Romanian PM vows to politicize less and take care more of administration, economy in 2015-2016

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PM Victor Ponta said he is set to take care 95 percent of administration and economy and just 5 percent of politics for the next two years.

“I am interested more in ensuring stability and predictability for the business environment (…) It is important that corrupt people shall be punished, but, above all, the rest of 20 million Romanians who are not journalists or politicians are saying: I am interested in what happens with my job, with my pension, with the hospital where I have to go when I am sick, with the school where my kid is going to. But these things cannot be achieved-economical development, the budget and investments increases-without stability (….) If I can go in 95 percent for administration and economy and 5 percent for politics in 2015-2016, I will do that,” Ponta told an interview for “Jurnalul National” daily.

He added that 2014 was a full politics year. “Unavoidably, there have been elections, changes. The Social Liberal Union (USL) broke up (….) Now I don’t have Mr. Basescu anymore to put a spoke in my wheel anytime I make a move,” the prime minister added.

As for his relationship with the new Romania’s President, Ponta said he has “an absolutely normal” relationship with Klaus Iohannis. “We have an absolutely normal relationship and, besides some others’ anger, wondering why we are not arguing, I believe people will get used to the normality and the advantages of this relationship in a few months,” Ponta said.

In another train of thoughts, the premier informed the Government could loosen up taxation for media institutions, but said a political pact is needed for that.

Regarding the recent terror attacks in Paris and the Charlie Hebdo case, Ponta said that freedom of the press could never be limited. “There are some delicate issues though, which we protect by law, for example contesting the Holocaust is a crime. I think there must be a sort of responsibility in certain circumstances. You can print anything, no one can come and shoot you, but there must be a certain limit,” the head of the Romanian government stated.

Relations with Russia, China

As for Romania’s foreign affairs policy, PM Ponta said he doesn’t envisage any improvement in the relations with Russia, adding that, on the contrary, they will worsen. “If the Ukrainian crisis goes on, the situation will obviously get worsen and Romania will keep taking a hard line side towards Russia’s actions,” Ponta said.

The premier underlined that relation with China should be turned to advantage, as important countries such as the USA, Germany have a privileged relation with China.

“It is a good opportunity for us that we used it in the past, we started in 2013, but it was halted in 2014 due to the electoral campaign, and to some slogans such as ‘Ponta is selling out the country’”, the premier argued, saying that Romania could enter the Chinese agri-food market.

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