To the barricades.
‘An amnesty and pardon law would be a catastrophe for Romanian democracy. I would do everything in my power to stop it.’
The president’s statement came in response to all sorts of rumours regarding the intention of the newly installed PSD/ALDE-backed government of Sorin Grindeanu to pass such an amnesty and pardon bill as soon as possible. No PSD, ALDE or government figure has yet denied the rumours.
While the options open to Iohannis to block such a bill are limited, his statement today (made at a meeting of the Magistrates Council) should serve as a rallying point for the opposition. Following yesterday’s announcement by erstwhile prime minister Dacian Ciolos that he would be setting up, along with a few members of his government, an NGO to ‘assist the opposition parties’ it does look as though an awkward squad is beginning to form. It would be nice to see the USR become a part of it. Both the PNL (which yesterday once again publicly blamed Ciolos for its disastrous showing in the general election) and the PMP (whose leader Traian Basescu is currently trying to do all he can to discredit the DNA, Romania’s anti-corruption agency) already appear to have gone over to the darkside.
It is now time for the rest of the country to decide whose side they are on: the side of decency, honesty, transparency and a functioning justice system? Or the side of corruption and organised crime?