The National Political Bureau (BPN) of the National Liberal Party (PNL) approved on Tuesday the flexibility of the negotiating mandate with the democratic forces in parliament, as well as the negotiating team.
“In the meeting of the PNL’s BPN, the proposal to make the negotiating mandate more flexible with the democratic forces of the Romanian Parliament and the negotiating team was approved. The negotiating team is led by the party president and includes the four first vice-presidents and the secretary-general. There were two abstentions. (…) The mandate is very clear, to negotiate with the democratic forces in the Romanian Parliament, with the USR [Save Romania Union] and with those from PSD [the Social Democratic Party]. Now, I know that those from USR, some colleagues have said that there are problems, with PSD, we also have criminal complaints against the leader of the party and so on. There are problems everywhere, the important thing for the Romanians to know is that we are ready to solve this crisis. The PNL also takes a step forward, albeit the other parties have not made anything more flexible, they have remained stuck in the opposition they have always put up,” PNL leader Florin Citu said in Parliament, after the meeting of the PNL’s BPN.
The negotiating team includes PNL chairman Florin Citu, the general secretary of the party, Dan Vilceanu, and the four first vice-presidents: Iulian Dumitrescu, Rares Bogdan, Lucian Bode and Gheorghe Flutur.
He stressed that they will go to negotiations with the proposal that the prime minister should be from the National Liberal Party.
“Next we will discuss further, depending on the negotiations. The PNL does not shy away, it goes to these negotiations and it clearly says that we want to make this government around the PNL, with the Liberal prime minister and we have the decision of the PNL that has not been modified. The prime minister is appointed by the president of Romania and we will discuss this as well,” he added.
“We will go to these negotiations with strategy for each one, but one thing remains certain: the prime minister belongs to the PNL. In both variants we go with the prime minister of PNL,” he said.
Asked if he leans towards USR or PSD, he said: “I am interested in having a Government as soon as possible and we will go to these negotiations to form a majority as soon as possible.”
“I’m not negotiating through the media with those form USR. We’re going to go tomorrow to the discussions with the USR members and then see what elements we have on the table. Through the media, it makes no sense to discuss,” Florin Citu said.
Also asked if PSD is different now from the time when it was led by Liviu Dragnea, he replied: “I am telling you what we do and what we do not abdicate from. Eventually, it is important at this moment to have a government, and what is up to us, to the PNL, is to make sure that the Romanians will have the same rights and freedoms and what we said in the electoral campaign, we will keep our word.”
He added that the Liberals would not deviate from the goals already set.
“What I can tell the Romanians is that we will not modify anything that we have always supported, a Liberal government. I made sure that the reforms were included in the PNRR [National Recovery and Resilience Programme], these reforms will be carried out as they are included in the PNRR, then, any variant and anyone who will try to change a iota in the PNRR would mean that we will not take that money. So reforms, pensions, salaries, public administration, they’re all included in the PNRR. Next, I assure the Romanians that any government we will shape, we will not deviate from our objectives of having a modern, Liberal Romania with a European path. (…) Today, the laws of justice are in the Parliament of Romania, they have passed the Government. You know very well that they were adopted in the Government and are in Parliament. The position of the PNL remains the same,” the Liberal leader stressed, according to Agerpres.
USR’s Ciolos: If coalition is restored, a new governing program is not necessary
The chairman of the Save Romania Union (USR), Dacian Ciolos, stated on Tuesday, at private broadcaster B1TV, that if the coalition is restored a new governing program is not necessary, but there is need for an application calendar for measures provided.
“There is no need, from our point of view, for another governing program, but there is need for a little more precision in regards to the application of the governing program. And that’s because we have a governing program. In the ten months of governing very few things were put into practice and when we proposed the elimination of special pensions for mayors they said: “Now’s not the time, let’s wait, let’s discuss the whole package to reform pensions’. We made a working group for this – it trailed off. Our partners did not come with ideas, with proposals, so we can work on something in common. Just the same, with depoliticization of public administration. They asked: ‘Let’s take the prefects and underprefects – let’s assume them politically, because they represent the government.’ We accepted in the idea that then we can come with general directors, ministry directors and directors of devolved institutions, of county directorates of some ministries, which would be professionalized and depoliticized. This did not happen,” said Ciolos.
He added that in the electoral campaign, the National Liberal Party (PNL) promised reforms in justice and the public administration or the elimination of special pensions, but that such measures could not be applied in the ten months of governing. In his opinion, the PNL option in what regards its future governing partner represents “a moment of truth.”
“If they want, at any cost, a majority in Parliament, they can do it with the PSD [Social Democratic Party], but we know what that means and we’ve already seen what the PSD pretensions are. We know the PSD has more mouths to feed there. There are local barons expecting money, money that should be spent in any way that’s not transparent. We’ve seen what they did to justice when they were governing, we’ve seen what they did with the state budget when they governed – that we had a deficit that was then amplified by the COVID crisis,” mentioned the USR leader.
In his opinion, both the PNL, and the USR have “learned their lessons from what happened in the past months,” but that the formations need to make efforts to define common political objectives.