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Romania PM speaks to EuroNews


Romania PM speaks to EuroNews


Five months after Romania’s accession to the European Union, Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu knows Romania is in a very restless position. Post-accession teething problems are not his only worry. The political classes in Romania are also going through a major crisis. Is this just a hiccup or a grave moment for Romanian democracy? Prime Minister Tariceau has been answering questions for EuroNews.

EuroNews European Affairs correspondent Laura Davidescu: “Prime Minister Tariceanu – what is the current situation in Romania?”

Romanian Prime Minister Celin Popescu-Tariceanu: “After accession, it has been useful that efforts have been concentrated on a quick integration, of success. I have tried to ask many times in public, to bring together the concerned parties, on one hand the President, the various political parties on the other to overcome this dispute in the interests of Romania. Unfortunately I did not succeed. It is a matter of contention that characterizes the behaviour of the President Traian Basescu on the political scene. It took some doing to achieve what he did. He succeeded in being in conflict with the Parliament, the Superior Counsel of the Judiciary, many times with the Government. ..all these things combined determined the reaction of the Parliament, that he was suspended.”

EuroNews: “What is the issue behind these multiple conflicts?”

Tariceanu: “That is a question you should put to Traian Basescu. He had on this occasion two years to complete the political profile that characterized him and he’s already left a glimpse – but in a very small measure, a person of contentious nature. I believe what with a political past like his – former member of the Communist Party, before 1990, social democrat member after 1990, then a member of the popular European group that he led, he has gone through all the phases, but in the end he did nothing but to become a popularity-seeking politician, a popularist, an anti-European, a type we see today in the countries of the former Soviet Union.”

EuroNews: “Anti-European? The accusation is serious nonetheless.”

Tericeanu: “Unfortunately, this is the profile you will not see anywhere else in Europe. The European Union is based on powerful institutions and not on people that come to hold popularity-seeking speeches and populists…”

EuroNews: “Excuse me for interrupting you… But in the President’s speech he says, “I do this that I do for that the institutions of the Romania be powerful, and for justice to be independent.”“

Tariceanu: “But this is not the role of the president. This is on the contrary the populist and popularity-seeking speech of which I spoke. Romania joined to the European Union because we succeeded in building institutions that were able to respect commitments and attained the standard ones and the accession criteria of the European Union. The fight against corruption is not done alone, whether it is the President or anyone else. The fight against corruption is done by the justice system.”

EuroNews: “Yes. By the way, why did you separate from head of the Ministry of Justice, Monica Macovei, one who is associated by Brussels with the big majority of the reforms in the fight against corruption?”

Tariceanu: “First of all madam Monica Macovei belongs to the Democratic Party, that since the ministerial reshuffle is no longer left in the government. This was not a measure that expressly singled her out. On the other hand… we know that the success of the fight against corruption is not only linked to Monica Macovei. It is necessary to take account of the fact that Monica Macovei belonged to a government that she supported so that she could promote certain bills. And these bills had the support of the government completely.”

EuroNews: “What will be the effects of the crisis for Romania concerning the commitments taken after accession?”

Tariceanu: “The government was absolutely not affected by this crisis. We were able to respect the commitments. The most telling example is adoption to Parliament of the law for the organization and functions of the National Agency for Integrity. It was the one of 4 established targets at the end of the last year with the European Commission with regards to the chapter on Justice and Internal Matters. It had no further consequences on the economic plan. The foreign investors continue to have confidence in Romania, this is the proof that a similar political conflict cannot create a more unstable picture of Romania than it would have done 10 years ago, if we were going through a similar period.”

EuroNews: “It’s the 20th May – the day following the referendum. Imagine that Romanian people invalidate the suspension of the President and he resumes his position. What will you do? Is working together with the President Traian Basescu possible?”

Tericeanu: “The government and the Prime Minister have very precise relations with the President and I intend to respect these relations as I did at start of my mandate.”

EuroNews: “What appears to you as the most important way to get Romania out of the current political dead end?”

Tariceanu: “I do not see a very optimistic future if the President comes back to power. Why? Because he has a weak capacity to learn from the lessons of the past. He’ll probably keep the same behavior. I believe that in this position, after May 20, a lot of institutions… A lot of political leaders will have to neglect, indeed be unaware of the President.”

EuroNews: “There exists, nevertheless, a category of people that you have not mentioned and who are aware of him: the electorate. The polls put Traian Basescu as favorite.”

Tariceanu: “We will see the day after May 19.”

EuroNews: “Thank you”

“With pleasure.”

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