Former TAROM director, Madalina Mezei has told journalists that on the day of the censure motion in Parliament, Transport minister, Social Democrat Razvan Cuc had asked her to hold the planes on the ground, meaning to block the TAROM domestic flights from flying from various cities in Romania to Bucharest so that MPs who live in the country could not get to the Parliament and vote the motion.
PM-designate Ludovic Orban has been first to launch this accusation and later on the TAROM official confirmed. Mezei also said she had refused to do such a thing and for that, she had been dismissed two days after the no-confidence motion.
The dismissed TAROM director also announced she will file a criminal complaint against minister Cuc. In retort, the minister says there are just lies.
“Mr. Cuc got back at me and he sacked me in the most despicable possible manner. I will file a criminal complaint against minister Cuc,” Madalina Mezei said.
“I was brought at Tarom’s helm to save the company, so I’ve been told. <We want to save Tarom and we are counting on you>, said the minister and after that he sacked me at night like thieves”, the former director added.
Later on Friday, in a press conference, Madalina Mezei gave more details about the minister’s requests, saying Razvan Cuc had initially urged her to stop five domestic flights and to identify the MPs on board.
The five flights were from Timisoara, Baia Mare, Satu Mare, Oradea and Iasi.
The former Tarom manager explained the minister had made that request two days before the no-confidence vote in Parliament and that she had replied to Cuc that this is not her task to hold the planes on the ground.
“He wanted to prevent deputies from arriving in Bucharest to vote the motion. I told him I cannot do such a thing for the planes are piloted by free people and I have no power to hold planes on the ground. Personally, I was shocked by his request”, Mezei said.
In retort, Minister Cuc accused the former Tarom manager that she had not done her job.
“It seems that Mrs former director general at Tarom has not understood that she will have her mandate 0n the Managing Board’s table if she doesn’t do her job.
I don’t understand the anger of some company managers who are posing as victims when they do not meet the targets they had assumed when they took office. Mrs Mezei should have assumed the management delays, she should have enforced the Tarom restructuring, the first ATR aircraft should have been delivered by now and she should have stopped playing certain games for some groups in the company,” Cuc replied in a Facebook post.
He added that her lies have no cover and asked her why she hadn’t come up with these disclosures earlier.
“If somebody had asked her such a thing, she should have come out publicly back then and put it plainly. (…) I advise her to look for another excuse, this one seems empty to me. She has probably become the victim of the connections and nepotism in the Company (…) Mrs Mezei, you should go back where you belong: to ticketing and protocol,” the minister concluded.
PM sends Control Body to the national flag carrier
PM Viorica Dancila has prompted reacted as well in this scandal, sending her Control Body at Tarom to check the accusations.
“I have urgently ordered a control to clarify the serious aspects released in the mass media. It is mandatory to establish the truth and to make sure the legal provisions have been respected. If law violations are found, the people to blame will be sanctioned“, the PM stated in a press release.
Mădălina Mezei was named as TAROM director in Jun this year and she was dismissed several days after the same managing board had extended her management contract by two more months. Mezei was the fourth GM of Tarom this year after Werner-Wilhelm Wolff had announced the end of his mandate on March.
DNA starts probing into the case
On the other side, National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) was notified ex-officio over this case, targeting minister Cuc. DNA has already set the schedule of the hearings. First called to the hearings is the former Tarom Director on Monday morning.