
PNL deputy leader Raluca Turcan said on Thursday it is not because of honesty why Liviu Dragnea appointed Viorica Dancila as prime minister but obedience, stressing that she find it humiliating for Romania to have a prime minister who is reason for jokes on WhatsApp.
“Today you had the chance of an honest discourse, but honesty is not the criterion on which Liviu Dragnea appointed Prime Minister, but the obedience and the fact that you carry out orders. (…) There are solutions for Romania to fare better. First of all, instead of an incompetent and obedient Prime Minister, we could have a responsible and devoted Prime Minister, and who would especially send the young generation the message that it is worth learning in this country if you want to join the elite of society. Moreover, it seems to me devastating for the young generation to have a prime minister who is reason for jokes on WhatsApp. (…) This is the country with this government,” Raluca Turcan told the debates on the no-confidence motion.
According to the leader of the liberal MPs, instead of an obedient prime minister, Romania could have a responsible prime minister and with another executive Romania could sit with dignity at the European Commission and the European Parliament’s table in order to attract European funds to be found in hospitals, motorways and schools.
USR’s Barna: Convicted criminal and PM with reading difficulties lead Romania
Romania is headed by a convicted criminal and a prime minister who has difficulty reading the texts others hand her, said on Thursday, in the joint plenary session of Parliament, Save Romania Union (USR) leader Dan Barna.
“This winter should have been the happiest moment in our history as a nation. (…) But today Romania has ended up being led by a convicted criminal, a prime minister who has difficulty reading the texts others hand her (…) Every day, every hour that the pair Dragnea-Dancila spends at Romania’s helm represents a threat to our future as a nation. The solution is the removal of this government from Romania’s wheel,” declared Barna, at the debate on the censure motion initiated by the Opposition.
According to the USR leader, the motion is not about the political struggle between the Power and the Opposition, but about the future of the citizens and Romania’s best interest.
PMP’s Tomac: In special year, we have bewildered Gov’t at Victoria Palace
People’s Movement Party (PMP) Chairman Eugen Tomac said on Thursday that in a special year, that of the Centennial, which required a direction from the Executive on Romania’s priorities, unfortunately at Victoria Palace there is a bewildered Government.
“29 years ago, the Romanians, with tears in their eyes, tasted the first moments of democracy and freedom. 29 years ago, Romania was waiting for a transformation, and it has been almost thirty years since then. Today, in a special year, in a year in which we needed a direction coming from the Executive regarding the priorities of Romania, we unfortunately have at Victory Palace a government that is bewildered, a government unable to draw some clear directions that the Romanians were waiting for. This Centennial year, we have unfortunately witnessed so many quarrels and so much disunity that we have not had for many years in our nation,” Tomac said in the plenary joint session of Parliament, in the debate on the censure motion initiated by the Opposition.
He added that he expected the government to come up with a strategy with some clear infrastructure priorities this year.
UDMR’s Kelemen to Opposition: Let’s prepare together a governing programme, we’ll propose new PM
Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) head Kelemen Hunor on Thursday stated that the Opposition doesn’t have a governing programme with a proposed Prime Minister, and the Union will prepare such programme in the spring and it will also bring a proposal for a Prime Minister at that point.
“I have a challenging proposal. You didn’t manage to come up with an alternative governing programme in two years, so that my proposal is let’s make it together. But, in order to avoid you looking with strange eyes at one another and being jealous of one another, we will make it under your coordination. We are going to prepare a document in February, March, April, whenever you like it. So, when the time comes for the censure motion in the spring session, you shouldn’t be unprepared. And if you are not going to have a Prime Minister proposal (…) we will propose one, when the time comes. Maybe you can increase thus your chance of taking over power,” said Kelemen Hunor, in Parliament, at the debate on the censure motion.
Victor Ponta: Pro Romania MPs to vote for the censure motion
Pro Romania and non-affiliated MPs are voting for the censure motion, the main reason being the ordinance announced by Minister Eugen Teodorovici, which would affect the entire Romanian economy, Pro Romania leader Victor Ponta announced on Thursday.
“Obviously, the 2012 conditions – a real alternative to the current governance that goes badly – are not met, and our criticisms against the governance are mainly related to how the economy and the social side are managed, beyond the criticisms that the USR, PMP, PNL are making against the intervention in justice, but we have taken note of the statements of the Minister of Finance regarding the decisions that this government wants to make today, and we will certainly vote for the censure motion, to show just one thing: that we do not agree with these economic measures,” Ponta said in the joint plenary session of Parliament on the debate on the censure motion.
He brought to mind that he was in the Social Democratic Party (PSD) when the Fiscal Code was adopted, and the measures announced now are totally against that code and that fiscal policy that bring Romania’s welfare.
For Pro Romania’s lawmakers, Ponta said, it is important that those who voted for them will now be the most affected by these measures.
“As of January 1, pensions are frozen. If the ordinance is adopted, the pension indexation law does not apply. What you do not know is that the salaries of the deputies will increase and, if you think you freeze pensions while increasing the salaries of the elected officials and the dignitaries, I, as a Social Democrat, cannot support it. Many of the employees in the budget sector, (…) voted for me, too, have voted for you, too, and their extra hours will not be paid now. Also, I think that those who voted for you are under 46 and contributors to the second pillar of pensions. The second pension pillar will be virtually abolished by this ordinance (…) The moment when the announced fees increase the prices in telecommunications, Romania will no longer be a competitive country. Otherwise, I appreciate the courage of a government that next year will have to borrow 6 billion euros to finance the budget deficit. For these reasons, the Pro Romania MPs will vote for the motion, and I heard that courage is not to be found in bookstores. There may be wisdom, intelligence, common sense,” Victor Ponta said.
PM Dancila asks Opposition whether they already plan to lose next elections
Prime minister Viorica Dancila on Thursday asked the Opposition’s representatives whether they plan to lose the next elections, because says she, they are transmitting the Romanians that the alternative they offer is to stop the incomes’ rises, even cut pensions and salaries.
“Are you already planning to lose the next elections? (…) You are telling the Romanians that your ruling alternative is to stop the increases in incomes we have scheduled for the next years and even cut pensions and salaries to fit in the budget,” Dancila said from Parliament’s tribune at the sitting where the censure motion was debated.
“Felt as I were reading a censure motion against Macron Gov’t”
The Premier stated that upon reading the Opposition’s censure motion, she felt it was actually a no-confidence motion against the Macron Government, the head of the Executive announcing on this occasion that she will not dismiss Carmen Dan from the position of Interior Minister, following the reproaches in the document on the August 10 protests.
“You ask for honesty, but you yourselves have introduced in the motion issues that it did not contain. I confess that it was very difficult for me to understand the logic of the accusations and contradictory arguments. I fully understand that the censure motion is a democratic exercise that the Opposition has at hand. It is good that it exists and it is good that you use it. But I was expecting you to seriously treat this instrument you have. With all due respect, dear MPs, it is a profoundly thoughtless text. I expected you to first and foremost respect yourselves, to show a minimum consideration for the logic and role you have in the Opposition, to respect the duty that you have towards those who voted for you,” Dancila said from Parliament’s tribune.
“Not to dismiss Carmen Dan, certainly not for reasons advanced in motion”
She stated that she will not dismiss Minister of the Interior Carmen Dan, mentioning that she will not do it for the reasons advanced in the text of the censure motion.
“You have criticized me for trusting Mrs. Carmen Dan. What should I do? Dismiss her as well? But no, it would not be good, because I would exceed the quota of dismissals you have established yourselves. However, I am telling you that I am not removing her from office and certainly not for the reasons you have put forward. Having read your criticism of Mrs. Carmen Dan, I felt that I was reading a motion against the Macron Government, not the Dancila Government, because this is what we have seen recently in Paris: water cannons, truncheons and tear gas. But you do not see this,” she said.
Dancila emphasized she was not expecting to be criticized for the ministerial changes made to the governments before her.
“What can I respond to this? Why Mr. Tudose or Grindeanu carried out cabinet reshuffle? I am accountable for my term, the ministers I have replaced. I have given these explanations, do you want me to repeat them? Because every minister I appointed had a clear obligation, a strict track he/she had to follow. I changed those who lagged behind. What would you have wanted me to do? Keep them? You yourselves criticize us that we do not fully observe the government’s agenda. Decide what you want from this government – whether or not to maintain in office a minister who does not give the expected results. (…) The problem is that citizens no longer understand you. You have always criticized the Minister of Transport, Lucian Sova. When I proposed a reshuffle, you have become his supporters. The purpose of a government is not to keep the seats warm for ministers. The purpose of a government is to deliver what was promised in the election campaign. I say in all responsibility: I will change as many ministers as needed so as to carry out what is written in the governing programme. You criticized me for trusting Mrs. Carmen Dan – what should I do, dismiss her as well? No. But no, it would not be good, because I would exceed the quota of dismissals you have established yourselves. However, I am telling you that I am not removing her from office and certainly not for the reasons you have put forward. Having read your criticism of Mrs. Carmen Dan, I felt that I was reading a motion against the Macron Government, not the Dancila Government, because this is what we have seen recently in Paris: water cannons, truncheons and tear gas. But you do not see this,” premier Dancila affirmed.
“During my mandate, public investments 40pct higher than in 2017″
She contradicted the Opposition objections on public investments, pointing out that in the first ten months of her mandate their value was over 40 percent higher than last year.
“In the first 10 months of my mandate, public investments from the budget are over 40 percent higher than last year. Therefore public investments didn’t decrease, but they increased. Similarly, foreign direct investments reached the highest value after the crisis: 4.6 billion euro, by almost 10 percent over the value recorded in the same period of 2017,” she pointed out during the debates on the censure motion initiated by the National Liberal Party (PMP), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP).
Pension payment not postponed, but done earlier
The PM also contradicted in the joint plenary session of Parliament a series of accusations in the censure motion text, underscoring that the pension payment was not postponed, but done earlier.
“You are making a serious mistake when you say we froze pensions starting 1 January 2019. May I remind you, in 2017 pensions increased two folds – once in January when they were indexed according to the legal provisions, the second time on 1 July, when the increase scheduled for the beginning of this year actually came earlier. The same in 2018 – we put in place earlier the increase that should have taken place in January 2019, and on 1 September we’ll perform the increases scheduled for January 2020 three months earlier. Therefore, the pension payment wasn’t postponed, but done earlier. And they haven’t been frozen either, nor have they dropped, as you claim, but they increased more than provided by law, according to our governance programme. Each time increases were a lot higher over the inflation rate and by 50 percent of the increase in the gross average salary,” the PM pointed out at the debates on the censure motion initiated by the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Save Romania Union (USR) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP).
The PM also contradicted the fact that the new pension law wouldn’t be fit for implementing.
Viorica Dancila mentioned that, according to the data with the National Institute of Statistics (INS), in the ten months of her mandate the purchasing power increased almost 8 percent and in this context the pension and salary increases “we eight points over the inflation rate.” The PM also made reference to the fact that the motion authors maintain that there aren’t any money for pensions and salaries, but also that for this reason the payment of the contributions for the education employees would have been postponed.
The PM reproached the motion authors that they are concerned with how much Romania borrows, pointing out that this topic is not in their favour.
If vote on JusMin Toader was secret, votes would exceed PSD-ALDE majority
Dancila also reproached the Opposition in the plenary sitting of Parliament that their “attitude is just for show” in respect to Justice Minister Tudorel Toader, and that, if the vote was secret in Parliament regarding Toader, the latter’s supporters would exceed the PSD-ALDE (Social Democratic Party – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) parliamentary majority.
“You publicly criticize Mr. Minister Tudorel Toader, for the justice reform he has been doing and for the manner in which he acts to stop abuses in the justice field. Dear colleagues of mine from the Opposition, let’s be honest! I believe that, had the vote on maintaining versus removing Mr. Tudorel Toader in office as Minister of Justice been secret, the number of votes in his favour would exceed by far the majority that we now hold in Parliament. You know this very well that many of you are very glad because Mr. Minister Tudorel Toader did what he did. Let’s be honest! Among you too were persons who were facing abusive investigations, even if their number is smaller than in the case of PSD, for you were not the main target of these abuses. This attitude just for show doesn’t suit you! And I mean first of all the PNL (National Liberal Party), which should be defending the individual against the abuses of the state, like were those in the justice field, for this is the essence of Liberalism. You better concern yourselves with the serious violations of the human rights,” said the prime Minister, at the debate on the motion of censure initiated by Opposition parties.