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February 3, 2023
POLITICS

Ludovic Orban : Boycott of Austrian products by Romanians is not a solution to Austria’s attitude in Schengen matter

Right Force party national leader Ludovic Orban said on Saturday, in Timisoara, that although he respects the freedom of every Romanian citizen to react as he or she wishes to Austria’s decision not to vote for Romania’s accession to Schengen, he considers that boycotting Austrian products and companies in our country is not a solution.

Ludovic Orban said that Austria should not be confused with Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who is the leader of only one party in this country, the People’s Party, which, by the way it evolves, “will lose the elections, obviously”.

“Every citizen has the right to make a decision. I cannot comment on a personal decision [to boycott – ed.n.] that a Romanian citizen or a Romanian company takes. If they want to open an account, they can do it at whichever bank they want, they can choose any commercial partner they want, if they want to fill up at a gas station, they can do it at whichever they want. There is economic freedom, a freedom of choice. I also say that there are many Romanian companies with Austrian shareholders in Romania, who supported a decision favorable to Romania, including because it was in their economic interest. Any investor in Romania has an obvious interest in Romania becoming a member of the Schengen area, so that goods, products, services, including employed citizens, can move freely,” Ludovic Orban said.

He emphasized that, although he respects the freedom of every Romanian citizen to react as he or she wishes, he considers that the boycott is not a solution.

“Let’s not forget that we still need both the Netherlands’ vote and Austria’s. Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done unto you. If we are faced, for example, with the situation of voting on the appointment of the president of the Commission European Union and we would vote against a French or German candidate, it would not suit me that Romanian citizens and Romanian companies in France or Germany should be persecuted and suffer as a result of a decision made by the Romanian Government. Austria and the Austrian people is one thing and another thing is a political party and a temporary chancellor who, in truth, taunted the Romanians, who from a selfish, electoral interest affected not only the rights of Romanian citizens, but also affected the European unity and for this he must be criticized and we must respond at least at the political level with the same measures. On the other hand, I think we must make this difference and we must think about things in such a way that, in the end, we achieve our goals. The failure of Romania’s accession to Schengen makes it very clear that we should not look for the culprits abroad. Of course, Austria and the Netherlands’ veto has no basis in the treaties of the European Union and in the written and unwritten laws by which the EU functions. Obviously, there were some decisions to use the veto right that are abusive, that are dictated by reasons other than those related to European legislation and especially by the way in which Romania presented itself at the time of accession to Schengen,” Orban furtehr told a press conference.

He showed that accession to Schengen is not a “gift” given to the governors, but a right of Romanian citizens.

“Any country that joins the European Union, under the treaties, is required to join Schengen. Practically, Austria and the Netherlands prevented the fulfillment of an obligation, according to the treaties, that Romania had, that of joining the Schengen area. The failure of this accession is almost exclusively the fault of President Klaus Iohannis and the Government, who made serious mistakes, which should not be made in foreign policy and especially in European affairs,” concluded Orban, according to Agerpres.

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