Beate Meinl-Reisinger (photo), an Austrian politician, has asked that Romanian party ALDE, forming the ruling coalition with the Social Democrat Party (PSD), should be ousted from the European Group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Die Press reported.
„From my point of view, the time has come for the consequences to be examined and for a quick decision to be taken,” stated Beate Meinl-Reisinger, leader of NEOS.
Beate Meinl-Reisinger has sent a letter to the president of the European group ALDE, Hans van Baalen, asking him to oust ALDE Romanian Party from the group.
In his turn, Harald Vilimsky, secretary general of far-right FPÖ, has asked the Austrian Social Democrats to „interrupt their summer vacation” and to react „accordingly” to the events in Romania, to stop „their Romanian Social-Democrat colleagues” from approving new violence „against protesters”.
In retort, the ALDE European group spokesperson, Didrik de Schaetzen, announced that the ALDE’s Bureau will convene and discuss this matter in Brussels on September 7.
“We are carefully watching the situation from Romania. In mid-May 2018, ALDE’s Bureau has organized a mission to Bucharest and had several meetings with some interlocutors. It was revealed that all parties agreed on the need of amending the judiciary legislation, while many agreed that the judiciary legislation from Romania is working independently of the political influences. Unfortunately, the country is suffering of a high level of corruption within the political class. While many accusations are justified and have led to convictions, there are also many cases where initial charges seem to be politically motivated and have led to acquittals. ALDE Party will continue to closely monitor the situation and will re-analyse the issue in the view of the latest evaluations by the Venice Commission within the Council of Europe, after the summer ends. The situation in Romania will be discussed by the ALDE’s Bureau within the meeting in Brussels on September 7,” said Didrik de Schaetzen.
During the Diaspora rally on August 10, several Austrian journalists have been assaulted by the Romanian Riot Police.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has promptly reacted after Austrian journalists of ORF state television had been beaten by gendarmes in Bucharest, asking the Romanian authorities for explanations.
“We firmly condemn the violent clashes in Bucharest which left many demonstrators and journalists injured. We expect full clarification of these deeds. I wish speedy recovery to the ORF cameraman who has been injured. The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press are fundamental freedoms of the European Union that we believe in and which must be unconditionally defended,” Kurz posted on social media.
ALDE vice-president and spokesperson Varujan Vosganian told local news agencies that USR (a Romanian Opposition party) is using any means to be part of ALDE European Group.
„USR is knocking in vain at the European ALDE’s door and it is probably using any means,” said Vosganian.
In her turn, ALDE MEP Norica Nicolai stated that she had talked to the president of the European group ALDE, Hans van Baalen, and ousting Romanian ALDE from the European Group “is out of the question”.
Asked what could be Beate Meinl-Reisinger’s reasons to ask for ALDE’s ousting from the European political family, Nicolai said: “The arguments are that we must leave the ruling coalition with PSD, for PSD is not a party that you should team up with, but these matters are political matters, don’t refer to respecting our statute“, Nicolai explained.