Outgoing President asks Premier to step out

Outgoing President Traian Basescu lashed out at premier Victor Ponta, asking for his retiring from the Government and slammed recent Government actions, but also pointing at the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund if IMF agreement would be in danger.

In a press conference at Cotroceni Palace on Thursday evening, Basescu has publicly asked Victor Ponta to commit on forming a new Government, as president of the ruling party, but advised the prime minister “to miss” the new Cabinet for Romania’s sake and credibility. “Mr. Ponta’s delirium to create a new government around him is inexplicable. Politician Ponta is deeply discredited inside EU and his presence in the Government is damaging Romania. Mr. Victor Ponta does not speak in Romania’s favour at this moment, so he cannot be a credible prime minister,” Traian Basescu pointed out.

The Romanian head of state said Europe had not forgotten “Ponta was one of the authors of 2012 coup d’etat.” “There were no conditions facilitating the vote abroad neither in the first round of the presidential elections or in the runoff. Nobody in EU considers it accidental, as the left wing is not usually voted in Europe. Nowhere in Europe there was any politician who shouldn’t have resigned over a plagiary case. This did not matter for Mr. Ponta as his whole autobiography is forged. The fact that he used to be undercover officer during 1997-2001 without publicly recognizing that, thus going beyond the law, is another major discredit element,” Basescu detailed.

In retort, PSD spokesperson Gabriela Firea reminded the outgoing President that “he has never been in condition to ask for anyone’s resignation after the result of 2012 referendum.” “Unfortunately, Traian Basescu will be in office only for a few more days. Along with his mandate’s ceasing, we hope he will also stop the demagogical politics he has been patronizing all these years,” Firea told a press statement.

IMF, EC targeted

Traian Basescu also attacked PM Ponta on the budget topic but the criticism went further on relating to the IMF agreement. “I know the premier Ponta faces some problems at this moment, but I wouldn’t want him to solve them by a breakdown of the IMF agreement. “Romania has long overpassed the stage when it was not capable of carrying such an agreement through. If the agreement ceases, I think it would be a big black ball also for the IMF, as it would be for the first time that a country would go out of an agreement with the Monetary Fund in a less stable condition than when it got in. It would be a great slap for the Fund, as IMF and the European Commission have stood and watched at a distance the fiscal adventures in Romania over the past eight months. If Romania does not clench the agreement, the EC delegate and the World Bank will bear a huge responsibility. They knew very well what was going on in Romania,” Basescu said.

On Rompetrol and CVM

The Romanian President also tackled Rompetrol issue, saying the USD 200 M debt from Rompetrol has not been cashed in so far and that the EUR 1 billion investment fund has not been set up yet, blaming PM Ponta for that. “I was extremely curious to find out if anything has changed since the premier Ponta agreed that the state should cash in USD 200 M from the Kazaks of KasMunaiGaz. Nothing has changed, but moreover not even USD 200 M has not been cashed in. Mr. premier Ponta has to take all responsibility here, for I warned him before doing that,” Basescu stated.

As for the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism upcoming report, the incumbent president left criticism aside and spoke well of it, forecasting a good report. “I know what the evaluations are for the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) and for the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT). The Parliament was the spiny issue, they solved most of it,” Basescu noted, yet expressing that hope a solution to MP Teodorescu’ incident will be also hit on. He refers to the fact that the Parliament failed in lifting Democrat Liberal MP Catalin Teodorescu immunity on Wednesday due to the lack of quorum. Teodorescu is charged with abuse of office in former DIICOT Chief Prosecutor’s file related to the overrated EUR 61 M land compensation.

Cooperation and Verification MechanismECIMF agreementInternational Monetary FundKazMunaiGazoutgoing presidentpremierRompetroltraian basescuVictor Ponta
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