Romanian President meets German Chancellor in Berlin

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis started a three-day visit to Germany on Monday, June 19, with a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The two officials held a joint press conference after the meeting, during which Angela Merkel said that Romania has made progresses since joining the EU, including in the fight against corruption. She also added that these reforms must continue in Romania, and thanked President Iohannis for supporting them.

In return, the Romanian President said that the talks with Chancellor Merkel included topics such as the economic relations between the two countries, Romania’s EU Council Presidency, and the country’s accession the Schengen. In the latter theme’s case, Iohannis said that Angela Merkel encouraged further talks with other European leaders as well.

When asked about the ongoing political scandal within the ruling party in Romania, the German Chancellor refrained from further commenting, saying: “I have said that we would want the democracy and the rule of law in Romania strengthened, otherwise I do not want to express my opinion. These are domestic problems of Romania.”

On the same topic, President Iohannis said: “As for the political crisis at home, naturally the Chancellor doesn’t want to express an opinion, but we had a brief discussion on this issue and I think we managed to convey the message that we have a crisis within the governing coalition, but that Romania is a stable, solid, well-functioning country, and I have urged those involved in these divergences to find urgent solutions, which will undoubtedly happen.”

Iohannis previously asked the coalition to solve their political crisis as soon as possible to avoid political instability, after the Social Democratic Party (PSD) leaders managed to isolate Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu in an attempt to force his resignation. Last week, coalition partners PSD and ALDE announced that they withdrew the political support for the cabinet led by Sorin Grindeanu, after less than six months in power.

President Ioahnnis’ visit to Berlin will end on June 21. The official program also includes a meeting with German President Frank Steinmeier.

Klaus Iohannis is to have yet another important visit this month, with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Romanian President was in the US between June 4 and June 9, the visit ending with a meeting with President Trump at the White House. At the end of the meeting, the two heads of state held a joint press conference in which Donald Trump praised the Romanian President for leading the fight against corruption in Romania and for the country’s efforts to increase its defense spending. He also said that the future of Romania and the country’s relations with the United States is very bright.

Irina Popescu, [email protected]

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