PM Ponta: Romania’s image in Britain, Italy also depends on Romanians there

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Prime Minister Victor Ponta said in opening remarks to the Diaspora Estival (The Summer of the Diaspora) Programme in the Black Sea resort of Eforie Nord on Monday that the image of Romania in countries like Britain and Italy also depends on the Romanians who go there and on what they say about their country.

‘From my point of view, there are two challenges we must think of. Our concern focuses on what we are doing for the Romanians across Europe, first and foremost, since it is there that the largest [Romanian] communities are (…). I think it is crucial to pursue with the effort we are making for the Moldovan citizens to really be European Union citizens. We must think of the [Romanian] communities in Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary. The second priority is related to the Romanians living in the European Union states, where a populist rhetoric and chauvinistic attitudes have emerged against the backdrop of a deteriorating economic situation. It is happening in Italy, in Britain’, Ponta stressed.

He underscored a positive propaganda should be made in those countries for Romania and for the Romanians’ role in Europe, instead of promoting a rhetoric about the problems of Romania.

‘We can do more in this respect if we manage to understand that the biggest enemies of Romania are, after all, the Romanians. If we go [to another country] and say Romania is a bad country, a country of criminals, of thieves, it is only natural that such rhetoric be embraced at a certain moment. I have tried to say everywhere in Europe that we shall never accept legal discrimination against Romanians and Romanians always bring something extra to those countries they settle in and pay taxes and help developing those countries. We must make positive propaganda for Romania and for the Romanians’ role in the countries in Europe’, the prime minister said.

He announced the Government will organize the Congress of All Romanians Everywhere on Nov. 30 to debate and outline the strategies aimed at supporting the identity of the Romanian communities outside the Romanian borders. ‘It will be organized after the presidential elections, therefore it is not a political, electoral event and I think the problems that must be discussed with the Romanians outside the country’s borders should be discussed no matter what the electoral events at home’, Ponta stressed.

Diaspora Estival is an interactive forum organized by the Romanian Foreign Ministry via its Department for Policies for the Romanians Everywhere. The event being held till August 24 targets the representative organizations of the Romanian communities from across the world.

Attending the opening of the forum that gathers 200 representatives for the Romanian associations from 21 countries on four continents also were the Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Valeriu Zgonea and Minister Delegate for Romanians Abroad Bogdan Stanoevici.

 

We must tell Europe that austerity did not bring any good

 

Prime Minister Victor said that Romania’s economic direction depends on the evolutions of the EU economy, and on a European level it must be said that austerity measures ultimately mean losing the economic war.

‘From an economic point of view, the only medium- and long-term solution is to show that Romania and Europe are going in the same direction. In Romania, last week there was a contest of ‘who says it’s worse’ in Romania. We have an economic growth of 2.6 percent, we’ve created new jobs, we have industrial production, export, an economy that has been restored after the crisis. The problem lies with which direction Romania and Europe are going toward. In reality, what I think we should do in Romania and in Europe is set a course. If we are to go towards 2009-2010 and austerity, there will be cuts everywhere’, said the head of the Government.

Ponta concluded that Romania’s representatives must say in Europe that, through austerity measures as those taken in recent years, the EU economy will lose the global competition sooner or later.

‘Actually, what we must do both in Romania and in Europe is say that the solutions undertaken in past years did not bring any good; cuts were made from the people, those who have lost are the people and those who profited were big companies and big businesses. (…) A Europe in which only the big companies and big banks win, and the people always lose – in Romania, Spain or England – will lose the economic war, sooner or later’, said the prime minister.