Political crisis in Romania

The political crisis continues in Romania after the referendum held on 29th July. Although defeated at the referendum, the suspended president Basescu benefits from the lack of quorum which normally should enable him to return to office. Until the Constitutional Court presents its final decision (probably on August 31), the political deadlock is being punished by the business environment demanding the politicians to reach an agreement as fast as possible.

UPDATED:

Court sets new date for referendum decision (Romania Insider)

The “Russian mountains” Constitutional Court (Mediapart.fr)

Romanian PM says end to country’s political crises is near (The Guardian)

Romania seeks to probe ex-minister in referendum row (Reuters)

EU’s Barroso scolds Romanian premier on judicial “intimidation” (DPA)

Romania says EU misinformed about impeachment row (AFP)

The EU can’t ignore its Romania problem (WSJ)

Swoboda accuses PPE of not reacting to Basescu on matters of justice freedom (Mediafax)

  •  The Social-Liberal-Union (Governmental Alliance) contested the results regarding the quorum, which, whether approved by the Constitutional Court, shall entitle the suspended president Traian Basescu to return to office, even though 87% of the voters said yes to him being removed from office. Most likely saved by the lack of quorum and due to his urge to boycott the vote addressed to his supporters, Traian Basescu is waiting for the final verdict of the Constitutional Court on 31st August deciding upon the validity of the referendum.
  •  Meanwhile a couple of ministers of the Ponta Government left the office, two of them being charged to supply the number of Romanian voters, accused pressure from political figures coming from both political groups.
  •  The Social-Liberal-Union stated that the number of voters in Romania is smaller than the one taken into account at the referendum. The authorities calculated approximately 18 million voters, but the Social-Liberal-Union politicians argued that Romanian electorate is smaller. Should such a hypothesis be taken into account, the quorum should have been reached and Basescu defeated. Nevertheless, Ioan Rus and Victor Paul Dobre, the leaders of the Ministry of Administration and Interior designated to check the figures resigned during this dispute, blaming both the suspended president and the interim president, Crin Antonescu, for putting pressure.
  •    This was also the case of the Romania’s Constitutional Court who called on Venice Commission seeking support by grounds of political pressure. The Venice Commission demanded the cease of pressures and threats made against the judges of the Constitutional Court “I appeal to all state authorities and political parties of Romania to fully respect the independence of the Constitutional Court and to refrain from exercising pressure.” said the chairman of the Commission, Gianni Buquicchio. But another surprise came after the appeal: several judges declared they didn’t sign the letter sent to the Venice Commission.
  •  The Constitutional Court draw attention to the fact that the Romanian citizens residing abroad should also be taken into account when establishing the referendum quorum. This observation comes after the press published information concerning a possible legal artifice excluding from the voting lists the Romanian citizens from abroad. Considering that millions of Romanians are working in European countries, such a decision should have tipped the scale against Traian Basescu. But, again, the lack of consensus inside the Court was revealed: several judges denied they signed the paper.
  •  The impacts of the political crisis are felt by the business environment. Mugur Isarescu, the governor of the National Bank of Romania, addressed to the political figures using harsh words, urging them to come to a settlement in order to break the deadlock. Isarescu said that the political tension produces great damage to our country’s external perception and politicians who cannot handle dialogue should go home instead of taking the population out in the streets.
  •  ING Bank estimated that the national currency shall depreciate against the euro by the end of this year. In following months the euro shall reach a threshold of 4.85 RON by the end of this year, currently the threshold is of 4.53 RON. The estimation takes into consideration the protraction of the unstable political environment especially as the end of this year shall bring about elections for the Parliament and all these on a difficult European background.
  •  A delegation of IMF is currently in Bucharest to discuss with the Government and the Central Bank. The IMF expressed worries over the effects of recent political situation in Romania were having on its economy.
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