‘I deliver Iohannis a state complying with all tests of convergence to join Eurozone’.
Traian Basescu hold his last press conference as Romania’s President on Saturday evening, pointing out it is not a balance sheet conference, but one marking the end of his term of office. “ On some points, I would like Romanians to have the opinion of the president whose term of office comes to an end and I want to give them the real picture of Romania, not the one they distortedly see on TV many times, a picture preached by some people who do not frequently use the official information or the real figures (…),” Basescu said.
He explained that after Ion Iliescu’s term in 2004, he put a comma, taking over what he considered it was good and did not premise that things need to be started afresh.
Traian Basescu stated Romania is presently a safe country from the security point of view and does not risk any invasion, also reminding of the two NATO bases in our country. “Romanians are living in a safe state. In a world where terrorist attacks are in focus, where EU and NATO are targets of these attacks, Romania is a safe country due to the way its institutions are working,” he pointed out. “If we look at the aggressiveness in the region, Putin’s aggressiveness, Romania is safe. Vladimir Putin is interested in Romania, but the country is part of a secure alliances system. We have the comfort of not facing these risks alone. We are supplying security through the missile shield based at Deveselu, intended for protecting many NATO countries, including USA (…) Two NATO bases will become operative by the next NATO summit,” the head of state added. Yet, the outgoing president underlined that further investments in the national defense system are needed. On this topic, the Romanian President delivered the message to the Defense minister Mircea Dusa that European commissioner for Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici would meet Finance minister Darius Valcov on Monday to agree on a solution to increase the deficit so that Defense budget should be risen.
Traian Basescu also said he would deliver Klaus Iohannis a country that meets all tests of convergence in the view of joining Eurozone, mentioning Romania is to become member of Euro area earlier than 2019. “ Romania has made remarkable progress since it joined the European Union, we don’t track them down, but they do exist, they are well recorded. 1.4 percent inflation rate, 4.8 percent long-term interest rate, exchange rate is less than 15 percent margin, deficit under 3 percent. Today, Romania is meeting the tests of convergence. I shall deliver Iohannis a country that meets all criteria of joining Eurozone,” were his arguments, also pointing out that Romania is ready to join border-free Schengen area.
In Basescu’s view, direct foreign investments have been mainly targeting the industry. “Agriculture has experienced successful years by God’s will but also due to subsidies. Good perspectives lie ahead of us, but we must spend the European funds for traffic infrastructure, for competitiveness”.
As for the Justice system, Basescu said it has been more and more effective lately, citing the four codes and the little reform law as strong points which revamped justice’s face. He pleaded for the health system’s reform, unveiling the reform is strongly opposed by the system itself. “I failed on that due to an unfortunate intervention,” Basescu confessed, while praising the education reform for its achievements in the academic area and in the dual education system (a system that combines apprenticeships in a company and vocational education at a vocational school in one course).
Liberalization of the EU labour market in 2010 enabled optimization costs inside companies. “It is a lot of demagogy when we talk about labour market liberalization. It has been a real battle to convince all EU states to open their labour market for Romanians. The freedom of going to EU to work is an extraordinary thing. I can assure you it will be a time of return flow and this moment is not too far away,” Basescu said.
From the political point of view, the outgoing president said the party financing law is needed, as well as the correspondence vote, the Constitution revision to decrease MPs number to 300 and a Public Finances law that should move the centre of gravity from companies and citizens to property, as the current taxes on property are too small and the ones on production too high.
“Romania must ensure energetic independence for it and for the Republic of Moldova. Fiscal solutions must be found for mass media, for the press. The current fiscal system and the economic realities are making journalists be hedged by the interests of media tycoons,” he pointed.
Traian Basescu unveiled that the rule of law was probably the hardest conflict area between him and the political class, and the main progress and its most visible satisfaction was that magistrates stopped fearing the political factor and that old Social Democrats caught up the ‘we support the rule of law’ speech.
“It is here that the idea of me being the conflicting president, having no respect for the institutions, came from. I have always been aware of the attacks against the bad performing institutions, such as Parliament or the Supreme Court. The justice system is the key to our progress. A huge effort was needed, and I accepted to be humiliated in exchange for this achievement. I vowed myself to this effort, next to the national security one”, he said.
Basescu thanked Romanians for the favor they did in order to allow him to be their president for ten years. He stated he has no regrets for leaving Cotroceni seat, as he did his best for Romania to modernize, even if he wasn’t “a genius president”, while admitting he could have also tried different tacks, other than fight.
As for his future plans, Romania’s president for the past ten years mentioned he has no political projects so far and that he would spend some time with his family, while also knocking about together with “the friends he still has in the People Movement Party”.
Read a review of Traian Basescu’s term as Romanian president here: http://www.romaniajournal.ro/traian-basescu-end-of-the-presidential-story-the-balance-sheet-2/