Fresh News

Tuesday, 24 June

Statements by PM Victor Ponta on his return from the visit in Israel

Victor Ponta: Very on brief, as you accompanied me on the official visit I paid alongside an important number of Cabinet members in Israel, I want only to reiterate the fact that 14 cooperation agreements have been signed. The most important in my view and probably for the public opinion pertain to the cooperation on the labor market, 1.000 construction workers can immediately after the entering into force (of these agreements)have access on the labor market, in very favorable conditions.
The cooperation agreements in the research area and the involvement of Israeli researchers in the ELI project. Furthermore, environment agreements, agreements of economic cooperation, education, research, culture, everything related to the cooperation between the two states that have very good and old relations. Concretely, beyond these things, I reiterated the fact that our political bilateral relations with the State of Israel are kept and translated in economic relations too that we hope to develop over the next period. I have also expressed Romania and the European Union’s positions, as well as the positions of our transatlantic partners on the support for the identification of some solutions to lead to dialogue, to a climate of security and peace in the Near East, furthermore, that Europe and Romania are confronted of course with a political –military crisis in Ukraine, and what is happening in the Near and Middle East, even if it may seem far away, in reality, it aims at the security at global level, Romania and the European Union’s interest is to identify average and long term solutions, solutions to lead to dialogue, pace and security. These were the main topics I approached in relation with the Israeli Government and I repeat I think it was necessary to reiterate this excellent bilateral cooperation that we have. If you have questions about the visit in Israel, and if not, let us approach internal issues and afterwards, we should go home. 
    Reporter: …?
    Victor Ponta: I will nominate Mr. Ioan Rus for Minister of Transports.
    Reporter /…/
    Victor Ponta: Surely, yes. I was satisfied with his activity as Minister of Transports but following a discussion I had, Mr. Sova wants to get increasingly involved in the political communication side, electoral campaign. He will be the Spokesperson for PSD, immediately after the first meeting of the leadership. And after November, surely, he can become member of the Cabinet.

    Reporter: Mr. Maior told today that, as of 2001, all Prime Ministers were informed about Anghel clan, plus(…). Did you have permanent information about this clan?
     Victor Ponta: I do not know in detail what Mr. Maior said today within the committees. I looked only at what appeared in the media and I think he made it very clear that he did not inform my Cabinet. So, I have not received it, and if I had received, they were not about government work, but if it is organized crime facts, obviously, it was up to prosecutors, police and everyone must do their duty.
Reporter: The context in which the statements were today / ... / and the president said that he had not received those reports, which is the point of tomorrow’ statement in Parliament, eventually you will support it?
Victor Ponta: Yes, I shall support it.
Reporter: And what is the point, since the President had not received ...?
Victor Ponta: I am convinced that you ... Well, that is your opinion, strictly personal or of the television station. Our opinion is that when you are president and you know what relationships your family has with representatives of organized crime, there is a political liability. I have not told you about legal responsibilities and I will not speak, because it is the job of justice and I am convinced that they fulfill very well this task.

Reporter: Returning to Mr. Rus, what recommends him for the job at the Ministry of Transport?
Victor Ponta: Two things, first: professional and political experience, and secondly, I want to give a very clear message for the Transylvania area, I have other cabinet ministers of whose activity I am very satisfied, Mr. Dusa, Mrs.Pana, Ms. Cristea, but Transylvania must receive from the Minister the assurance that all infrastructure projects that we have begun will be carried out.
Reporter / ... / in a context in which we have a prior decision of the Constitutional Court? What's the point of this new referral on the same topic?
Victor Ponta: It is not on the same topic. I am sorry you have not read the notification. If you read it, you could have seen it is about two decisions of the Constitutional Court, one of 2012, one of 2013 that refers to different cases, but currently, the Court will not rule until Thursday, I understood that there will be a deadline, somewhere, in July. I speak about a principle problem, the fact that on Thursday, there is only one topic at the European Council, the topic of the schedule and composition of the European Commission 2014 -2019. 
    Under the Romanian law and European regulations, the full decision on the European Commissioner of Romania and the political schedule depends on the government, therefore, the President goes to a place where even without the current problems, it is not appropriate for him to go, unless he delegates me. I await for a decision of the Constitutional Court, a principle one, for the future, to regulate and to avoid in the future any kind of discussion, we are the only country to be represented at the European Council by somebody who has no power regarding the appointment of the European Commissioner and the schedule of the European Commission.
    There is a natural explanation too: The European Commission will enter into force in November 2014, until 2019, the same time when President Basescu, in the worst scenario, would be just an ex-President. The story with sentimentalism is all right, I am sentimental too regarding Moldova, but unlike President Basescu, I did some concrete things too, he has done anything for the integration of Moldova, he only spoke. We, working very closely with the Government of Moldova, we complete the gas pipeline, we have as you well know, we supported with an important sum, 20 million EUR, the education infrastructure, we extended the SMURD programme to Moldova and the helicopter in Iasi and Galati operate there, we work at the electricity infrastructure, therefore, after ten years of empty words and sentimentalism which are surely important, but not instrumental for Moldova, fortunately, the current Government does concrete things too for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova.
Reporter: ….?
Victor Ponta: I think you have the wrong information.
Reporter: Do you back these projects?
Victor Ponta: As such projects do not exist, how could I back them? You have the wrong information.
Reporter: I want to ask you, as you said that you were satisfied with the activity of Minister Sova  and that as of now, he will get more involved in politics…
Victor Ponta: Yes. No, and so far, he made politics, now, he will get involved in the preparation of the political communication, until November.
Reporter: Nevertheless, you said that he should get involved further on in this area, which is the reason of his resignation, did you discuss it?
Victor Ponta: Exactly the one he presented to you, and I presented it to you too. We told you what we considered and what we decided together, and then, the speculations will be part of any resignation.
    Reporter: Do you envisaged other moves for future reshuffles… and with the change of Mr. Sova…?
    Victor Ponta: I do not aim at these, when I am about, you will find out.
    Reporter: Why you felt right now to give this signal to Transylvania, and you did not give this signal Sova – Rus (…) in the Cabinet you lead?
    Victor Ponta: No, I have not felt that need now. I repeat, it is not the first Minister in Ardeal, there are other Ministers from Ardeal in my Cabinet. You asked about my aims. First and foremost, the professional and political background of Mr. Rus and secondly, the fact that, I want to show from the viewpoint of political commitments on infrastructure for Ardeal that they will be represented by a political character, like Mr. Rus who is well known in Ardeal. He is vice president of PSD, he works in his professional field, the transports. 
    Reporter: Are you satisfied with the activity of Dan Sova at the Transport Ministry
    Victor Ponta: Yes, I was very satisfied. Thank you.  


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