• Elena Udrea: PMP to back single candidate of Right only if he is Cristian Diaconescu

    The People’s Movement Party (PMP) President Elena Udrea says that the party she leads will back the variant of a single candidate of the Right in the presidential elections, if the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) and the National Liberal Party (PNL) back the PMP candidate Cristian Diaconescu.

    “We do not rule this out, we would really back a single candidate of the Right, but that means for PDL and PNL to back our candidate,” Elena Udrea told a Thursday’s press conference.

    She said that, in the current version, PMP would back the Right’s candidate only in the runoff of the presidential elections.

    “If our candidate is not in the runoff, then obviously we will back the Right’s candidate. But if our candidate enters the runoff, then it is normal for the other rightist parties to back the PMP candidate,” Udrea mentioned.

    In this context, the PMP president criticized PDL over being the biggest opponent of President Traian Basescu.

    “This merger, the alliance between PNL and PDL, was made on an anti-President project. The paradox is that the most vocal opponents of Traian Basescu’s are those in PDL. And that was done with excluding or marginalizing the PMP electorate and the electors of President Traian Basescu. Therefore, PMP is going on its way, which also means to have its own candidate at least in the first round,” Elena Udrea concluded.

  • PM Ponta: Competitive energy market, low labour taxes to make Romania more prosperous, more stable

    Romania’s international financial partners will have to understand that a competitive energy market and lower labour taxes will make Romania a more prosperous and more stable country, Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a Euromoney conference on Thursday on regional finance and investment for South-East Europe.

    ‘I will listen to the governor and then go to my office to do my homework for the big meeting with international financial institutions and the European Commission. In order to convince them as well that a competitive energy market and low labour taxes will make Romania into a more prosperous, more stable country,’ said Ponta.

    Besides Ponta at the Euromoney conference was also Governor of the National Bank of Romania (BNR) Mugur Isarescu.

    The Romanian Government will be meeting a visiting joint delegation of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Commission to draw conclusions, with emphasis on tax relaxation in relation to employment, as Prime Minister Victor Ponta has said.

    ‘We are nearing the end of the talks with our international partners, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. On Thursday, we will be convening in a final meeting to draw conclusions. The important thing is that the main objective, tax relaxation in relation to employment, may be achieved in a short period of time,’ Ponta said Wednesday.

    He voiced hope that the opposition had not changed their opinion, the Liberals in particular and that it should back the Government in its efforts for tax relaxation, given the very good figures relating the growth of the economy, the curbed deficit and cut expenditure posted by Romania since the beginning of the year.

    National leader of the opposition Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) Vasile Blaga stated on Wednesday, following a meeting with a joint International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and European Commission (EC) delegation, that the Democrat Liberals and Liberals demand the suspension of the gas price liberalization. Furthermore, the Democrat Liberals request the cessation of the sale of stocks held by the Government in energy companies.

    Acting chairman of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) Klaus Iohannis added that the Government did not prepare a 5-percent cut in the social security contributions that the PNL recommended, and its only approach is focused on electoral measures, without any concept of governing.

    He said that one of the important items discussed with the visiting representatives of the international financial institutions was the way in which the Romanian Government is mixing up Right and Left measures, which proves it lacks any concept of governing.

    The joint delegation of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Commission came to Bucharest on June 2 for a third revision of a precautionary stand-by arrangement between Romania and the IMF. Its mission is scheduled to end on June 16.

  • Intelligence service chief George Maior: Regional developments demand Service tasks sensitively related to them

    The situation in Ukraine and the regional ‘offensiveness’ of the Russian Federation have demanded the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) ‘tasks sensitively related to knowing these developments and to informing the state power- and diplomatic factors’, SRI Director George Maior said after presenting the Service 2013 results to the Parliament’s Commission on SRI control on Wednesday.

    ‘Both the situation in Ukraine and the regional offensiveness of the Russian Federation have demanded the Service tasks sensitively related to knowing these developments and to informing the state power—and diplomatic factors so as to have a better knowledge of such developments taking place in the geographic proximity of Romania. On the other hand, so as to prevent possible domestic effects regarding the national security of Romania, particularly in the sensitive area of espionage,’ Maior stressed.

    As regards the possible conduct of espionage by Russia in the Romanian territory, Maior said the SRI has a ‘very good knowledge and special competence’ from this viewpoint. ‘From the Service viewpoint, this is not a problem that it cannot tackle in a professional manner,’ he underscored.

    With respect to an article of the new cyber-security law being debated in the Romanian Parliament, that says the Internet providers have the obligation to store the data for six months, the Intelligence Service head explained the law is built ‘in perfect accordance with the elementary human rights notions and is aimed at providing the cyber-security of Romania’ and he gave assurance that ‘there is no problem from this viewpoint’.

    Maior said the participants in the meeting also tackled the importance of maintaining the Service’s neutrality and independence this year, ‘a rather sensitive year in terms of politics,’ given Romania is to hold a presidential election in November.