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UPDATE Romanian President Traian Basescu discussed with readers online

de Editorial Staff
Miercuri, 15 decembrie 2010, 15:23 English | Top News

Traian Basescu in dialog cu cititorii
UPDATE Romanian President Traian Basescu discussed with readers online live on Wednesday, starting 3.00 p.m. The discussion can be followed here (Romanian language). In a first answer, he said Romania's not joining Schengen within the established time framework would be a tool to put pressure on Romanian Justice to clean up, but a tool that proves the weakness of Romanian politicians.

Asked if Romania's failure to join Schengen within the established time framework would put pressure on Romanian justice and a favorable framework to clean it up, he said he saw it as a tool to put such pressure, but a tool that shows "our weakness as political people".
  • He said that "we know from all reports since 2007 that the Romanian Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) has not been a structure to encourage a positive evolution of Romania's justice sector", but on the contrary, "it was only a trade union-style organization". The situation, he said, should have prompted politicians long ago to change the law regulating the CSM. He said very few Romanians say that CSM was to blame for the malfunctioning of the Justice sector as people usually put responsibility on the shoulders of politicians, the government or the president. "Once we are burdened with this responsibility, we should have acted to change the law. I now have no doubt that this is the solution", he said.

Statements made by Traian Basescu in the online discussion:
  • "The issue of the social state is one of the major themes that politicians and citizens should deal with in the upcoming period. It is essential, as the Romanian state itself is constitutionally defined as a democratic and social state (....) While we have this definition of the for the Romanian state, nobody has defined yet what are the parameters for a social state. What social support the state provides. (...)"
  • The critical point for cutting the income of Romanian population has been reached, "whether we talk about salary cuts, welfare cuts or taxing pensions. (...) This does not mean adjustments for budget apparatus spending would not go on. Not through income cuts, but by optimizing the number of employees in each sector, where personnel is too large or inefficient".
  • "Regarding the Republic of Moldova, my hope is that they will be able to maintain the Alliance for Europe. We will also maintain the financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova in any situation. I can say that this year alone Romania provided so far 8 million euro in assistance (the reconstruction of 800 homes affected by floods). Romania will be a supporter of European aspirations of the Republic of Moldova citizens under any circumstances, no matter who governs in Chisinau".
  • Regarding the naming of "Tigan/Rrom" [for Roma people]: "It was a mistake when, in 1992, the name of Tigan [Gypsy] was changed into Rrom, and now it would have been a much bigger mistake to change their name from Roma people to Gypsy people without asking them. Eventually, it's an issue of assuming this ethnic group which we cannot play with depending of our options once every 20 years.
  • "It is my opinion that [opposition National Liberal Party leader] Crin Antonescu faces the same trap in which [opposition Social Democratic Party leader] Mircea Geoana was in. It's just that he changed the mogul. He probably considers that backed by a media group such as Antenele [Intact Media Group] he may become an important politician. I believe Romanians can no longer be tricked with TV channels. The zero content of Crin Antonescu is so obvious that it cannot be covered with televised screams."
  • [The governing Democratic Liberal Party] "PDL seems to have abandoned moral criteria which are very important in politics. I hope it recovers or else they sentenced themselves for good"
  • "IMF does not rule Romania, it just provides money to Romania."
  • Asked whether he planned on approving the law on salaries in the final version adopted by the Government. "Yes"
  • "Under any circumstances we will continue to remain supporters of the European road of the Republic of Moldova. We will continue to provide citizenship to those who lost it abusively and to their families, will continue to provide 5,000 education opportunities, will continue to support them politically. How the bilateral relations will be like depends exclusively on Chisinau".
  • Asked how he believes the trend of Romanians losing their unity and pride of belonging to the nation may be reversed: "We should unite around values such as responsibility, social justice, family values, cooperation with civil society and many others. Unfortunately, impacted by television, many of us are tabloidizing themselves or believe life and performance and responsibility mean the vulgar display promoted strongly on television."
  • Asked when he would hold a dialog with Romanians who don't trust him as the saving solution for Romania: "Now I'm holding this dialog"
  • Asked whether he saw the introduction of a flat tax on pensions in 2011 feasible: "No. Only the 5.5% health contribution for pensions higher than 740 RON"
  • Asked about accusations of corruption brought up by "rival TV stations", about futile investments or public investments in fields which are not a priority, such as building sports halls in villages: "I do not believe the development of small programs - sports halls, sewage systems (...) - are futile investments or proof of corruption. We might not have money for highways, but we had to have money for sports halls as otherwise we would have sacrificed generations. (...) I don't say these investments are used well right now. But they build up an extremely necessary infrastructure of the current and future evolution of the young generation".
  • Asked what consequences he believed a House of Deputies vote on Tuesday [rejecting a deeper inquiry into ex-minister Monica Iacob Ridzi, who is accused of high level corruption] would have: "The consequence is the Parliament as well will be mentioned in the European Commission as lacking the political will to fight corruption. So, in the next report we will have to institutions with question marks: the Superior Council of Magistrates and the Parliament"
  • "The deal with the IMF is necessary and all politicians know this. But there are some for whom Romania's going astray economically and socially would have been the necessary moment to return to the air of early nineties, when fortunes were made overnight at the expense of us all."

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