Thursday, January 29, 2009
Romania Will Handle Economic Crisis, Says President
BUCHAREST, Romania—Romania has less to worry than other nations during the economic crisis, President Traian Basescu recently declared, emphasizing that focus should instead be on the modernization of the country.
Basescu spoke during the official 150th anniversary celebrations of the founding of Romania, in a ceremony held in the Eastern city of Focsani. In 1859, the countries Moldavia and Wallachia united to form a single sovereign state.
“Romania needs modern education and healthcare, but most importantly, a modern political class,” he said during his speech, emphasizing the country's need for modernization. “We need the modernization of the Constitution, of the national institutions, and, more than anything, the modernization of our way of thinking.”
The president's remarks appear to follow a trend initiated two weeks ago, when he proposed modifying the constitution to reduce the number of chambers in parliament (forming a unicameral legislature), and to eliminate legal immunity for parliament members. Parliamentary immunity has obstructed legal proceedings against officials faced with serious corruption charges in the past.
He also added that, in his view, in case of amendments to the constitution, Romania should go to a parliamentary republic with semi-presidential governance, which would increase the number and importance of the President's prerogatives.