Romania’s President Traian Basescu looks as though he will escape sanction from his electorate in Saturday’s impeachment referendum. Parliament suspended him last month on charges of abuse of power, but he has mobilised large crowds in his “no” to the referendum campaign; “I’m not afraid, it’s the members of parliament who should be. As far as I’m concerned, going to the country is something I’ve wanted since 2005, when I called for early elections,” he told EuroNews.
Basescu’s corruption-busting has, says former president Illescu, led to instability, and he appears ready to concede defeat in the referendum even before it is held.
While the president’s anti-corruption drive is seen as vital in Romania and Brussels, some in parliament are tiring of it. Basescu’s critics claim it has alienated him from the political consensus, and ask, is he now part of the solution to stalled reforms, or the problem?