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Schengen story gets hotter: President says seven are against Romania, PM rules out rumors

Germany is not the only country that would vote against Romania’s Schengen entry this week at the Justice and Home Affairs meeting, at least six other countries intend to do the same should Romania’s entry be submitted to vote, said president Traian Basescu. His statement followed a row over local and international statements, which started with Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean saying Romania might not be interested in Schengen anymore, should it be delayed again.

German Federal Internal Affairs Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said Germany would oppose Schengen admission for Romania and Bulgaria at the the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on March 7 – 8. The opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) in Romania said the German reaction was in fact triggered by Corlatean’s statement.

The Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta reacted prudently to the statements, saying Romania does not intend to give Germany a chance to use its veto on the country’s Schengen accession at the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs meeting, and will not push for a vote. President Basescu even highlighted the PM’s prudence as ‘welcome’ and hoped he would keep the same strategy.

But who would the other six countries opposing Romania’s Schengen entry be? Romanian newspaper Gandul, quoting diplomatic sources on the market, said the countries, apart from Germany, would be The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Finland, Denmark and Austria.

However, PM Ponta ruled out the story about the seven countries against Romania. He said this is a story which does not exist and the position of EU countries on this matter cannot be judged based by gossip. He underlines the lack of official statements from any other European state on opposing Romania’s admission to the free movement zone, and Germany is the only country which expressed this intention.

The Schengen area has 25 member states, out of which three are non-EU members. Only 15 countries have implemented the common border control and visa provisions.

editor@romania-insider.com

(photo source: axa-schengen.com)