POLITICS

PM’s Question Hour in the Chamber of Deputies’ plenary. Ciolacu to Orban: We’ve been telling you for months ‘rule and stop stealing’

Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Marcel Ciolacu said on Monday that Prime Minister Ludovic Orban should have been the defender of the Romanians’ health during the pandemic, but that instead, all he was after was money and that he has represented only the interests of the “great Liberal stomach” which he fed with “hundreds of millions of euros through non-tender contracts, in defiance of the law.”

“Mr. Prime Minister, for four months now we have been telling you clearly and unequivocally: just rule and stop stealing! You brazenly took advantage of this situation to satisfy all your political clients. You simply defied the suffering of the Romanians, you shamelessly acted in contempt of the restrictions imposed for the common people. For you personally there were no rules and no laws. You kept the Romanians locked up in their homes and you destroyed the economy, while the smart alecs of the National Liberal Party have filled their coffers for three generations from now. Mr. Orban, you should have been the defender of the Romanians’ health, but instead, all you were after was money, you represented only the interests of the great Liberal stomach that you fed hundreds of millions of euros through non-tender contracts, in defiance of the law and common sense. All your illegalities are starting to come to light one by one. One just has to open any newspaper or TV channel, more recently you can get an inspiration from the statements of the National Anti-corruption Directorate, you’ll find enough examples that could send your political friends behind bars for at least 100 years,” Ciolacu said at the Prime Minister’s Question Hour in the Chamber of Deputies’ plenary.

He added that immediately after the state of emergency was declared, “the entire Romania learned with bewilderment that a Giurgiu-based cooking lady who was running a business with spirits was to stock the country with masks.”

 

Orban: PSD is trying to make unfounded connections between me and the activity of a state company

 

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban stated, on Monday, in the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, at the “Prime Minister’s Question Time”, that the subject for which he was invited has no connection to his activity as head of the Government, mentioning that there are attempts to create an “inexistent” link between him and the investigation of a state institution.

“Sincerely, I am amazed by the subject that is up for debate for which the procedure to call the Prime Minister in front of the Chamber of Deputies is being used, because this subject seems to me a subject that has no direct connection to my activity as Prime Minister and in which the creation of an inexistent link between me and the Government I am leading with the investigation of a state institution. It seems to me that instead of focusing on the real priorities the PSD [Social Democratic Party] is trying to place the blame on me, insidiously, to make unfounded connections between me and the activity of a state company, about which there is an ongoing investigation, it is true. And I’m glad there is an investigation underway and that is the best proof of the fact that the institutions in the field of Justice are doing their duty and it’s good for Justice to punish anyone committing acts of corruption,” Orban stated during the special session on the topic of the acquisitions made by Unifarm in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The pot, meaning the PSD, is calling the kettle black; I never took anything”

 

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban stated, on Monday, at the Prime Minister’s Hour in the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, on the debate regarding COVID-19 acquisitions, that “the pot, meaning the PSD [Social Democratic Party], is calling the kettle black,” mentioning that “any attempt to throw dirt towards him through a ventilator is doomed to failure.”

“I admit I did not expect the PSD to open such a subject. Since January 2017, the PSD has started a true battle against the institutions in the field of justice, against the DNA [the National Anticorruption Directorate], against all institutions that were involved in punishing acts of corruption, the slaughtering of the legislation in the field of justice, the slaughtering of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, attacks at the Constitutional Court and the blocking in constitutional conflicts that helped people with final court orders, who had been found guilty of having committed acts of corruption, avoid jail. For 3 years, the PNL [National Liberal Party] has fought to defend the right of justice to investigate corruption, defending the citizen from the aggression to which most of the PSD subjected justice and the independence of justice,” said Orban.

He referred to the changes of managers of medical units, mentioning that at the Focsani Hospital the manager avoided work and had to be replaced because he was unable to treat patients. Furthermore, the Prime Minister claimed that in Deva the manager was replaced after fully losing control of the hospital, the same as in the case of the hospital in Suceava.

The Prime Minister showed that the ones changed were the managers that “proved a crass lack of responsibility and an incapacity to run hospitals.”

“Nobody imposed on any manager any acquisition, other than the legal procedures. (…) In what regards acquisitions please look at the acquisitions in the government area, even the latest acquisitions in the government area. How much did the equipment and material in the procedures ran by the ministries cost? I will give you only two examples: the mask tender to be able to ensure masks for 8th and 12th grade pupils that cost 1.42 RON,” said Orban, referring to the last acquisition made by the Health Ministry which is “contested by a company which is subscribed to contracts with the hospitals subordinated to the Bucharest City Hall.”

He maintained that the mask acquisitions ran by county councils led by the PSD or other public institutions controlled by the PSD are at much higher prices.

“It seems to me we are in a situation in which the pot, meaning PSD, is calling the kettle black, regarding some people who are above suspicion and for whom integrity, honor, correctness represent rules to exercise their mandate. You have the possibility, you initiated the parliamentary committee of inquiry regarding acquisitions. I don’t know why you haven’t completed that demarche. To introduce all the acquisitions ran and make a serious inquiry. My 30 year activity is an activity in public light and is an activity in which I never took anything which I was not entitled to in the public positions that I held, an activity in which correctness, honor and dedication to the public interest was law and any attempt to throw dirt in my direction through a ventilator is doomed to failure, as my entire activity that I conducted over 30 years stands as proof,” Orban also said.

 

Mask-wearing requirement to be kept in place as long as necessary

 

Regarding the requirement for people to wear masks, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said that it will be maintained “for as long as necessary”, just like the other health protection and physical distancing measures.

“We will keep in place the requirement to wear masks for as long as necessary. As long as necessary, we will also maintain screenings, temperature measurement, the distancing obligation, the physical distancing rules for health purposes in everything that means public transportation, commercial spaces, workplaces, markets, restaurants, terraces. It is the strongest form of protection against the infection.You see that we are faced with a relatively large number of cases, we are also faced with a large number of citizens who do not follow the rules. Add to this the economic agents or institutions that are not willing to commit to the obligation to observe the established rules, and we must react, because our top priority is the health of the Romanians,” Ludovic Orban told radio station Radio Romania Actualitati on Monday, when asked what are the chances that the requirement for wearing masks indoors is scrapped until the end of the year.

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