President Klaus Iohannis has stated on Monday that Romania is not ready to take over the European Council Presidency, arguing the responsible stakeholders in the Government are replaced or they are leaving, while „things have got crazy”.
In a meeting with the mayors in Romania, the head of state stated that this is another reason for which the current government must step down.
“I have to mention a big concern, although it doesn’t concern you directly. It’s about the year of 2019, when Romania will take over the Presidency of the EU Council, which is an extremely honourable position but also very challenging, particularly for the Government. My opinion is that we are not ready for such a thing. Several weeks ago I said we can honorably deal with it, but in the meantime things have got crazy, we don’t know who are the responsible people in the Government anymore, the people who should take care of it are resigning or are being replaced. I still believe that the political need right now is to replace this accident of the Romanian democracy which is Dragnea-Dancila Government. There is no perspective for good governance and involvement in the European affairs. These are extremely serious matters”, President Iohannis told the General Assembly of the Cities Association in Romania on Monday.
Minister for European Affairs, Victor Negrescu, has resigned on Saturday from the Viorica Dăncilă cabinet. The decision comes after the government sitting on Friday, less than two months ahead of Romania taking over the rotating EU presidency.
“The Gov’t fiscal hopping is ominous”
The head of state also reiterated accusations against the Government „fiscal hopping”, arguing this hopping is „not just tacky, but also ominous”, adding the hope is at the local authorities.
“Unfortunately, things are not moving well everywhere. No matter what good the mayor is, he is not the only one in this environment, he has to connect with the county and central councils. You have been promised decentralisation, but it has not been achieved. The second problem is the money. The so called fiscal reform is a huge lie, for Romanians have just allegedly received more money, but local communities have lost. These fiscal hopping of the past Government is not just tacky, but also ominous”, Iohannis pointed out.
Dragnea retorts: Iohannis is doing a great disservice to the country
In retort to the President’s warning that Romania is not ready to take over the EU Council Presidency, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea said in a press conference that the head of state is doing a great disservice to the country.
“Everyone with his obsessions. Klaus Iohanis has this obsession on the night of December 2016. He has been lying to us for two years there are no money for pensions, that we cannot meet the 3% budget deficit. Only alarming lies and what we have assumed in the ruling programme we have achieved and it will happen from now on too. The Government is prepared to successfully manage the EU Council Presidency. Iohannis is doing a great disservice to the country, for he tries to induce the idea that the Government of his country is not ready to take over this Presidency. It is unspeakable,” Dragnea said.
As for Negrescu’s resignation from the position of European Affairs minister, Dragnea said it is „very strange”.
„It is out of question that this very strange resignation should affect Romania’s preparations fro the EU Council Presidency. It has not been the work of one single person there, an entire team has worked and is working on that,” the PSD leader said, adding that PM Dancila already has a proposal to nominate a new minister.