President Traian Basescu Sunday said that he lost trust in PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, stressing however that this was his "personal" feeling that the two of them are not rowing the boat in the same direction anymore, which "had nothing to do with their institutional relations, which stayed correct."
Basescu explained that he lost his confidence in Tariceanu because the government did not fulfill part of its promises during the electoral campaign.
Basescu, speaking at the Pro West Show on Pro TV, explained he works well with Tariceanu, on an institutional level, while "the human interconnection regrettably was lost."
"As you could well see, that may work too," said Basescu, giving the example of the meeting both leaders had with the Committee for Contingency Planning addressing the issue of the rising Danube waters which caused extensive floods.
Basescu added that he did not regard Romaniaâs European Integration as a target enough for the country, as the government seemed to believe. He also said that replacing the prime-minister by 1 January 2007 would not amount to an act of political instability, but to applying a constitutional mechanism.
The first time Basescu expressed regrets about appointing Tariceanu as PM was on April 5, at "Marius Tuca Show," on Antena 1 television channel, when he also said that he thought Tariceanu would stay closer to him, but later turned out that the latter preferred the company of others.
When pressured by Tuca, Basescu admitted that by saying "others" he meant Tariceanuâs long time friend Dinu Patriciu, the president of the Rompetrol Group NV, Romaniaâs second oil company, who is indicted for tax evasion and other economic crimes amounting to hundreds of millions of euros.
Basescu also said it was not true the explanations the liberals gave as to why the PM should be a liberal. In past weeks liberal politicians explained that the PM was and should be a liberal since, according to the political agreement between the two major ruling coalition partners - the Democrat Party and the National Liberal Party - the two split the two highest positions in the state between them. Hence, if the PD gave the President, the PNL should continue to give the prime-ministers for the country.
Basescu refuted that statement, at the same time stating there was no danger of political instability, "even if on the face of it, the relationship is mired by conflicts."
Basescu also said that the package of laws reforming the health care system should be corrected, though he signed it into law. He said he was unhappy with the level of preparedness of the draft laws dealing with the transportation and the education sectors.
He also said it was impossible for Romania to have the EU raise a safeguard clause against its accession for delays in implementing the IT system monitoring the tax collection.
Basescu also reminded the constant help Romania got from the US "including in those areas which might have activated the safeguard clauses of the EU" against the countryâs accession to the regional economic organization.
Puiu Hasotti, vice-president of the PNL reacted to Basescuâs Sunday interview, saying that he should read once again the protocol singed between the two parties, before dismissing as bed-time stories the liberalsâ stance on the issue of what party should give the prime-minister. He added the misgivings the liberals have regarding this political alliance "are even bigger, but they do not make them public."
Teodor Melescanu, also PNL vice-president, showed that as long as the institutional relations worked, the mutual recognition of less than friendly relations the President and the PM had could do not harm.
Basescu also commented on the lustration draft law, stating it collided with the constitutional provisions and that it was not requested by the European Union prior to the countryâs accession, and yet deemed it as morally welcome.
Translated by ANCA PADURARU