On Saturday, in a Facebook posting, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea thanked those who took part in PSD’s rally in Craiova, claiming that they numbered 45,000 and saying that they have shown their adversaries that the link between the PSD and the Romanian citizens cannot be severed. He stated that the PSD Government brought European grants four times higher than the previous Government did, referring to the Ciolos Government.
“I thank from the bottom of my heart the more than 45,000 people from Oltenia who came yesterday to support the PSD’s top 15 candidates for the European Parliament elections. It was an afternoon I will not forget. You have shown all adversaries that the link between the PSD and the Romanian citizens cannot be severed. You have energised us, the PSD candidates and me. You did not allow yourselves tricked by the manipulations of the Opposition, and it’s clear you want us to continue what we started: hiking salaries and pensions, lowering unemployment, lowering poverty and disparities in order to have more Romanians in the middle class,” Dragnea posted on Facebook on Saturday.
In his opinion, this is proof that those present want to be represented in the European Union by patriots who would fight for Romania’s interest and would bring in the country as many European grants as possible, for farmers, for small entrepreneurs, for roads and hospitals.
“We have already brought European grants four times higher than the previous Government, but we want to bring more than this because Romanians and Romania deserve more!”, the PSD leader said.
PSD rally in Craiova brings together more than 40,000 sympathisers. Dragnea: “Many told me: Liviu, don’t give up! We’ll come and get you out of there!”
Present at the Social Democratic Party’s rally in Craiova on Friday, party leader Liviu Dragnea told the participants that he was advised not to give up even if he were to be arrested because he would be taken “out of there.”
“People from the press were asking me the other days how many people will be at the rally. Claudiu told me that there would be only a few. I understand that the PNL has organised a rally in a corner here. This is the PSD, folks! It’s the party that Iohannis wants to destroy. I walked among you; wherever I went, everybody told me: Liviu, don’t give up,” Liviu Dragnea stated on the stage.
He added that he was told not to give up and that he should not worry even if they were to arrest him because they would come get him out.
“This is the party that Iohannis and his clique want to destroy. Many of you have told me: Liviu, don’t give up! Someone also told me: even if they arrest you, don’t give up, because we’ll come and get you out of there. I hope we won’t reach that point, because this is all that Iohannis wants because he is terrified of us. Should he go to Germany? Maybe he will leave for Miami. Can’t he stay in the country and be held accountable – both he and his people – for all the abuses made in recent years, for all the broken destinies, broken lives, for all the blockages, for the hatred he promoted? He must answer for the stolen houses, both he and those who are covering it up for him,” Liviu Dragnea said.
The PSD leader talked about the measures adopted by the PSD Government.
“Many incapable persons in this country kept trying to put in drawers the great moments of history, moments that show the Romanian patriotism. Since the Revolution, Romanians have started to look on with confidence, having the courage to fight for their country. I want us to talk with courage about Romania and patriotism. We were told for far too long: get used to low salaries because otherwise investors won’t come. And Romanians earned measly salaries for years on end because – isn’t it so? – investors would come to Romania only this way,” he said.
“We were told for far too long that EU interests are more important than the interests of Romania. Any German, Belgian or Dutch person thinks about their country first of all, because that’s normal. But if Romania was led without a spine, with the head bowed; if you stand upright some spinal disc may crack, but at least you stand with the spine upright, not bent,” Dragnea added.
He went on to list the measures adopted by the PSD.
“Why, what do these people have against us? – many have asked me. What does Iohannis have against us? We have started to show all the abuses made in this country, and they are scared. We had the crazy courage to start a pensions programme that will continue in the following years, we have raised the salaries of physicians and professors so that they would enjoy the respect they deserve,” Dragnea said.
Liviu Dragnea once again levelled accusations against foreign companies that are allegedly bringing poor-quality fruits and vegetables to Romania.
“They are scared that Romanian farmers have started to put tasty Romanian produce on the tables of Romanians. We have the ambition to cover [consumption during] the winter months too, and we will subsidise the boilers for greenhouses and the plastic sheets. (…) They have made a mockery of the soil for decades; they did everything they could to bring the country to its knees. Should we sit idle and watch our grains go abroad and return as crackers? Should we continue to sit and watch how foreign companies trample Romanian farmers? (…) Should some monkeys, some clowns, tell us we are not Europeans? I love my country, and I’ve decided to take any risk, any danger, to fight for Romania. The people you see here, who will go to the European Parliament, are people in which I have maximum confidence. None of them would have ended up on this list if they hadn’t been pure-blooded patriots. We no longer want double standards for us, the bad for us and the good for others. We want them to go to Brussels to be a strong voice for our country, to courageously say what Romania means. We no longer accept being put in the corner on account of all sorts of lies,” Dragnea stated.
He also talked about the fight against corruption.
“I heard them talk about the rule of law. In their mind, it’s the rule of orders. They talked about anti-corruption. We can’t have a fight against corruption with evil characters at the helm of the prosecutor’s offices,” Dragnea said.
Rovana Plumb, Dan Nica, Maria Grapini – who are running in the European Parliament elections –, as well as PSD Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu, and Lia Olguta Vasilescu took part in the rally in Craiova, which brought together more than 40,000 PSD sympathisers, according to Senator Claudiu Manda, the head of the PSD Dolj branch.
Rovana Plumb: Every day, Iohannis is blocking the good measures for us, for Romanians
European Funds Minister Rovana Plumb stated that, after two years in government, the PSD has brought billions of euro to Romania, “compared to zero brought by Iohannis’s Government.”
“Every day, Iohannis is blocking the good measures for us, for Romanians. Romania needs European funds for hospitals, schools, roads, motorways. The future budget of the EU will be negotiated in the following period. It’s important to have in Brussels patriots who would know how to negotiate for Romania, to obtain the funds we deserve,” Plumb said.
She added that Romanians work just as much and just as well as the other Europeans; in fact, she believes Romanians work much better because she recently saw that Romania is first in the world when it comes to labour productivity.
“That is why the salaries of Romanians must be at EU level too. The PSD has been working on this for two years, and we will continue to work on this. I want to tell you, looking you in the eye, that I will speak well of Romania, because I love my country and because we have a lot of good things to say about Romania, about our country. I will never vote against my country, like the members of the PNL have done, I will never talk against my country, like the members of the Opposition are doing. How could Europe respect you when the members of the Opposition are the ones who speak the most against Romania? We should vote on May 26 so that those who voted against Romania would stay home,” Plumb added.
Lia Olguta Vasilescu: We need to send Romanian patriots in the European Parliament
PSD MP of Dolj Lia Olguta Vasilescu, who was also the Mayor of Craiova, stated on Friday at the rally where the party’s candidates in the EP election were presented, that Romania must send Romanian patriots in the European Parliament.
“Mister Ludovic Orban himself tells us that if he will rule, the first thing he will do will be to repeal the Pay Law. Florian Catu, the grey eminence of PNL, tells us that when PNL will rule, some of the first measures will be to fire 500,000 state employees and to freeze all the social programs of PSD, and they will analyze how the economy is working. These are the people who want to govern and who warn us in advance on what is going to happen. We need to send Romanian patriots in Europe, who will fight for us there, who will not lick the doorknob of the Europe’s chiefs, as all those who were sent by PNL and PMP there unfortunately did in the recent years. We need this team, and I know you will support it. They cannot block as much as we can vote”, Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated.
She said that PSD has fulfilled all its electoral promises regarding the salary increase, the pension increase, the drop of unemployment and the measures for agriculture and farmers.
“In the first two years of governing, we have a 60% increase for the minimum pension. We have also eliminated the system’s inequities, while during Boc’s mandate, when they couldn’t cut the pensions because CCR didn’t let them, they applied a tax on them, and we removed the health insurance tax from all the pensions. We have drafted the Pension Law, which is blocked because PNL challenged it to the Constitutional Court. We promised we will decrease the unemployment rate and we currently have a historical minimum after the Revolution. We promised farmers they will receive their subsidies on time, and they are receiving them on time for two years. We promised you that you will have free water for irrigations and you have it, we promised that we will increase Romania’s irrigated area and it increased from 300,000 hectares to 1.4 million hectares. We also promised that we will have collection centers for the products for framers, and Casa Agricola Unirea has been also founded and will be operational starting from this summer. We also promised the express road Craiova-Pitesti, and important steps have been made to this end. (…) You don’t have to make an exercise of imagination to understand what happens if the others will rule”, Vasilescu stressed.
Ciolos: Dragnea lied until Belina froze over. In 28 months, PSD-ALDE absorbed 22 pc fewer EU grants than the technocratic Gov’t did in one year
Ex-Premier Dacian Ciolos has stated that “Dragnea lied until Belina froze over,” because the European grants that the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition has absorbed in 28 months are 22 per cent lower than the ones the technocratic Government absorbed in one year.
“Last evening (Saturday – editor’s note), Dragnea lied until Belina froze over. He says the PSD-ALDE Governments have absorbed European grants four times higher than the ones absorbed by the Government I led. I believe he lacks elementary notions of math, otherwise I can’t explain how he is capable of writing such a thing. Because a total of 7.3 billion euro entered Romania in 2016. In the last two years, the Dragnea governments have only managed to absorb 4.7 billion per year. No matter how Mr Dragnea spins the figures, the facts are different than those he sells cheaply,” Dacian Ciolos posted on Facebook on Sunday.
“If we subtract the agricultural subsidies, namely the European grants negotiated by me in my capacity as European commissioner, which the PSD Government doesn’t have to do anything to receive, the fact is that in 28 months the PSD-ALDE Coalition absorbed European cohesion funds that are 22 per cent lower than those the Ciolos Government absorbed in 12 months. Namely 4.4 billion in 2016, compared to a total of only 3.4 billion in 2017, 2018 and 2019,” the former technocratic Premier, currently the leader of PLUS, added.
Ciolos’s reaction comes after PSD President Liviu Dragnea posted on Facebook, on Saturday evening, a message for those who took part in the rally in Craiova on Friday, pointing out that they did not allow themselves tricked by the Opposition and that they issued a signal that they want the PSD to carry on with the social measures it has started.