Romanian Senate president worried about some ambassadors’ anticorruption “fetish”

Romanian Senate president Calin Popescu-Tariceanu says he is worried about the attitude of some ambassadors to Bucharest who have “fetishes”, and only talk about corruption without seeing “the lack of a fair, balanced justice,” reports local Agerpres.

US Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm is one of the most vocal advocates of the fight against corruption and a supporter of the National Anticorruption Directorate’s chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi. Meanwhile, Tariceanu is one of DNA’s most active opponents, and has often accused the institution of getting involved in political games and persecuting political opponents.

“I am worried about the attitude of the President, of some foreign ambassadors accredited to Bucharest who are dreaming all day long, have fetishes that they don’t want to give up, they only talk about corruption,” the Senate president said at local TV station Antena 3 on Thursday, October 19.

“When you, the ambassador of a free and democratic country, see these violations of the fundamental rights of the citizens, you don’t ask yourself what’s the problem? You just continue to believe in a person or an institution like it’s an icon? Can anyone understand, at some point, that they have to revise their own attitude and be deeper in the analyzes and not in superficial things? And unfortunately, many of those who I see doing such analyzes at the level of Romanian society, either internal observers or foreign observers, are extremely superficial and don’t see this serious defect, which is the lack of a fair, balanced justice that has to do its job eventually,” Tariceanu added.

He also said that governments and ministers would fall if things similar to the ones in Romania were to happen in the countries of the foreign observers.

The Senate president added: “We are a European country with a behavior of mafia-like institutions that you find in Putin’s Russia, where political opponents are taken, imprisoned, incarcerated, removed by all possible and impossible methods. This is not a European model.”

Calin Popescu-Tariceanu also said that he would get out of politics the moment DNA has a say in how the Government is formed. His statement came after two ministers targeted by an investigation of the DNA resigned, after Prime Minister Mihai Tudose announced that he doesn’t want people with legal problems in his cabinet. The small reshuffle announced by Tudose also targeted the minister for the relation with the parliament, Viorel Ilie, who represents Tariceanu’s Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE). Ilie managed to remain minister after Tariceanu opposed his dismissal. “We can not let DNA change the Romanian Government as it likes,” the Senate president said at that time.

Three ministers resigned last week, with two of them, namely Sevil Shhaideh and Rovana Plumb, being named in a new DNA case targeting the transfer of an island on the Danube from the state company Apele Romane to the administration of Teleorman County Council, and then leased to a private company whose name has been associated by the local media with that of Social Democratic leader Liviu Dragnea. While Shhaideh is being prosecuted in this case, Plumb got to keep her parliamentary immunity against prosecution after the Chamber of Deputies rejected DNA’s request in this sense.

Moreover, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced earlier this week that he would notify the Constitutional Court about the Belina case, following the views of Senate constitutional experts. He believes that the DNA has no authority investigating the opportunity of a Government administrative decision and thus exceeds its powers.

Romanian justice minister provokes US Ambassador before meeting

Irina Marica, [email protected]