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Romanian PM: Secret police in German press

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Romanian PM: Secret police in German press
Conspiracy theory. Photo: DPA
09:20 CEST+02:00
The Romanian prime minister has claimed that secret police from his country have infiltrated the German press in a bid to sabotage his rule.

Premier Victor Ponta claimed that former Soviet-era agents were operating within the German media and that they were to blame for critiques of his administration.

He said agents whose loyalties lay with late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu whose secret service, the Securitate, had hidden operatives in the ranks of the press. He blamed them for bad press coverage when he tried to have political rival, Romanian President Traian Besascu, impeached.

"In Germany, Ceausescu's former Securitate has and continue to have its best men in the press," Ponta told the television channel Antena 3. Despite their German names, said Ponta, they "speak Romanian as well as you and me."

"There are people there who, if you look at the last 20 years, are the only ones to write about Romania and they do it 'correctly'," he said.

Ponta's ruling centre-left coalition tried in July to remove centre-right Basescu, but this move failed as the number of voters in favour of the measure fell short of the required threshold of 50 percent of the electorate.

The coverage had meant that a planned September meeting of European socialist parties needed to be switched from its planned venue in the Romanian capital Bucharest to Brussels, Ponta said.

Members of the German centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) had not wanted to visit Romania in anticipation of a general election in Germany next year.

"I didn't want to cause any problem," said Ponta, explaining that he had not protested against the change of plan. The premier added that he "sincerely" hoped that Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats would lose the general election.

AFP/The Local/rc

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