(Image source) Not much news to update you on and anyway, I'm sick and tired of the whole political scene in Romania. I'm sick of the lies, the slandering, the rudeness, the way people talk to / about each other and the general inability to see a civilised, intelligent debate where people aren't ripping strips off each other and dung-flinging... It's hard to filter, hard to know what one should read, heed and pay attention to and what is there to manipulate and purposely mislead. I still abide by 'content over author' but I have had so much criticism for it. Tough, is what I say to that. Perhaps a Romanian can navigate the rocky path of their politics better, but for me, it's becoming an uphill battle and immensely time-consuming, not to mention frustrating, upsetting and infuriating.
The only news really worth mentioning at any length this evening is the reports that four (three Romanian and one Spanish) journalists are being attacked for apparently writing a pack of porkies which have caused the international community to see the country in a negative light. That comes as a surprise to me since I thought the country's politicians (on both sides) had done that very nicely all by themselves with plagiarism, back stabbing, attempted suicides, criminals allowed to vote for the impeachment of a president, breaking laws, paying protesters to go out into the streets and behaving in ways that would shame and disgrace any country at the best of times, bringing upon them a clamour of condamnation from the EUP and other international institutions.
Fortunately, these journalists are supported by an independant organisation, Activewatch, which seems to be on top of things, but it's still outrageous to me that such a witch hunt can occur in 2012...
Then there's the story about the two magistrates being investigated by the DNA for trading jobs with Ponta. I understand that they tried to enter an illegal agreement with him but I'm afraid I didn't pay more attention. See more HERE.
Other news: Victor Ponta said he apologised for his rather rude response to/about Angela Merkel after she condemned his controversial actions of late. On Monday, Ponta retorted that it wasn't Chancellor Merkel who would vote in the July 29th referendum, but the Romanian people, and underlined that what Romanian voters chose could not be undone. He also voiced confidence that after the referendum, no German Christian Democrat would dare offend the Romanian people in suggesting the country was a dictatorship. He actually meant 'offend him' rather than 'the Romanian people', but I won't split hairs at this point or I'll get hate mail. He asked rhetorically: “What, are we a colony?” What sublime arrogance this man has...
Today, he said, “I regret that answer now, but according to normal logic, if you discuss something with one side, you have to discuss it with the other side too before passing judgment. Mrs. Merkel did the same thing that she did in France during the campaign. She said clearly that she was supporting a candidate and then, immediately after the elections, in a very Western and pragmatic way, she said she had excellent relations with the new president, Francois Hollande.” That doesn't actually count as a 'western' apology, Mr Ponta. It's a 'sorry' with a retraction. Not the same thing at all. You either say your sorry or you don't.
He left for Brussels this morning to try to smooth things over and explain himself after having become the target for much criticism from high ranking EU officials. Joseph Daul refused to see him.
“He just asked me to meet with him, ten minutes ago. I said no,” the EPP group leader said, according to the Bucharest Herald. Rather a humiliating happening - it will do Mr Ponta good to have someone tell him 'no' for once, I'm sure. “I wish to have a debate in the European Parliament over this matter. I will invite the Romanian PM to come and explain to Parliament the manner in which he changed so many laws and decisions in a few days, what the final end was,” Daul continued. There's a lesson to be learned there, Mr Ponta - there are some people you can order around and ... some people you can't.
In a press conference with President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, Ponta said that he and his government had taken note of the criticism and accusations and intended to "respect CCR decisions and legally and objectively organise the referendum.” There's a difference between 'intending' and 'promising' when it comes to the organisation of a legal and objective referendum to my mind, but hey, that's just me.
Schulz seems to have given Ponta rather a hard time. "Victor Ponta is my friend, we are part of the same European political movement, but as a Premier, he mustn’t leave room for interpretation. Our conversation wasn’t among the friendliest ones. I wasn’t silent two years ago when Basescu chose Premier Boc, instead of Mr. Iohannis, and now I have had the same attitude,” Bucharest Herald reports. Schultz also said he spoke to Jose Manuel Barroso a few days ago, who would check Romanian procedures for their accordance with EU standards.
Most of the Romanian population may be inert and half asleep but the EUP is wide awake, it seems....
Apart from all that, it seems that everyone has now gone into overdrive with one aim in view and one aim only - the referendum on 29th July. It is as if life will either begin or end with it... Indeed, it is of paramount importance to us all, whether we are able to vote or not and on whichever side of the fence we sit.
Oh and I almost forgot: The most philosophical quote of the last 24h comes from Crin Antonescu, who said, according to Bucharest Herald, "Romania is not in crisis, but in a normal situation." Sure... and I'm the Queen of Sheba... No further comment.
Further articles of the day which merit your time (please do feel free to suggest others should you conside them valuable for the understanding of the current situation in Romania today) for views on both sides: Apocalipsa veselă (Florin Iaru for Adevarul), What's it all about in Romania? (Paul Wood - An Englishman in Bucharest), Unde au disparut marii corupti (Stelian Tanase), Top liberal who backs the "cheat's uprising" in Romania (Tom Gallagher - The Commentator), De ce a fost indispensabil Traian Băsescu? (Andrei Cornea - Revista 22), Fight to the death between president and government (Presseurop), Colonia Romania (Florin Negrutiu - Gândul) and Asteptand rinocerii (Vlad Zografi - Hotnews).