‘Presidents can’t resign in times of crisis’ says Romanian head of state

Newsroom 26/01/2012 | 12:58

There are by far more Romanians who are discontent with the current situation in the country than those who protest in the streets and some no longer see the president as a partner, said Romanian President Traian Basescu on Wednesday in his first public address since the beginning of antigovernment protests almost two weeks ago.

He explained that he perceives that there is a “split” in the relation with the president for some Romanians, and pledged to regain the trust of the part of the public who has lost it. The president stressed that he doesn’t consider “the option of resigning unless it becomes obvious that this is the solution. “My profession is ship commander and I have never missed a destination – I will not miss the destination with Romania either”, said the president. He also rejected claims that he is a “dictator,” adding that despite the pressure of such labels, he would continue to support any state institution fighting against corruption.

Referring to the austerity measures in the past couple of years, Basescu said he is aware of the situation faced by the nation but insisted that the measures were necessary and that Romania emerged from recession thanks to the public’s efforts. “We are where we should be. Thanks to the population’s efforts, Romania has emerged from recession”, he stated. Basescu added that he believes that statistical data which will be published in February will show the GDP grew by 2.5 percent in 2011.

The president said he and the government will have to create the path to “a new country” for Romanians, which will necessitate revising the Constitution and adopting a new election law. He also urged politicians to adopt “modest and decent conduct,” and warned the parties that until they reform themselves, their claims of attempting to modernize the country will lack credibility.

Basescu took most of the responsibility for the “failure” in presenting the new healthcare bill, the initial trigger for the protests, but added that a new bill is a necessity. He insisted on the need to continue the fight against corruption, create jobs and improve EU fund absorption, as well as make autonomous administrations more efficient and do away with the political clientele.

Simona Bazavan

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