Things are happening. First there was the self-detonation of the “resist” binomial from the Dragnea-Tăriceanu government: Tudorel Toader and Viorica Dăncilă. The former Minister of Justice and the former Prime Minister suddenly started talking about how they were pressured by Dragnea and Tariceanu (Nea Nicu and Coana Leana of the PSD – ALDE dictatorship) to issue a new Ordinance for amnesty and pardons, and they resisted heroically. Toader pretending not to understand, and Dăncilă, who really didn’t understand, pretending to listen.
Less than 24 hours later, what was left of the ALDE parliamentary group officially melted into PSD, the party to which they belonged anyway, in body, soul and wallet, since its formation. And with that, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu’s last political adventure ended.
Almost at the same time, President Klaus Iohannis met with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban to start the process of „repairing the laws of justice,” destroyed by PSD. The statement that is worth noting, in particular: „It takes a determined and courageous step.”
Why? Because it gives a lot of weight to the phrase that followed: „The government will come with a legislative initiative to repair the laws of justice.” In translation: there will be a substantial change, which will give a boost not only to the legislative framework, but also to many of the institutional links destroyed by the PSD + ALDE – Parliament – CCR triangle. The aim: to create the premises for the resumption of the fight against corruption.
Even if they do not seem to belong to the same story, the three events are still very closely related.
Once the coalition led by Dragnea and Tariceanu came to power at the end of 2016, Romania went through three years in which the main concern of those in power was to destroy the justice system, to offer immunity to their leaders, but also to a vast network of political and economic partners, as well as partners who could influence the media.
Funny as they may be, the statements made by Tudorel Toader and Viorica Dăncilă will be recorded by historians. Because, whether we like it or not, they were the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister of Romania. They have fully contributed to a miserable chapter in the history of the state, and now they are actually taking responsibility for what they did, in an intricate and reluctant manner.
It doesn’t matter that Toader and Dăncilă see themselves, or present themselves, as heroes and that in reality they were merely servants. They, as individuals, have absolutely no relevance. They are speaking in the capacity of temporary occupants of two extremely important positions in the state. On the other hand, their confessions, made on order, have a very important purpose. That of closing a black chapter in the history of Romania, of attributing the main guilt to the great villains, those who hired them as puppets and of preparing the launch of a new beginning.
The same can be said about the „defection” of the last ALDE remnants to PSD. A political partnership ends that became visible thirteen years ago, in 2007, with the formalization of the PNL-PSD alliance and which went into a coma with the conviction of Liviu Dragnea and the exclusion of Călin Popescu Tăriceanu from the table of important decisions taken by the Social Democrats . Significance: the anti-rule of law, anti-justice, anti-deep partnerships with the West, pro-Putin and pro-Viktor Orban front has shrunk significantly. It is now concentrated in a few PSD phalanxes, which are trying hard to return to the helm of the party.
„A determined and courageous step is needed” is the overt message given by Klaus Iohannis for the restart of justice and the beginning of the great payment for the pillage committed during the honeymoon years of the PSD – ALDE government. But also for the defeat of all political forces and their allies, who thought they could turn Romania back to the pre-2005 status quo. Justice is called again not only to stop the assault of the greedy caste against the citizens, but also to restore the balance of power between those who want the good of Romania and those who fight to maintain the country in underdevelopment and in the sphere of influence of neighboring and hostile powers.
In the next period, I will return to this topic, which has become much more complicated due to the geostrategic changes caused by the pandemic and its consequences. Until then, let’s go back in time to the springs that determined Tudorel Toader to refuse to the former PSD leader the much desired Ordinance for amnesty and pardon. Because the pact with the devil made in those years will be the point from which the anti-corruption fight will be renewed.
More precisely, let’s go back to November 2018, when Tudorel Toader tried in an abject attack on the General Prosecutor to notch up yet another success, similar to the one he had with the dismissal of Laura Codruța Koveși:
„The story with the Minister of Justice who accuses Augustin Lazăr for closing a case of Klaus Iohannis in 2014 is sordid! The case was, in fact, filed by a prosecutor with the same last name as the General Prosecutor. Why would Toader stoop so low? (…)
He did it, first and foremost, to defend himself from Liviu Dragnea. He created a diversion to keep his position for a while, without caring that it would tarnish the General Prosecutor’s reputation or that he would prove to be an unscrupulous liar. Let’s go into details.
From the very beginning, since he requested the dismissal of Augustin Lazăr, the Minister of Justice pursued two goals. The first is the one officially assumed, without embarrassment: the removal from the leadership of the Public Ministry of a person who stubbornly resisted the devastating anti-justice anger of the PSD-ALDE coalition. Of a magistrate who dared to confront him publicly several times. Of a head of an institution that stands in the way of Călin Popescu Tăriceanu, the sponsor and conductor of the Minister of Justice.
But the second goal, the hidden one, made Toader turn the attempt to revoke Lazar into an embarrassing circus, which he knowingly fuels, through more fabricated accusations and gross attacks: strengthening the image of a fierce fighter against the „parallel state”, who does not hesitate to shamelessly lie in order to overthrow an alleged vector of the influence of the „parallel state” in justice.
Why does Toader sacrifice the remnant of credibility he has left to give even more strident evidence of full commitment to the fight against independent justice? Because he is in a more vulnerable position than ever. Dragnea, not Klaus Iohannis or Augustin Lazăr, has become his greatest enemy, and the efforts to oust him from the helm of the Ministry of Justice are intensifying day by day. Toader is Dragnea’s obsession today.
Why? Because he refuses the only thing that can save him, a new Emergency Ordinance on amnesty and pardon. Nothing else, not even the replacement of Koveși and Lazăr, will be useful to him, in the end, if he fails to escape convictions. And as things stand at the Supreme Court, there is a good chance that in a few months he will receive a new sentence, this time having to serve it.
Why has Toader done a thousand foul tricks since he has been Minister of Justice and now refuses to do one more, which would guarantee him Dragnea’s eternal gratitude, positions and money? Because he is afraid of the criminal consequences of a new Nuclear Ordinance (just as Viorica Dăncilă is), but especially because Tariceanu won’t let him do it. And as Dragnea cannot do without Tariceanu, because otherwise he loses the majority in Parliament and with it the government, he aimed all the cannons at Toader, whom he has been struggling for months to replace with someone who will take responsibility for a new Government Emergency Ordinance 13.
How has Toader endured all this time? First of all, through the total support received from Tariceanu, who wants Dragnea to lose the PSD leadership, because otherwise, in 2019, he will not be able to run for president. Only if Dragnea leaves the political arena Tariceanu has a chance to be supported by the Social Democrats in the race for Cotroceni.
But Tariceanu’s support would not have been enough if Toader had not paraded his fight against Koveși and the president to convince the PSD elected officials that he also serves their interests, like a soldier who is devoted one hundred percent to the war with the „parallel state.”
He might give the Emergency Ordinance on amnesty and pardon or not, but otherwise he does them all! Is it enough? For Dragnea, Vâlcov and a few other obedient servants of the PSD leader, it is not. But for the bulk of the PSD and ALDE armies, it is. When he began the vile attack against Lazăr, Toader relied on this increasingly visible fracture that split between the interests of Dragnea and his court clique and those of the rest of the PSD leaders.
He knew that against the background of the hysterically directed assault on the most important redoubt of prosecutors, it would be impossible for Dragnea to convince enough members of the Executive Committee to support his being reshuffled, or enough parliamentarians to overtly vote PNL’s motion against him. Why would you oust from the Government such a brave minister, who is so loyal to the anti-justice cause?
Augustin Lazăr is by far less irritated by Tudorel Toader’s accusations than Liviu Dragnea, the one who normally should have rejoiced. Part of the nervousness he could not hide in recent days is caused by the skillful game of the Minister of Justice. Toader’s spectacular display of baseness completely disarmed him.
To fire him now would have meant that Dragnea would confirm the accusations brought against him by all his rivals, that he was the secret agent of the „parallel state” and that he would have no hesitation to do it again, if that would save him from prison. And how else but as a gift made to Augustin Lazăr and the „parallel state” would the vote in Parliament given by Dragnea’s parliamentarians for the landing of Toader have been perceived?
All PSD members know that such a betrayal would have been impossible without Dragnea’s approval and even active involvement. At that moment, his narrative that he was not fighting only for his own salvation would have finally collapsed. And if Dragnea is to be dethroned by something from the helm of PSD, it will be this rupture from the interests of the vast majority of important leaders.
For Dragnea, the Emergency Ordinance on amnesty and pardon has become a matter of life and death. This is what it also meant for the other barons of the party in January 2017. Today, this is no longer the case. Even for those who still have open criminal cases, it has become clear that the vise of justice is no longer as tight as it is for Dragnea and Vâlcov. Paul Stănescu is relaxed, as is Gabriela Firea and many of their group.
From this point of view, between Dragnea’s opponents and the majority of Executive Committee members who still hesitate to join them, there is a bridge of understanding that needs no explanation. Absolutely everyone wants to get rid of any fear that DNA will take them out of bed in the morning or that the trials they have will eventually lead them to prison. But on the other hand, if I weigh the fact that, practically, since they came to power, there has been no fight against corruption and that the vast majority of the files that Dragnea and the televisions he finances point to are from another era, the result is not so unfavorable to them.
For almost two years, they did what they wanted with the huge amount of money that the „rebels” Grindeanu, Tudose and Dăncilă spilled on them and no one questioned them in any way. And then, is the „parallel state” which Dragnea is trying to set them against so bad that it is worth risking everything by fighting against it with the weapons of a foreign occupation force?
Is it possible that this phantasmagoric „parallel state” only has a problem with those who want to destroy all the institutional architecture that has ensured the evolution of Romania in the last 13 years? ”
The editorial „What is behind the attack of the Minister of Justice against the Prosecutor General” was published on November 2, 2018