The situation of the Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta, of the government and of the Social Democratic Party is becoming more problematic and Romania’s image is going to be a lot marred – said Thursday the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis after the Social Democrat PM Victor Ponta was indicted on corruption charges. President Iohannis and other politicians asked for his resignation. Victor Ponta was accused of corruption alongside a party colleague, Dan Sova. On June 5th prosecutors announced that Ponta was being prosecuted for forgery in documents, for being an accomplice to tax evasion and money laundering in a case involving the energy companies Turceni and Rovinari (in the south) in relation to the conclusion of contracts for providing legal counseling. Prosecutors decided to also prosecute Ponta for conflict of interests related to the position of PM he held at the time he perpetrated the acts of corruption. In the same case the former transport minister in Ponta’s cabinet, Dan Sova, is being prosecuted for being an accomplice to abuse of office. He is accused of having cashed hundreds of thousands of euros following agreements concluded to the detriment of the state that lost over 16 million euros. Victor Ponta is the first prime minister of post-Communist Romania who was prosecuted during his mandate. He rejected the prosecutors’ charges and refused to resign.
The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday at the end of the meeting of Romania’s Supreme Council of National Defense that at the next European Council on justice and internal affairs on the issue of migration, Romania’s interior minister Gabriel Oprea will have a mandate quite similar to that of the recent meeting held on Monday. Iohannis reiterated that Romania showed solidarity with the other EU states but it cannot consider the compulsory migrant quotas as a solution to the migration issue. Klaus Iohannis reiterated Bucharest’s commitment to receiving 1,785 refugees although the EC would like Romania to provide shelter to 3 times more refugees. However, if the EU forces Bucharest to accept more people than it can afford, the Supreme Council of National Defense discussed the possibility of using European funds for increasing the capacity of receiving migrants. The agenda of the meeting of Romania’s Supreme Council of National Defense also included such issues as the implementation of the national defense strategy, Romania’s presence within NATO and the UN peacekeeping force.
The Romanian government’s stand on the treatment applied to immigrants by the Hungarian authorities is in line with the positions expressed by the EU states and institutions as well as by other international bodies- shows a communiqué made public of Thursday. Romania reiterated that the building of a fence at Hungary’s borders with its neighbors, meant to stop the flow of immigrants, did not comply with the European norms. The Romanian government officials believe it is critical to observe these norms and human rights. For the time being, Romania has not been a target of the refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa who want to reach west European countries. However, it could become a transit country after Hungary built a fence on its order with Serbia. Thousands of people heading for the west already reached Serbia on Thursday. In Brussels, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, announced an extraordinary summit of the heads of state and government would be held on Wednesday September 23rd. Asked by Germany and Austria the summit will precede a new meeting of the EU interior ministers.
Until 2023 Romania will have to pay over 4.8 billion euros to international lenders out of the stand-by loan concluded in 2009, the Public Finance Ministry has announced. The IMF loan has been paid in full but Romania still has to reimburse 4.8 billion euros to the World Bank and the European Commission. In 2009, Bucharest signed a 24-month loan of 12.95 billion euros with the IMF, part of an aid package approved by the IMF, the EU and the World Bank. Under the agreement, Romania has received seven out of the eight installments envisaged. The eighth was considered, upon the request of the Romanian authorities of a precautionary type, and was not used. Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has said that Romania no longer needs loans from the IMF and the European Commission adding that in a period of unrest in the region and in Europe, agreements with these institutions are a good thing, though. In another development, a World Bank delegation has arrived in Bucharest, as Romania's latest agreement with international lenders is due to expire this month.