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Brussels slams Romania over rule of law

Brussels slams Romania over rule of law
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The EU has publicly slammed Romania’s new centre-left government over what it says is its lack of respect for democratic values.

In a new report summing up five years of EU membership, Bucharest has been told that “urgent” action is needed to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law.

The criticism comes after Prime Minister Victor Ponta attempted to impeach the country’s Conservative President Traian Basescu.

“I think it is legitimate that the EU is concerned and I was willing even during my last visit, to show that I understand their concerns,” said Ponta.

“Out of eleven points brought up by Commission President (Jose Manuel) Barroso, we have already – in one week – solved 7 or 8 of them. We will solve the rest and prove that we have got the message from the Commission.”

A referendum on whether to impeach Basescu will go ahead on July 29.

Romania will continue to be excluded from Europe’s Schengen visa-free travel area and Brussels
will release a further report at the end of the year.

Hans von der Brelie, our correspondent in Bucharest says: “While Ponta has confirmed that he will comply with EU requests, President Basescu has compared the situation in Romania with a “coup d’Etat.”