EU socialists say Romania’s Victor Ponta is ‘fully unreliable’

In an interview with EURACTIV last month (3 April), he even said he would campaign for socialist Spitzenkandidat Frans Timmermans in Romania. [EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT]

Romania’s former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who has left the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) and formed his own ProRomania party, is not reliable because he changes his mind about political alliances every week, a high-ranking EU socialist told EURACTIV.com.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the member of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament said: “Ponta is fully unreliable”.

“He abandoned the socialist party, then he attempted a comeback and now he joins the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).”

In October 2018, Ponta told EURACTIV that he was disappointed by the “guilty silence” of the Party of European Socialists (PES) regarding the grave breaches of rule of law, European and socialist values by their socialist member PSD, which leads the Romanian government.

Ponta has insisted that ProRomania, which EU Commissioner Corina Cretu also recently joined, is a very pro-European party and vowed to “join only a European political family which is promoting a more integrated Europe and a progressive agenda”.

In an interview with EURACTIV on 3 April, he said he would campaign for socialist Spitzenkandidat Frans Timmermans in Romania.

In the end, he joined the ECR, as confirmed on the ECR Group’s website.

The description of ProRomania’s goals makes no reference to the EU and promotes a rather pro-business profile:

“The PRORomania party was founded in 2017 as an alternative to the sluggish development of Romanian society. As a pro-business political party, it supports limiting state intervention in the economic, encouraging instead strategic investors, both national and foreign, who support the industrial reconstruction of the country and want to help Romania adapt to new technological standards. PRO Romania believes there should be a return to values, meritocracy, respect for professionalism and expertise and principles that can drive real change in society.”

In October 2018, EURACTIV was informed that Richard Milsom, chief executive of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE), also participated in the ProRomania congress in the same month.

Asked if that meant a political flirt with this parliamentary group, Ponta said Milsom had been invited by Laurentiu Rebega, a Romanian MEP who is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

“Some members have a friendship relationship with Richard, but ProRomania is a pro-European progressive party and has never initiated a process to join the ECR. ProRomania is opting for a progressive, pro-European political family,” Ponta said at the time.

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