President expects to be informed about the nominated EU Commissioner, waiting for the minister reshuffles

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President Klaus Iohannis has announced in a press statement on Wednesday that he had been informed by PM Viorica Dancila on the nomination of an interim European Commissioner to replace Corina Cretu, yet mentioning he is still waiting to be further informed about the proposals for the full-term commissioner representing Romania.

Romania will have to nominate a full-term commissioner. The nomination and obtaining a portfolio falls under the full authority of the Government. Obviously, I have the legitimate expectation to be informed in due time about the person or people who will be nominated. Yes, I have asked it, but no proposal has been yet advanced”, the President said.

The head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker had initially denied the request for Romania to have an interim commissioner, proposing instead that duties of former Romanian Commissioner Corina Cretu should be transferred to other commissioners,  more precisely to Johannes Hahn. However, the EU Council rejected Juncker’s proposal, so Romania was asked to name  a new interim commissioner after all, with PM Dancila proposing Ioan Mircea Pascu, former MEP.

As for the debates in Brussels within the European Council meeting, the Romanian president informed that the EU Commissioner portfolios had not been negotiated yet, but the new member states have asked for a compensation to the absence of a person from Eastern Europe at the helm of the future EU institutions through obtaining positions of EC Vice-Presidents.

Reshuffle, pending

At the same time, Iohannis is still waiting for PM Dancila to come up with the reshuffle proposals, voicing hope that the Foreign and Interior ministers should be replaced, as he had repeatedly required.

I am very discontent with how PSD is acting. I won’t hide that and I prefer to say it publicly,” Iohannis said, when asked about the relation with PSD after Viorica Dancila has been elected chairwoman.

Questioned about reshuffle, the head of state replied: “I am not willing to negotiate anything with PSD, but it’s obvious there can be no reshuffle without me. I am waiting for the proposals. They are definitely opportune and, frankly, I expect at least two ministers, the Foreign and Interior ministers, to be replaced”.

President Iohannis has repeatedly asked for FM Teodor Melescanu and Interior minister Carmen Dan’s resignations for the way they managed the elections on May 26.

“Pensions are too small, PM assured me there is money”

As for the recently promulgated pensions law that will see increases, Iohannis said that before promulgating the law, he talked to PM Dancila and she had assured him there is money to enforce the pension increases. Moreover, the president himself admitted the actual pensions are too small.

“In my view, the pensions are too small. Therefore, such a law is needed, not to mention correlation or existing inequities. Indeed, there was the question about the money to sustain this law. I asked the premier directly: do you have money for the pensions? And she assured me there is money,” Iohannis said.

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