Tensions between ALDE and SDP. Dragnea’s veiled threats and Tariceanu’s billion Romanian Lei reply
Over the last week, Liviu Dragnea has had a couple of extremely hostile political gestures towards ALDE, and Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s party started to fight back. Irked by Tudorel Toader’s (supported by Tariceanu) refusal to promote the amnesty and pardon emergency decree, Dragnea warned on Monday that both the Justice Minister and the Senate chairman positions rightfully belonged to the SDP. It was a way of reminding the ALDE leader that he is the second man in the State through the goodwill of the SDP, and that this could change at any moment.
Moreover, on Friday, the head of the SDP made an important and forceful gesture against ALDE, announcing at the meeting of the party’s executive committee that he would replace Andreea Lambru, head of the General Secretariat of the Government (close to ALDE), with Toni Grebla, supported by the SDP. The reason was the same as above: the GGS’ opposition to some legislative changes in the Justice area. Practically, Dragnea put Tariceanu in front of a fait accompli as he transferred the key position of Government General Secretary of the Government from ALDE to SDP.
ALDE sources told G4Media.ro that Tariceanu was extremely irritated by Dragnea’s warnings. As a matter of fact, since the beginning of the year, the relationship between the two has significantly cooled down. On the one hand, Tariceanu knows he cannot enter the presidential election as Dragnea’s partner, because this position would make him lose any hope of votes from the pro-reform electorate. On the other hand, Tăriceanu has in common with Dragnea the anti-justice agenda, without being pressed by the urgency of a trial, as in the case of the SDP leader.
The first reaction from ALDE came on Tuesday, when the Minister of Energy Anton Anton rejected an official document through which the SDP lawmakers were attempting to put important state-run companies under political control. The Ministry of Energy rejected an official SDP initiative to remove corporate governance from the largest state-owned companies. The document, made public by USR deputy Cristina Pruna shows that the Ministry of Economy has begun the management selection procedure for seven of the major companies in which it is a major shareholder, including Hidroelectrica, Nuclearelectrica and Romgaz.
The stakes are very high in this case: practically, this move represents the SDP’s attempt to take control of companies that have a combined turnover of billions of Romanian Lei.
Moreover, because of the alliance with Dragnea, Tariceanu has begun to face strong contestation within the European family of which the ALDE is part. On Tuesday, September 25th, during a meeting in Brussels, Dutch MEP Matthijs van Miltenburg, a member of the European ALDE – the political family of the party led by Tariceanu – wrote on Twitter : “I asked him what measures he intends to adopt in order to fight against corruption, theft and the development of Romania. An hour later, the Dutch MEP returned to Twitter: „No concrete answer from Mr. Tariceanu. Only smoke screens „.
(Traducere: Ruxandra Stoicescu)
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