The Government session on Wednesday was temporarily suspended, to be resumed at 19:00 hrs, after Prime Minister Florin Citu intended to introduce on the additional agenda the “Anghel Saligny” National Program for Investments, dedicated to local communities, respectively to town halls, which caused USR PLUS dissatisfaction.
USR PLUS accuses infringement of appendix to governing protocol signed in coalition
Co-chair of the Save Romania Union – Party of Liberty, Unity and Solidarity (USR PLUS) stated at the end of the meeting of the parliamentary groups of the formation that what happened in the Government session on Wednesday, postponed for 19:00, represented “an infringement of the appendix to the governing program signed in the coalition.”
“I saw this morning, in the government session, although on Monday during the coalition meeting we convened together with our governing partners that we will continue discussion on the PNDL 3 [National Local Development Programme], on the SIIJ [Department for Investigating Crimes in Justice], on the special pensions and then in the next government session we come with certain options, with formulas and amendments, I noted in this government sitting, where in preparation there was nothing foreshadowing, that on the additional list it was introduced, to our surprise, this PNDL 3, a program on which I expressed numerous reserves for several reasons. It is, firstly, a matter of infringing the appendix to the governing protocol that we signed together with our partners,” Dan Barna claimed.
He said that “after the Vlad Voiculescu episode”, the coalition partners concluded a cooperation protocol establishing some rules “by which to govern fairly and correctly in the coalition.”
“One of the rules says: the agenda of the Government and the process to prioritize normative acts will be decided by the Prime Minister together with the deputy Prime Ministers in a weekly session after the preparatory government session organized by the SGG [Government General Secretariat]. The agenda of the government session will be agreed at this level and later sent to the ministries in public space. What that article says – says very simply: governing is done in the coalition, the government session is done in the coalition. Surprises like those today are unacceptable for USR PLUS,” added Dan Barna, who believes the Prime Minister accepted to “not force” the additional agenda and for a later discussion to take place on Wednesday evening.
Barna: For us, all options are on the table
Co-Chairman of the Save Romania – Freedom, Unity, and Solidarity Party (USR PLUS) Dan Barna said on Wednesday that all options are on the table for his formation.
“For us, all options are on the table. We will see how discussions evolve in the following hours and in the government sitting tonight,” Dan Barna declared at the House of Parliament at the end of a meeting of USR PLUS lawmakers.
He says that the junior governing partner is not against local development, but the way the National Local Development Program looks now makes it an identical copy of the previous programs which were Liviu Dragnea’s brain children.
“It is important that we have rules and transparency and we proposed a set of amendments that we sent our coalition partners,” Barna added.
Ciolos: USR PLUS ministers have no place in Government if their point of view is not respected
On the other hand, Dacian Ciolos, co-chair of USR PLUS says that the party’s ministers did not know that the project on the Anghel Saligny National Investment Programme will be placed on the additional agenda of the government meeting and that it does not have approvals from the ministries of Justice and Transport.
In a statement to Digi 24 private television, Ciolos said that, in his opinion, the USR PLUS ministers have nothing to look for in a government where their point of view is not respected.
“The meeting was suspended until 19:00. We had meetings with the parliamentary groups today, at the beginning of the session. We’ll see what we decide. We did not know that this topic will be on the additional agenda. As far as I understand, it does not have all the approvals yet, because it does not have the approvals of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Transport. So, the procedure, from this point of view, is not fulfilled, but beyond that, we had a discussion in the coalition and we agreed that this project does not enter the agenda until we have cleared and voted on the abolition of the Special Section (SIIJ, Section for Investigation of Crimes in Justice, ed. n.). I believe that this is how trust in the coalition is built. If we put each other in front of the thing fulfilled, these are signals that we don’t want to build together. And we want to continue together,” Ciolos said.
Dacian Ciolos added that USR PLUS wants to be part of the coalition, but that the Government cannot be transformed into a structure that “makes decisions to solve internal campaign problems of a party”. He denied that the lack of approvals from Transport and Justice for Anghel Saligny programme was caused by the fact that the coalition parties did not reach an agreement on the abolition of the SIIJ.
Ciolos also said that USR PLUS will not file a motion of censure against the government. He said, however, that, in his opinion, the USR PLUS ministers should withdraw from the Government if their point of view is not respected.
Dacian Ciolos added that the subject of the dissolution of the Special Section has been on the Government’s agenda for several months and that it is important in order to eliminate the CVM (Control and Verification Mechanism).
JusMin Ion: MJ could not approve “Anghel Saligny” Program, because it did not receive original
The Minister of Justice, Stelian Ion, declared on Wednesday that he could not have approved the “Anghel Saligny” National Investment Program because, until now, he has not received the original project, mentioning that this opinion should not be viewed as a political instrument.
“Regarding the notice from the Ministry of Justice (MJ) for the “Anghel Saligny” project, we have yet to receive the original of this project at the Ministry of Justice, so we could not have approved this, the term established through Government Decision is 4 days, so, being such an important project and having numerous observations, I believe that this project needs to be read very carefully, not rushed. MJ takes entire responsibility, not just the Minister of Justice, there are true professionals there and when these specialists in law, who have a vast experience, remind of observations, those observations need to be respected,” Stelian Ion said in Parliament, after the session of the USR (Save Romania Union) group.
He added that pressure cannot be applied to himself or experts from the Ministry, specifying though that the PM has not made any pressure.
PM Citu: Politics cannot be done on conditions and blackmail, there is no time for political games
Prime Minister Florin Citu on Wednesday said that the USR-PLUS (Save Romania Union – Party of Liberty, Unity and Solidarity) is blackmailing with the Special Section (SIIJ, Section for Investigation of Crimes in Justice) and stressed that “politics cannot be done on conditions and blackmail” and that there is no time for “political games”, in the context of discussions on the Anghel Saligny National Investment Programme (PNDL 3).
“I would like to discuss about the programme, because it is not a programme for me, for PNL (National Liberal Party), the UDMR (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania), USR (Save Romania Union) or for PSD (Social Democratic Party). It is a programme for Romanians. I said at the beginning of this government that we no longer allow to have locality in Romania that do not have access to European funds, to remain undeveloped. This is the programme. If the colleagues from USR do not support the development of Romania, very well, let them come out in front. As for the blackmail and that obstacle that they put with the SIIJ, I was the first to negotiate that SIIJ in the form to be passed through the Government through negotiations with all the coalition, I supported all the solutions that came from the Ministry of Justice to abolish the SIIJ. (…) Unfortunately, politics cannot be done through conditions and blackmail,” Citu said, after attending the meeting of the PNL senatorial group.
The Prime Minister also said the original of the Anghel Saligny programme’s draft was sent on 25 August to the Justice Ministry.
He also claimed that this is not the first time that a draft law has been placed on the additional agenda of the Cabinet meeting.
The prime minister stressed that he is expecting from the ministers to obstruct not the governmental activity.
“This project has been in public debate for almost a month. It was in the approval procedure. It is not a secret for anyone that Romania is behind with the development of localities. We still have things to do. We are behind, for example, on EU funds, with the endorsement or with the guidelines and so on. There are things we need to do, and I expect the ministers to do that, not to obstruct the government activity. (…) There was no understanding in the coalition. The colleagues from USR told us that they wanted a prioritization and told us that first we do SIIJ and then we do this development programme for Romanians. There were the colleagues from the UDMR (Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania) who said let’s make special pensions first and after that we do SIIJ and Anghel Saligny national programme. I have made it very clear that I am interested in developing Romania. We have no time for political games. We don’t have time to stay to condition. For my part, all my colleagues have always had the support to solve any problem we have had every time, but we cannot keep Romania prisoner, to keep the Romanians prisoners just because there are elections in parties,” he said.
According to him, the Anghel Saligny programme has nothing to do with the internal competition for the PNL.
“I hope that neither SIIJ is used politically in the internal elections of USR PLUS,” the prime minister said.
Citu said that the amendments to the Anghel Saligny Programme were not officially transmitted, but through WhatsApp.
He also asserted that if there will be a coalition meeting ahead of the Government sitting, the topic will be addressed there as well.
Compiled from Agerpres