Senator Varujan Vosganian’s failure to have his nomination accepted for the Romanian seat in the European Commission had nothing to do with allegations that he collaborated with ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s secret police, Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a TV show on Monday evening.

He said the nomination of Vosganian - who was pushed for the EU job by PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu early last week only to be forced to withdraw in a major media scandal - was more likely affected by his links to a Romanian controversial tycoons and some old statements of his related to the establishment of ghettos for the Rroma community in Romania.

Liberal Senator Varujan Vosganian was Romania’s first proposal for the country’s seat in the European Commission once it joins the EU next year. After his withdrawal, the new nominee - technocrat Leonard Orban - received the support of EC President Jose Manuel Barroso yesterday.

Basescu said during the “Stirea Zilei” talk-show on the Antena 3 TV news channel that he had warned PM Tariceanu against the nomination of Vosganian, but to no avail. He also said he opposed the nomination of another potential candidate, Foreign minister Razvan Ungureanu, as “it would have been a huge mistake to change the Foreign minister by mid-term”.