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Romanian politicians react to Frans Timmermans’ statements

Following heated debates in Strasbourg Monday evening, in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), about the situation in Romania and after Frans Timmermans warned Romania about amendments to laws of justice, saying the Gov’t could be brought to court, the representatives of the ruling party and of the Executive rushed to dismiss the information coming from Strasbourg and to slam Timmermans.

Chairman of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea said there had been no debate within LIBE committee, but already a conviction before the evidence could be studied. He argued Romania is being brutally threatened, voicing his disappointment.

I am pretty disappointed with this attitude for I have never imagined a EU country can be threatened this way, meaning so brutally. I followed the debated, which hasn’t been actually a debate, it has been a list of previously established stances, a conviction already ruled before the evidence could be studied,” Dragnea told Antena 3 private broadcaster.

He pointed out that written documents, information, proof had been sent to Brussels.

Nobody had any kind of reaction, it has not been specifically said which are those amendments or articles in the justice laws that are affecting the independence of judiciary. There is no such thing, on the contrary, we removed any political element from then procedure of appointing judges. This actually means total independence. Maybe this is what is disturbing. At the same time, the European Commission, MEPs have been informed about proof, films, statements that reveal terrible side slips of the rule of law and of the human rights committed in the name of anti-corruption fight,” the PSD chair argued, wondering why there have been intelligence heads who committed abuses by directly interfering in the judiciary procedures and who have been decorated by various countries.

Referring to the referendum for family, Dragnea also stated that nobody in the EU space can tell the Romanian people how to define marriage in its Constitution and that we must give up the „politically correct idea for fear of losing face in front of high ranking doors”.

In his turn, Dragnea’s ruling partner, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu said the discussions in the LIBE committee had showed lack of information and that many generalities had been used.

“In my view, we should not be surprised that, after so many years of exporting internal disputes to Brussels, we are now facing such a situation. On the other hand, of course the European Commission is not comfortable at all regarding those protocols that prove that we can talk about everything on the rule of law in Romania, but we don’t have any rule of law,” Tariceanu stated.

Minister for European Affairs, Victor Negrescu, also reacted to the EC high official’s statements, saying the debate in the LIBE Committee is a purely technical one, and that protests of August 10 are investigated by the competent bodies.

Regarding the discussions in the LIBE Committee, the only way to solve the situation remains the dialogue way. Romanian and the European Commission are in permanent contact, our country is attending any existing mechanisms in a open, honest way (…)” Negrescu pointed out on Facebook.

The minister argued that Romania is capable to find the best solutions for lawmaking and that debates scheduled in the European Parliament in Strasbourg these days will provide clarification on potential misunderstandings.

Social Democrat senator Serban Nicolae said that the EC first vice-president’s statements “have reached the end of the rope”, while asking for his urgent resignation.

In her turn, PSD MEP Claudia Tapardel has labeled Frans Timmermans’ stance „as revolting”, saying the European official has made a groundless charge against Romania. The Romanian MEP added that Timmermans ended up talking on the same voice with „Romania’s biggest enemy”, Monica Macovei.

Instead of proving balance, Timmermans behaved like a true prosecutor, accusing Romania unappealably (…) I saw a double standard and double meaning language in the speech of the first vice-president of the European Commission, who has completely ignored everything has been presented to him about secret protocols within judiciary (over 500 of them), about files abusively investigated by prosecutors based on wiretapping millions of Romanians,” Tapardel argued.

As for the gendarmes’ intervention during the Diaspora rally on August 10, the MEP said: „Mass media has broadcast footage with the gendarmes’ interventions in other EU member states. I have seen no debate on this topic with the gendarmes from Brussels or Barcelona, as they acted the same way like the ones in Bucharest. If the gendarmes in Bucharest acted wrongly, it means they are acting wrongly across all Europe. It’s another proof that Romania is discriminated and cornered only because a Government which is not liked by some in Brussels or Strasbourg is in power in Bucharest,” she argued.

Ex-PM Ciolos: No one has delegated PSD-ALDE to take Romania out of EU

On the other hand, former PM Dacian Ciolos accused that the PSD-ALDE coalition’s „propaganda and lies” aim at helping its political clients get away with the charge of defrauding Romania’s state budget.

Nobody in Romania has delegated PSD, Liviu Dragnea, Viorica Dancila, ALDE, or the MEPs of these parties to cause the withdrawal of our country from the European Union. We witnessed unspeakable stances for a Romanian dignitary or representative. PSD’ lies and propaganda have only one aim, to help its political clients get rid of the accountability for defrauding Romania’s state budget,” Ciolos stated.

Liberal MP to propose Liberal MEPs to veto EP resolution on the rule of law

Surprisingly for a representative of an Opposition party, Liberal deputy Gigel Stirbu announced today he would propose his party fellows that represent Romania in the European Parliament to veto the EP resolution on the rule of law in Romania, arguing that our country must not lose European funds due to this dispute.

Many debates are rumored regarding a EU’s sanction against Romania, namely that our access to European funds to be restricted. My view as PNL vice-president is that it’s not right for the PNL MEPs to vote such a resolution, for, before being Europeans, we are Romanians and we’ll take care of our spirit,” Stirbu posted on Facebook.

About Alina Grigoras Butu