Romania needs political stability in order to join the EU at the scheduled date of January 1, 2007, European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn warned in Bucharest on Thursday.

His statement comes shortly after Romanian President Traian Basescu launched a fierce attack on PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu in a TV show on Wednesday, saying he regretted to have supported the Liberal prime minister in the 2004 elections.

Basescu also said he would not see a common future for the two parties forming the governing coalition – Tariceanu’s Liberals and his own Democrats. But he also insisted that it was unconceivable for the current government to break before the EU accession next year.

Thursday morning, Olli Rehn said that a possible decision by Romania to hold early elections before January 1, 2007 and possibly after the European Council this summer might lead to a postponement of its EU accession.

The reason is the need for the country to pursue the important progress Romania made in its reform process over the last several years, he said.