Politeía Digest

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Posts Tagged ‘Basescu

The Washington Post: About a Political Disaster – 3 in 1

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Romania’s repressive moves

By Editorial Board, Saturday, July 14, 2:24 AM

COVERAGE OF THE crisis in Europe has tended to focus on economic questions, such as whether Greece or other governments will default on their debts or whether the euro currency will survive. The growing political damage to institutions, and to democracy itself, is sometimes overlooked. But in several countries there has been an alarming erosion of political comity and constitutional checks and balances, driven by populists who exploit the public’s dissatisfaction with economic hardship. Read the rest of this entry »


Krugman NYT : Separating Law and Politics in Romania

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Another post from my Princeton colleague Kim Lane Scheppele, after the jump:

 Separating Law and Politics in Romania

Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University) and Vlad Perju (Boston College Law School)
12 July 2012

As the Romanian political crisis spirals into dangerous territory, it helps to understand what is legal, what is political, and where the line between the two is blurred. Ordinary party politics is a contact sport that can generate much public passion, but it is perfectly legal. Constitution-smashing conduct crosses the line into revolutionary territory. The actions of the Ponta government combine polarized party politics with a constitution-smashing revolution.

Since the last post on this subject, the Romanian parliament voted Friday by 256 to 114 to remove President Basescu from office. On 29 July, the Romanian electorate will be able to confirm or reject the parliamentary vote. If the people vote to oust Basescu, which the polls predict they will, he must go. In the meantime, he is suspended from office.

Ponta and his allies have been so intent on removing Basescu that they have stopped at nothing to achieve this result. They changed the referendum law to make it easier to rid themselves of Basescu. They have fired the ombudsman, the only person who could challenge the government’s decrees before the Constitutional Court. They have ousted the presidents of both chambers of parliament in order to bring the line of succession for the presidency into their party alliance. They threatened to remove justices of the Constitutional Court who had sided with Basescu in the past and – when international criticism roared about the threats to the judges – instead cut the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court. The prime minister’s allies also seized control of the official gazette in which all legal documents must be published before they can take effect, which theoretically gives them the power to delay the publication, and thus the entering into force, of decisions contrary to their political interests. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily News – May 17th.

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Week of massive protests kicks off nationwide

Unions are getting ready for the biggest industrial action yet, called for Wednesday, when some 40,000 people will protest in Bucharest against the government decision to cut public wages and pensions.  Mothers will gather today in front of the Labour Ministry to protest against the cabinet intention of cutting childcare leave pay.

Last week, President Basescu said cutting public expenses might not be enough to reduce the budget deficit, and other tough measures might follow.  Despite massive criticism against the cabinet, the head of state claims PM doesn’t have to step down. However if the austerity measures fail, the government will have to take responsibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

May 17, 2010 at 10:03 am

Daily News – April, 26th.

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Basescu, sceptical about EU 2020 Strategy targets

President Traian Basescu on Friday voiced scepticism that Romania can reach some of the Europe 2020 Strategy targets, more specifically the allocation of 3 per cent GDP to research and innovation. During a debate called “Looking towards the future” Romania and Europe 2020 Strategy,” Basescu said the EU document asks for one percent of GDP be allocated for research by the government and the other 2 per cent come from the private business environment.

If the government doesn’t have a problem allocating 1 per cent, at least on paper, it will be very hard for the private sector to come up with a 2 per cent contribution,” he said, quoted by Mediafax news agency. Moreover, Basescu wondered if Romanian research is able to efficiently use 3 per cent of the GDP. “Is our research able to focus on major objectives and have results in due time if the state and private sector make such an effort? This is a question that we have to answer by April 29,” the head of state said. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

April 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

Daily News – April, 23rd.

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Basescu assures Barroso: Romania will have a functional integrity agency

President Traian Basescu assured European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, yesterday in Brussels, that Romania will keep its commitments in the fight against corruption, by assuring the functionality of the National Integrity Agency (ANI), whose activity is discontinued now, after the Constitutional Court declared as non-constitutional two articles of the ANI law. “With regard to ANI, which was simply disbanded through a decision of the Constitutional Court – not literally disbanded, but deprived of its attributions, I assured the Commission president that Romania will keep its commitments of having a functional integrity agency, capable to meet its targets of controlling the wealth of dignitaries and the source of their financial resources,” Basescu said, quoted by Mediafax. According to Agerpres, the head of state told the EC president that the Romanian government will issue an emergency ordinance regarding the National Integrity Agency, after it sees how the Constitutional Court justified its verdict. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

April 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

Daily News – April, 21st

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President seeks gov’t explanation

President Traian Basescu yesterday summoned cabinet members to Cotroceni Palace for talks that focused most of all on budget system expense cuts. The talks were attended by PM Emil Boc and all ministers, except FM Teodor Baconschi, who is on a visit abroad, but also by several presidential aides. In the opening of talks, the first consultations between ministers and president held at Cotroceni Palace, the head of state underlined that he summoned cabinet members to learn their point of view on a wide range of issues, such as reducing budget expenses, cutting social expenditures and EU fund absorption rate. In the context, Basescu said the measures taken by the government are difficult, brave, yet absolutely necessary. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

April 21, 2010 at 9:58 am

Daily News – April, 19th

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Poland buries President Kaczynski in Krakow

KRAKOW – Tens of thousands of mourners gathered in Poland’s ancient capital yesterday for the burial of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, but volcanic ash over Europe prevented many world leaders from joining them. U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those forced by the ash cloud to abandon plans to attend the funeral in Krakow for Kaczynski and his wife Maria, killed in a plane crash in western Russia on April 10.

However, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev managed to fly to the city, reinforcing a strong message of Russian solidarity since the crash that has raised Polish hopes for an improvement in long-strained ties with their communist-era overlord. Romanian President Traian Basescu traveled to Krakow by car. Read the rest of this entry »