Basescu: It’s out of question to make financial assistance conditional on justice progress

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President Traian Basescu said on Wednesday it is out of the question that the financial assistance to Romania be disbursed contingent upon the progress made on the obligations Romania has taken upon in the justice sector.

‘Such conditionality is out of the question. However, we certainly cannot ask the European Commission not to mention the verification mechanism in the financing memorandum or in one of its documents, since we have problems in justice. This is a matter we agreed upon by the EU Accession Treaty, i.e. that the justice monitoring continue.

But the disbursement of the financial assistance cannot be made conditional on the progress, on the positive developments or on backtracking in achieving the obligations we have’, Basescu told the public radio station.

The president stressed that adding such a condition is unacceptable, since Romania has already been imposed a penalty, as its justice sector does not function in line with the European parameters.

‘Such a penalty is related to that fact that the Romanian court rulings are not recognised in the European Union territory. It is unacceptable to link such conditionality that we have under the Accession Treaty to a loan’, he added.
Basescu admitted, however, that there had been an intention to introduce the justice verification mechanism as a conditionality.

‘I spoke to (European Commission president) Barroso, we spoke to (European Commissioner for economy and monetary policy) Almunia, to the member states, to the EU Czech president (…); finally, we accepted that such a mechanism should be mentioned, but we did not accept that the five instalments of the loan be made conditional on the report on the mechanism of cooperation and verification on justice.

We were afraid that in case the disbursement of the instalments had been made contingent on the mechanism of cooperation and verification on justice, then the duration of the tranche disbursement and the repayment of the 5 billion would have been extended to about five years’, the head of state explained.
He pointed out it is possible that in case the loan is made contingent on such issue Romania might give it up.

‘I hope the justice verification mechanism will not be introduced as a condition for disbursing the tranches’, he said, adding that economic requirements only can be imposed.
Basescu reiterated that efforts must be made to continue the fight against corruption and to avoid the involvement of the political factors in justice.

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