Exclusive interview with the Romanian President Traian Basescu: What we need is a competent Government capable of generating sustainable growth and jobs. Public trust in European Union, a record low, because EU didn’t deliver what it promised. Petty political interests are placed by the current coalition above the national interest
Romanian President Traian Basescu gave an exclusive interview to caleaeuropeana.ro European and Global Affairs website, in which he talks about austerity, Romania’s advantages and disadvantages as part of the EU, entering the Eurozone, Schengen accession, European funds, the latest CVM report, Romanians from abroad and the portrait of the future president of Romania.
President’s most important statements:
– There is no credible alternative to austerity. Anyone can understand that you can’t get out of debt by creating new debts. Austerity is very bad for the people, for the economy and for politicians- where such measures apply. But we must admit that no matter how bad austerity is, it has significant lighter consequences to the population and economy than unsustainable interest loans over 6-7% or payment incapacity have.
– In Romania we are at a point were we have restored macroeconomic balance, what we need is a competent Government capable of generating sustainable growth and jobs
– European money is at our disposal. We just need the competence and the rightness to use it.
Romania’s benefits as EU member
– Free movement of persons, free movement of goods and services, free movement of capital, direct foreign investments that have created jobs and generated technology transfer, the right to work in other EU member states and here it must be said that starting January 1st 2014, Romanians will no longer be subject to any restrictions in EU countries, European non-refundable money for agriculture and development, which, unfortunately, we haven’t used efficiently –at least not yet.
– Disadvantages: partial disposal of sovereignty in some areas.
Public trust in European Union, a record low, because EU didn’t deliver what it promised
– European Union did not deliver what it promised- jobs, economic recovery. It takes honesty in communicating with citizens.
– Some national governments have paid enormous amounts of money for incompetence, business immorality, for the bankers’ greed and now the holes are covered with public money.
Joining the euro area – it is wrong to not have set a target date
– Regarding the euro adoption, I believe it should be firmly stated in our documents a target date, and an optimum time can’t be other than 2017.
– Some important people in Romania have stated the term 2019, or suggested not fixing at all a national target date to adopt the euro, arguing that other countries also did not have such a target.
– Not having such a schedule is wrong. I believe that those who think otherwise, don’t know that well the EU inner workings, or they support sectorial interests that don’t overlap the general interest.
Schengen accession – Those responsible for postponing Romania’s accession to Schengen now seem to claim that they have pulled the country out of isolation
– Romania has good chances of entering Schengen through a JAI Council decision in December. Everything now depends on us and our Bulgarian neighbors.
– It should be noted that Romania meets the technical criteria to enter Schengen, and if it weren’t for the parliamentary coup last summer, most certainly, at the JAI Council in October 2012, we would have entered Schengen area. It wasn’t meant to be and nobody seems to feel responsible for this. On the contrary, those responsible for postponing Romania’s accession to Schengen now seem to claim that they have pulled the country out of isolation.
CVM report- We still have a minister under criminal investigation. Petty political interests are still more important to the current coalition than national interest
– We still have a minister under criminal investigation, which makes Europeans look at us as to a country that has different standards than the European ones; we still try legislative tricks in the MPs Statute, in the immunity area or in the incompatibility one.
– These are risks in our way to the accession to Schengen, and it also proves that petty political interests are placed by the current coalition above the national interest.
– European funds have become a vulnerability for Romania.
– It as an example of lack of patriotism and administrative capacity. How else can you explain the lack of interest for not using 19 billion euro to modernize infrastructure and to create new jobs?
– It is the right thing to do, to say that former minister of Tourism is an exception; there the absorption was better and at least, until last year, according to the schedule. The figures show it.
– Otherwise, both ministers and officials have proven their incompetence and lack of patriotism.
– Statements such as <this year we will absorb 50% of the European funds>, coming from the government seem to be a rhetoric without coverage that places the government in an area of incompetence and instability of understanding the mechanism of absorbing European funds.
Romanians abroad – Either introduce electronic voting or voting by mail, or increasing the number of polling sections abroad to 10.000-11.000
– The greatest humiliation these people suffer from their state is when they want to express their right to vote guaranteed by the Constitution.
The problem should be solved through the new electoral law by either introducing electronic voting or voting by mail, or increasing the number of polling sections abroad to 10.000-11.000 in Romanian communities. Otherwise, we will continue to have distorted election results.
The situation in Moldova seems to be detached from a manual that was used in Bucharest in the summer of 2012
– -Unfortunately, recent political developments in Chisinau could discredit all politicians’ work in recent years and especially people’s sacrifices to approach EU.
– – The scandal regarding the replacement of the Prosecutor-General, dismissing the President of Moldovan Parliament, the major attack on the Constitutional Court judges, the alliance within the Parliament between a center-right party and the communists, they all seem to be learned from a manual used in Bucharest in the summer of 2012.
– Chisinau politicians must understand now, at the eleventh hour, the responsibility they have for the country and for future generations.
“People’s Movement” will have to create a center-right party. If successful, the foundation will have to create a power vehicle for implementing solutions, and that vehicle can’t be other than a center-right party based on local branches spread throughout the country.
About the future president – Romania does not need a President that would turn everything silent. All thefts, al illegalities are made quietly, in silence.
– – What I can say for sure is that Romania does not need a president that would turn everything silent in politics and in the state institutions.
– – Romania has parties and institutions still far from perfect, which make the President’s public statements mandatory as an element of pressure for correcting things.
– Those who, in a country like Romania, want complete silence must know that all thefts all illegalities are done quietly, in silence.
The crisis will pass and EU will remain to ensure a decent living
No matter how hard it is for us in this time of crisis, we must know that in a few years, the crisis will pass, and the European Union will remain to ensure a decent living for its citizens.
Full version (RO) AVAILABLE HERE.