While in Bulgaria on Wednesday evening, President Klaus Iohannis referred to the tense relation between Presidency and the Government, stating that the role of the president is to ensure the proper functioning of the public authorities, adding that he will not passively assist until rulers „get their panties in a bunch”. Iohannis also stressed that, in terms of foreign policy, the collaboration of the Government with the Presidency “is not optional, but mandatory.”
President Iohannis is attending the informal meeting of the European Council and the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia.
Asked if peace has been made between palaces (Cotroceni presidential Palace and Victoria Gov’t Palace), the head of state replied: „There has been no war, nor peace. You see, according to article 80 in the Constitution, which defines the role of the President, the President must ensure the proper functioning of the public authorities. Or, to keep watch is no passive state. I will not wait to assist until we get our panties in a bunch, according to the saying. No, if I see things are going wrong, I think it’s my duty, not option, to raise awareness, to call for discussions, to ask for informed views and so on. This is what I am doing. Oh, it’s possible that the PSD and the Gov’t don’t like someone to show them the mirror, but, in this case, they’ll just have to work better, harder and with results.”
Referring to the disagreement on the Jerusalem embassy relocation, Iohannis said that these talks must take place in Romania, among our experts and not in front of the global audience.
„I criticized the approach that they had gone to Israel (e.n. PM Dancila and Liviu Dragnea) without consulting with me, or even with some foreign policy experts and they found themselves talking about the embassy’s relocation. No! Such approaches are seriously harming Romania (…) related to the foreign policy issue, the cooperation is not optional, but mandatory, there aren’t or, at least, there shouldn’t be different approaches. Romania will be strong only if it speaks on one single voice on important foreign policy issues,” the head of state added.
Referring to the criticism launched by the PSD chairman Dragnea that the President doesn’t inform the Executive either after talks with foreign partners, Iohannis answered: „I will assess this matter, but on informing, he’d rather read the law a little bit and to get information from the primary source”.
As for the embassy relocation to Jerusalem, Iohannis agreed that all aspects should be considered, but this will be the starting point for an ultimate decision, which, according to the Constitution, is taken by the President.
Questioned if he maintains the request for PM Dancila to resign, Iohannis said: „I do, obviously”.
While referring to the rulers’ criticism that the President would have threatened the prime minister by saying that „she’d better do what she is being told”, Iohannis pointed out: „I couldn’t afford threatening anyone. No, I referred precisely to the resignation, and if someone is watching mafia movies too often, it’s his problem”.
Embassy relocation to Jerusalem, not on the agenda of discussions. Romania doesn’t have to choose between US and EU
The Romanian President also informed that the relocation of the Embassy in Israel had not been discussed at the informal meeting of the European Council in Sofia.
“This topic was not on the table and I believe that we have a pretty clear resolution. Nobody has currently signaled the need of a new statement on this topic. We all regretted that there were so many victims at the border with the Gaza Strip, but the relocation issue has not been discussed,” Iohannis said.
On the other hand, Iohannis said that Romania doesn’t have to choose between the EU and the US, considering the heat debate occasioned by the EU’s and US’ different stances on the Jerusalem issue. “I strongly dislike that there are certain people in Romania who are trying to induce the idea that we have to choose between USA and Europe. Totally false,” he added.
“It’s true that we make blunders sometimes”
President Iohannis also pointed out that he was welcomed very well at the informal meeting of the European Council
“I was very nicely welcomed. I am always welcomed nicely and I think that it should be very clear: we are truly part of the European Union, it is also true that we make blunders from time to time, but here we are talking about an integration that we want to be increasingly more solid and I think that we are heading towards it,” Iohannis said.