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Romania: shame and sanctions instead of EU presidency?

Bucharest does everything in order to take away euro-headed ones?

With the beginning of the new year, that is, almost a month later, the EU presidency should move to Romania. However, instead of actively preparing for such a responsible task, the Romanian authorities, on the contrary, are doing everything in their power to take away the euro. Bucharest leads the country to image losses, new large-scale protests, resignation of the government and early parliamentary elections.

A month before the start of Romania's presidency in the EU, the country is once again experiencing an aggravation of the domestic political situation. The reason for this is all the same: the attempts by the authorities in the face of the ruling PSD (Social Democrats), or rather the supporters of their odious leader Liviu Dragan, to change the anti-corruption legislation, which would mean a significant relaxation in the fight against corruption. As a result, today there is an increase in the confrontation between the government - the president, the government - the opposition, the government - the law enforcement system (the courts, the prosecutor's office, in particular, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA)), the government's discontent with society is increasing. In addition, the antagonism between the Romanian government and the EU is intensifying, in which they are extremely dissatisfied with the constant efforts of the Romanian authorities to stick sticks to the wheel of an anti-corruption machine.

A recent statement by President Klaus Johannis about Romania's unwillingness to take over the presidency of the EU and the report of the European Commission (EC), in which the Romanian government sharply criticized, is a reflection of how complicated the situation is in Romania's domestic cuisine.

This report is probably one of the worst in Romanian Euro-history. The main part of the criticism in it concerns the introduction of new amendments to the legislation governing the functioning of the justice system. It is criticized and attempts by the government to restrict the independence of the judiciary, especially the prosecutor's office.

The reaction of the Romanian authorities to the report was extremely acute, moreover, not entirely adequate. Thus, Romanian Prime Minister Viorik Dancila expressed surprise and disappointment at the same time as the report, and also stated that the European Commission was seeking to violate the sovereignty of the country. Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said the report was politically motivated and is a model of double standards, and also threatened to appeal to the European Court on this matter. However, the representative of the PSD, who is deputy chairman of the lower house of parliament, Florin Jordan, went further. Coming from the parliamentary rostrum after an emotional commentary on the report of the European Commission, he showed both hands the middle finger of the opposition, which caused a wave of ovations from the latter.

In addition, representatives of the governing PSD have for a long time stated that there is a parallel state consisting of a justice system, a presidential institution, special services and a part of the police. And after the report of the European Commission, in their words, this parallel state has received EU support.

However, Romanian society and local media do not share the positions of the corrupt part of the Romanian authorities and constantly "reward" it with a crushing criticism, as well as when the authorities are already completely "do not hear the shores" - massive street protests.

Fortunately for the Romanian society, and for the state as a whole, the system of justice on their side. In the case of a report from the European Commission, representatives of the Union of Judges stated that, in accordance with the Romanian legislation in force, the recommendations contained therein are entirely correct and binding. The report of the European Commission was also supported by President Klaus Johannis and DNA leader Anka Yurma (the successor of Romania's main anticorruption body, Laura Koveshi), which the Minister of Justice can not change at a loyal to corrupt elite PSD prosecutor.

As a result, instead of preparing for a euro-headed sweat in a sweat, Romania de facto does everything to be taken away from it. The deterioration of the situation and the recent resignation of Minister of European Affairs Victor Negrescu, who, in fact, was responsible for this training. Interestingly, Negresh himself is a representative of the young Social Democrats in the PSD leadership that is pro-European, as well as part of the internal opposition to his chief, Liviu Dragni. And on Monday, in protest of Dragnan's participation in the "manual management" of the party, left the post of head of the Moscow branch of the PSD and mayor of Bucharest, Gabriel Fiera, who PSD leadership was afraid of dismissing because of its popularity among the population. Fier, by the way, is considered to be the leader of the above-mentioned intra-party opposition to Liviu Dragni.

The reason that part of the governing PSD stubbornly continues to put its own interests above the state is due to their sense of certain sins and the unwillingness to share the participation of their chief Draghan through them. He has already been sentenced to 3,5 years of imprisonment, but he still has a strong influence on his associates.

Dragni is trying hard to get out of the water, and besides appealing to the court's decision, he continues to press all levers of influence he has at his disposal, first of all in parliament and government. As a result of this work, he, in particular, managed to amend the legislation governing the appointment of five members of the Supreme Court of Romania - the second and final instance, which should consider his appeal and bring him a final sentence. The essence of Dragni's "maneuver" was to amend the law by updating the composition of the Supreme Court and, therefore, ensure that the case is re-examined by the new formation. Taking into account the fact that the institution itself will begin work only two months later, Draghi apparently bet on the time for which he hoped again to press the levers and thus avoid punishment. And everything would probably have happened to him if there were not a few "but". First, despite the renewal of the composition of the Supreme Court, he has no chance to break his people up to him. Second, both past and present members of the Supreme Court are ready to convict him. Thirdly, the charges against Dragan themselves are very serious, and the evidence is indisputable.

In addition to changing the law, Draghani tries to approach his release, on the other hand, in particular through the advent of an extraordinary government decree on his pardon. To issue it today there is a lack of consent of the Minister of Justice Toader, who had always followed the instructions of his boss. However, this time it stubbornly refuses to do so. He explains his position by the fact that such a decree confesses to Liviu Dragni. In fact, the minister is well aware that his signature under the decree of pardoning Draghan will mean the end of his career, and will inevitably lead to major protests in the country, like those that were in January 2017 year.

At the same time, while the omnipotent PSD chief is struggling to avoid punishment, the parliamentary opposition in the lower house (123 MPs) is preparing a vote of no confidence in the government and is negotiating with representatives of the internal opposition PSD, which seeks to rid itself of the disastrous for their political power of influence Liviu Dragan. If you believe in the Romanian media, the opposition has already managed to enlist the support of the 42 MPs from the PSD. In this context, it should be noted that to nominate a vote of no confidence, a nominal half + 1 vote is required from all 329 deputies of the lower house. Consequently, after carrying out usual arithmetic calculations, one can see that the prospects of the current Romanian government are not very rosy.

Not a rosy prospect in Romania itself, which through internal strife, has every chance to get rid of the right to preside in the EU. Moreover, in the event of such a development, the country, in addition to a significant deterioration of the international image, will face painful fines, in particular financial ones. And this will likely lead to a new wave of protests, which may result in the resignation of the government (of course, if it does not happen before) and the appointment of early parliamentary elections.

So far, the PSD leadership in the country is stubbornly continuing to go worst for it and for the state as a whole.

Igor Fedyk

Glavcom