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Interview with Traian Basescu: If we do not join Schengen, I am pessimistic that it will be possible before the justice mechanism is lifted / Plus: At Brussels, I cannot say: you know, Mrs. Ridzi is sick 

de The News Department
Miercuri, 15 decembrie 2010, 22:37 English | Top News

​IF Romania's joining Schengen will be blocked because of the way justice functions in Romania, probably no one will be able to sustain Romania to join Schengen until the justice mechanism will be lifted, namely until we will have a working judicial system, President Basescu declared in an interview for - RFI with Dan Tapalaga. The chief of state declared that Romania, technically speaking is ready to join Schengen but the decision is based on consensus. Read in the text some interesting declarations in the interview. 

  • I do not see Boc losing elections in the party if he will run. I hope he will run. PDL Parliamentarians should search for alternative solutions they have. But do they have them? 

  • Dan Voiculescu has finally found a political vehicle in Crin Antonescu (the Liberal leader) after years in which he could not get terrains or commercial spaces 

  • I have doubts that the IT search in the Ridzi case was serious but it was a request from the prosecutors after all. A vote cannot be recast unless prosecutors have something to add to what they already presented 

  • I will have a talk with Mrs. Gatej to see what this is all about (referring to the news that recently appeared reading that Gatej collaborated with the secret securitate structures in Communism). This situation makes me wonder, indeed. 

  • I cannot go to Brussels and tell them that Mrs Ridzi is sick. There are things that I can comment with you or others but there is no justification for Brussels. The political decision needs to stand beyond sentimentalism. 
Here are Basescu’s most important declarations 
  • I was not convinced by the report of the police and this is why I still refuse to use the services of the police to escort me. I want to see the police change. (referring to the recent corruption scandal that broke in the Interior ministry and which caused the resignation of many leaders). 

  • Romania is not a country that can resemble Russia any more (referring to an article in The Economist which wrote that Basescu could become, at the end of his second mandate as President, a Prime Minister as Putin did). Secondly, I would not want to, if we talk about me. I would not want to stay in politics after my mandate ends. 

  • During my time as commander of a ship I realized that power can be exercised with a kind word, in a decent manner and in the benefit of all, not to the benefit of constructing one's own ego. This is why I entered politics with an important baggage, knowing what power is. And I can say that I exercised it enough to still have the power steams linked to the vision about myself after my mandate ends. 

  • I do not have any other means to react than to speak to the public. I do not think that Romania needs a silent President to be concerned with protocol at Cotroceni. 

  • I do not tie the future of the country to this government. No matter how hard we count, we still cannot count a majority of the Opposition. The laws pass when they reach the vote. The big problem is that they are blocked on procedures. And the internal rules of the Parliament allow this kind of politics. Lack of majority is not the problem but the opposition's abuse of procedures is. However, the opposition is not being silenced, which is a good thing. 

  • Liberals and Social Democrats are two left parties. Anywhere in Europe, Liberals are center - left. We came to consider them on the right wing  by confusing history with the present. Liberals are a center left party. They merge very well with the Social Democrats, in terms of ideology. I believe that if we want to hit Romania hard, we should have a leftist party, a populist one that would start promising money. This is what the opposition does now. If you want, I am terrified by it. Because they would be tempted, if they will have power, to implement what they say. This would be disaster for the country. 

  • It will be the decision of the Democrat Liberals (PDL) whether or not to have the PDL president and the position of Prime Minister trusted to the same man. If you want me to be honest, I do not see Boc losing elections in the party if he will run. I hope he will run. PDL should seek alternative options if they have. But do they have it? 

  • Our priority now is to end 2010 without any obligations to the EU/IMF and World Bank. A successful completion of the agreement with the IMF means that Romania avoided a derail and it can turn to consolidate its economy and fiscal policies and launch policies for economic growth.

  •  I plan to submit to the Parliament in the first session of 2011 a draft to revise the Constitution. 

  • About a possible suspension in 2011: I understand that this is what Voiculescu (former Conservatives leader), Crin Antonescu and from time to time Ponta want to suspend me. However Ponta is not always convinced of it. They say that Basescu and Boc need to be replaced but they cannot offer an alternative. They are not interested to pursue the national interest. They have one interest: to access power and resources. 

  • We need to admit that the difference between PDL and PSD, despite the Ridzi case, is that there were no interventions and I can guarantee that. The Ridzi case is for me, a case in which I accuse them of the incapacity to be political men. I understand what happened very well. 

  • It was a sentimental vote, first of all. I know that she has problems with her child but she should have the capacity to rise above these things. I am convinced that they did not do her any good. She would have been on a better situation because she is investigated in a bigger case anyway. 

  • They had the obligation to rise beyond the sentimental element. My opinion is that they should have extended the investigation to the IT search. 

  • If we will not join Schengen because of the results of the justice mechanism, I am pessimistic that we will be able to join before the mechanism is lifted, before we will have an efficient judicial system 

  • I have to assume my mistake. I believed that everyone will mobilize itself and I contested the summer report released by the EU and requested an intermediary report anticipating that the report will be used by some states. The result was that the intermediary report was approved only for Romania because Bulgaria did not request for one and the results of the report will not be what I expected. 

  • My initiative, instead of doing us good, will do us harm because of the lack of reaction of some structures. If we look only at the treaty, we should join Schengen in April. 

  • I do not want to comment the relation with France. Moreover, I do not like that a EU member included in its governing program the aim to block Romania's access to Schengen. It regards the Netherlands and unfortunately, it is also a political game. 

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