We often hear public voices on the side of Western or local supporters of President Traian Basescu say that in Romania there is a danger – as they call it – of a dictatorship of the majority. The Parliament – the institution which directly represents the will of the voters, the main forum of democracy in a country – is subject to daily tough criticism just because USL ‘dared’ unseat the last government of the Basescu-PDL regime, changing the parliamentary majority. Traian Basescu’s supporters in Brussels, such as Mrs. Viviane Reding, recently said in an interview for ‘Le Monde’ that the change of majority and the replacement of the former speakers of the two Chambers had stood for some sort of parliamentary ‘putsch’. As ironic as it may seem, she had been contradicted, by the Constitutional Court that ruled that the replacement of the two PDL Parliament Speakers was legal and in line with the constitution and in total respect with the rule of law norms.
On the other hand, Viviane Reding, Jose Manuel Barroso or Catherine Day have never declared the slightest concern about the degradation of rule of law in Romania during the successive governments of the presidential Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) between 2009 and April 2012. All that time, the Commission has never spoke about the violation of essential rights and liberties of Romanians given the arbitrary and economically unfounded austerity measures such as closing down hospitals or schools (which are now being reopened without endangering the public deficit…), reduction of social security benefits to mothers and children or severely disabled persons, by breaking the basic rules of parliamentarianism and the adoption of antisocial legislation by votes of confidence and always ignoring the amendments introduced by the opposition, labour unions, employers’ organisations and civil society (the politically non-regimented one). All that happened while public funds were being embezzled and wasted on non-priority projects (some of which were really hilarious - for example developing gondola lifts while leaving cancer patients without their vital cytostatic therapy) and in the context of an unprecedented surge of corruption and colossal public funds embezzlement against which no prosecutor dared take any action. Speaking of justice, all these years, the Commission has not seen that the judiciary was being subjected to constant pressure and that both the General Prosecution and the DNA were answering to political orders, although the example were standing out a mile. Mrs. Reding saw nothing out of the ordinary in the fact that the president of the country was suggesting to the members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) whom they should elect to lead them, as she didn’t got suspicious about the fact that the same president was congratulating Judge Pandrea on his appointment at CSM the voting actually took place or that he was paying night calls to the Constitutional Court to convince the judges not to rule against Parliament decisions, of course when the dictatorship of the PDL majority was ruling the country in the most discretionary manner. The change of the parliamentary majority when the ruling party or alliance lost people’s support – do not forget that PDL was down to less than 15 per cent, Basescu - 10 per cent and USL was up to over 65 per cent at the time – is a natural occurrence in any democratic country. But today, ignoring the will of the majority, Traian Basescu’s supporters at the European Commission are playing with fire and even with the future or democracy and of the rule of law in Romania. Because, if people’s will is disregarded once, two times, three time, ten times, any citizen can easily come to the conclusion that it is not worth even making the effort of going to vote because his/her vote doesn’t count anyway and because the chips are already down as decided someplace else, leaving a door wide open to the rebirth of an antidemocratic regime right at the heart of the European Union. This is not a utopian scenario. It may happen any moment now, in the context of the steep economic decline, and not only in Romania. Right after the burst of the financial crisis in 2008, shaking capitalism and western world from their foundations, the head of the European Commission was saying we may well see civil wars and installation of authoritarian regimes in Europe.
The question is whether the European Union is equipped to prevent the materialisation of such a terrific scenario by finding a right balance between preserving democracy and fight against recession. So far, the score is clearly to the detriment of democracy and that should really be a warning signal to all the citizens of Europe. Is saving economy worth the price of sacrificing democracy? It seems incomprehensible to a majority of Romanians who lived under the most terrible dictatorship in the Eastern-Soviet space that, all of a sudden, because of transient interests pertaining to geo-strategic considerations, the West is favouring the perpetuation of the Basescu regime at all cost. It seems obvious that democracy has become an obstacle in the way of such interests that seemingly can only be catered for by an obedient and friendly regime that asks not much in return, only petty things such as preserving its privileges and immunity from prosecution. We wouldn’t be the first nation of the world in this situation, for big democracies have always backed many autocratic regimes just because so their interests dictated but certainly we would be a first inside the European Union, the biggest democratic block of nations in the world. Almost two years ago, the regimes supported by the West in the Arab world fell like domino pieces. We mustn’t forget that the U.S wanted a transition to democracy in Egypt with the participation of Mubarak, or that Germany was willing to give him safe shelter, as we should not forget the French stammer on the first days of the riots in Tunisia…. The will of the majority born out of free election (in theory, because, as we realised during the 2009 presidential poll, the result of the vote was actually reversed by fraud and the rules imposed by Brussels for the referendum on the impeachment of the president artificially declared the winner of the 2009 election also annulled the almost 90 per cent pro-dismissal vote) is not dictatorship, but is actually the core of democracy and those who are now trying to drive an 180-degree turn are playing a dangerous game with inappreciable consequences.
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