After PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea had a controversial speech during the PES Congress in Madrid the past weekend, where he slammed the right wing and after Dragnea was booed by the Socialist MEP Ana Gomes at the end of his speech, with Gomes shouting to Dragnea that they need no corrupt in the Socialist family, first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans also stated at Socialist Congress in Madrid that he had told Liviu Dragnea that he must observe the fundamental values related to the rule of law and that there cannot be any compromise in this regard.
Frans Timmermans is officially the candidate of the European Socialists for the EC President position, with the decision being formalised within the PES Congress.
Timmermans told the delegates that if PES is the party that talks the most about its own values, that criticises the others for breaking the rule of law, when they attack the press freedom, when they place judges under political control, when they stop the fight against corruption, „we must talk openly when we see such problems within our own family”, adding they cannot avoid such discussion.
„This is the message I delivered clearly to Liviu Dragnea when we met him. I told him: Liviu, if you want to be part of this family, you must respect our fundamental values! And Liviu said they will do that and we’ll have more discussions in the upcoming days and weeks. We cannot make any compromise on this field. This is the red line for us, for the entire Europe”, Timmermans underlined.
At the same time, the EC first vice-president praised the Romanian society for the anti-corruption fight, while commenting that the steps backwards can have extremely negative effects, like in the case of Hungary’s Viktor Orban.
„I saw Romania has become a vibrant, open society where the fight against corruption had been successful in the last year, a society where there is free mass media and where the judiciary system can work independently. These things must not change. I have just been in Hungary. I saw what’s happening if there are steps backwards. In Hungary, one man has tied people of his own fears and, due to the chains, they cannot see Europe. They cannot see that we are together, they think they are abandoned, left alone, they see enemies all around”, Timmermans concluded.
His speech has been also posted on Timmermans’ Facebook page with several Romanian Internet surfers commenting and saying „no more criminals in public offices”, hinting to Liviu Dragnea’s criminal files and sentence to prison.
Before Timmermans, Liviu Dragnea, the chairman of the ruling Social Democrat Party in Romania, currently under harsh criticism for the stances against justice, for amending the justice legislation for the benefit of the dignitaries facing corruption charges and convictions, has also delivered a speech during the PES Congress, in Romanian language, arguing he thus wants to be more clearly understood by the Romanian people.
The PSD chair slammed the right wing politicians for „ruining Europe”, for „ruining many values, hopes and destinies”. He claimed the right wing in Romania has used the state force institutions for that. On the other hand, Dragnea suggested that he had cleared things up with Timmermans, who is and has been a constant critic of the PSD-ALDE coalition in Bucharest.
„I had a very good discussion with Frans, and I proposed solutions for a better communication. I am completely open to that and I hope to have a better communication”, Dragnea said.
„I believe in the European project, but we mus strongly and bravely tell people the way that the European right wing has destroyed Europe, using the tool of the austerity policy, manipulation and sometimes, like in Romania’s case, using state force institutions. We must get out of the defensive together,” PSD leader added. He told European Socialists that his party, PSD will win elections in Romania, arguing the stake of the elections for the EP is huge.
„Together with our fellow parties we must restore justice, to build a new social contract (…) Anywhere in Europe, the right wing wants us divided, we must not fall in this trap”, he argued.
During Dragnea’s speech, Frans Timmermans, like many other delegates, seemed to not be so interested in the Romanian leader’s speech, as he did not use the earphones to listen to the translation, while preferring to scrolling his mobile phone.
Moreover, S&D MEP Ana Gomes booed Liviu Dragnea at the end of his speech at the Congress, also saying in Spanish „Out wit the corrupt! We don’t want corrupt people in PES and S&D”, Gomes shouted to Dranea.