“We were not ready for such an autocratic pressure” is the headline in ‘Le Monde’, January 1-2 edition, for the interview with Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar, along with an ample article on Romania taking over the EU Council presidency on January 1, 2019.
“The prosecutors are concerned about the intimidations coming from the Executive, mainly after the dismissal of the anticorruption chief (Laura Codruta Kovesi – our note),” ‘Le Monde’ quotes Lazar as saying, digi24.ro informs.
Augustin Lazar is in his turn under pressure to be dismissed by the Government and no one doubts that the procedure is remotely orchestrated by PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, the paper reads.
Without naming those responsible, Lazar says in the interview that “those wanting to discipline justice want to return to the ‘90s, when justice was only a façade for high ranking officials.”
The Prosecutor General said that following Romania’s accession to the European Union in 2007, justice has become effective, with hundreds of sentences.
“I always tell my colleagues we should continue our work and do not give up,” Lazar said. “I am outraged that so many steps back are being made, in 2007 I believed the progress is irreversible. We were not ready for such autocratic pressures,” Augustin Lazar said.
One day before Romania has taken over the EU Council presidency. ‘Le Monde’ published a comprehensive article on the Westerners perception on the current Romanian governance, ‘Free Europe’ informs.
The French daily mentions the “ruling party’s drifts” and the “repeated assaults from PSD and mainly from its leader Liviu Dragnea, against the judiciary.”