In an interview for HotNews.ro, President Traian Basescu discussed with Dan Tapalaga about the political crisis and the relationship with the IMF.Romanian President Traian Basecu gave 50% chances to the designated PM Lucian Croitoru to get his cabinet through the Parliament. IMF's decision to postpone the evaluation visit until after a new cabinet has been voted limits the choices Basescu has in case the Croitoru cabinet is not approved. According to him, he would be ready to name a PM from the party that holds the most parliamentary seats, PDL that is.
- Another alternative sees a new PM being named after the presidential elections, meaning after December 21st. And yet another scenario sees the president designating Croitoru for the second time. According to Basescu, his option greatly depends on whether or not he will be able to convince the IMF to pay their evaluation visit with or without a legitimate Government. But he said that he will not engage in any diplomacy until he sees what happens in the Parliament with the Croitoru Cabinet.
- In the case of having the Croitoru Cabinet, the President will not place his bets on a team made-up by completely new people, but says that people with experience need to hold the key position, meaning the Finance, Work, Interior, Economy and Agriculture ministries. According to him, it would have been better from a technical point of view if the Boc Cabinet resigned before the censorship measure, but it would not have been preferable from a political point of view because it would have been difficult to justify politically. But it could have bought some time.
- Basescu points out that the gesture of the 8 PSD ministers that quit the Cabinet all at once was part of a plan to see the Government fall before elections and, no matter the result of the presidential elections, they had to control the government before the elections. But PDL leaders thought the censorship measure will not pass. Basescu insisted that PDL leaders were fooled into believing that they will have the UDMR members' votes. According to him, the ex-PM, Emil Boc, was the only one who saw it coming.
- Traian Basescu says that behind the proposal of having Johannis, the mayor of Sibiu (Central Romania) designated prime minister, rest profound anti-reformists, the same people who threatened to suspend the president, the 322 coalition featuring Iliescu, Voiculescu, Geoana and Calin Popescu-Tariceanu. "Now they set up coalition 254. They got the same result. Then they suspended the president, now, they broke the Government. Reforms profoundly disturbed them and, at the same time, the perspective of not having a government controlled by them before the elections alerted them to the maximum", Basescu added.
- The Government PSD-PNL was formed nine months ago and part of the Grivco coalition was there. But the Hrebenciuc, Nastase, Iliescu, Voiculescu group openly opposed it, a group that Basescu calls "neo-communist" and blames it for transforming Geoana into a straw man. Basescu went on to say that Johannis was being used by the most toxic part of the Romanian politics. But he admitted he would have considered his candidacy had it been proposed by PNL.
- Basecu declared himself unhappy about the fact that PDL ministers met do discuss politics over to Silvian Ionescu's home, an ex-Securitate officer, but says no political decisions have been taken.
- Regarding the IMF agreement - reducing state employees by 15%, cutting bonuses and forcing people into a 10-days unpaid holiday - Basescu says that the Parliament will need to work during the campaign as well, because there is no alternative, despite the majority hostile to the Government. A failure with the Constitutional Court would complicate Romania's relationship with the IMF. Romania risks of not getting the rest of the loan.
- The agreement with the IMF is not bound by the reform of the administration, but by the parameters of the third quarter. There could be corrections enforced in the fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010. Romania has received 7 billion euros so far out of the 20 billion requested. "Nobody forgives Romania for the lack of reforms. Nobody. Not even our best friends will forgive us for becoming a costly partner for all of them. Costly, and a partner that risks getting in other people's way through not reforming the state institutions", Basescu said.
- Regarding the scandal of the archive of the Interior Ministry's secret services archive, said by Vanghelie (PSD) to be in his hands, Basescu denied it. According to the President, what Vanghelie has is information from officers who compromised their roles. They will be prosecuted.