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Merkel takes Romanian envoy to task over crisis

The Local · 13 Jul 2012, 08:11

Published: 13 Jul 2012 08:11 GMT+02:00

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The German government expressed to the ambassador "its continued serious concerns over domestic political developments in Romania," said the spokesman, Steffen Seibert, in a statement.

The rebuke from Berlin came as Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta travelled to Brussels in a bid to convince European Union leaders that his drive to oust the president did not threaten democracy.

Moves to impeach President Traian Basescu and curb the powers of the Constitutional Court have raised concerns about domestic politics in the former communist bloc nation that joined the EU in 2007.

"In the view of the federal government, the measures taken in the past few days by the Ponta government to curtail the powers of the Constitutional Court and shift responsibility for publishing court decisions seriously endanger the principle of the separation of powers," Seibert said.

Berlin expects Bucharest to "comprehensively publish and implement all verdicts of the Constitutional Court," added the spokesman.

Basescu, who has been suspended from his functions by the parliament for now, has alleged the real goal of his opponents in the Social Liberal Union (USL) coalition is to bring the judiciary under its control.

But Basescu has himself faced counter accusations of trying to dominate the judiciary since he took over in 2004 as well as over-reaching his powers.

Senior EU officials have warned that the centre-left government's actions could slow Romania's full EU integration, including its bid to join the visa-free Schengen travel area.

Story continues below…

The country's candidacy has been blocked by the Netherlands so far.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:31 July 13, 2012 by Englishted
These "Senior EU officials " are just looking for another state to bail out and what difference does visa-free make? ,the rules are never kept to anyway.

Plus why does Germany speak out when it is a job for Cyprus as E.U. president?
10:00 July 14, 2012 by ChrisRea
Romania does not need a bail-out. It actually has one of the lowest national debt in Europe (about 40%, well below Germany for example). This is also because of the austerity measures of the previous conservative governments (much tougher as the ones Greeks are supposed to implement).

Of course, these measures led to conservatives (centre-right) losing support in favour of centre-left, who formed a new government two months ago. As many from the parties now in power are corrupt former communists, they started a blitzkrieg in order to control the most important institutions (justice being probably the most important, as it was pretty independent in the last years and that led to the conviction of a former prime-minister from this party). The issue with this race for power is that they crossed the law couple of time, including direct violation of the Constitution.

Germany is not the only one who speaks on this matter. Among others, it was also France, USA and of course the EU - through Manuel Barosso (President of the European Commission), Martin Schultz (President of the European Parliament) and others).
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