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The PSD-dominated Olt river floods Victoria Palace

GEORGE MARINESCU (TRANSLATED BY COSMIN GHIDOVEAN)
English Section /

The PSD-dominated Olt river floods Victoria Palace

Apparently, Viorica Dăncilă changed her mind on expelling Paul Stănescu, the leader of one of the most powerful county organizations of the Social democrats: "I consider all my colleagues act on good faith. They will prove that they were wrong, when the vote of no-confidence comes".

Normally, that should help the turbulence in the PSD simmer down, after last week, three significant members of the social-democrats have abstained from the program imposed by the Joint Permanent Bureaus of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate and have favored the program requested by the political Opposition; the consequence is that the vote on the motion will be held tomorrow, in mid week, when the MPs are present in large number, rather than on Saturday, when the regular absence of many of them would have advantaged and helped the Dăncilă government.

Among those who are guilty of causing the defense plan of the PSD to fail is senator Paul Stănescu, the president of the county organization of PSD Olt, former deputy prime-minister, minister of Regional Development and Public Administration and vice-president of the Social-Democrat Party, Radu Preda, group leader, and Viorel Arcaş.

So, the PSD members in the Oltenia region would have no reason to be concerned over the fate of Paul Stănescu as member of the PSD, since Dăncilă said that she believes him that he has just made a mistake.

But the regional PSD leaders have no faith in Dăncilă and claim that she hasn't changed anything compared to the leadership of Liviu Dragnea, who used to say one thing and do another.

The supporters of Paul Stănescu believe that Viorica Dăncilă will proceed with the leader of PSD Olt the same way that Liviu Dragnea acted in the case of Valeriu Zgonea. Let's remember that Valeriu Zgonea hung on to the chair of president of the Chamber of Deputies that he wouldn't let go even with Dragnea, Ponta and Băsescu together trying to remove him.

Despite the reassurances by Dăncilă, distrust by the PSD members of Olt is making them close ranks around Paul Stănescu so that we are witnessing the strange situation where Viorica Dăncilă claims that she is not going to punish Stănescu, and the lower members of the PSD are yelling for him to be left alone.

The leaders of PSD Olt yesterday gathered in the meeting room of the County Council, at the summons of County Council president Marius Oprescu, to vote in support of Paul Stănescu.

The Oltenian social-democrats have put an end to any speculation and political games from Bucharest, prior to the motion of no-confidence, voting almost unanimously in favor of Paul Stănescu staying in place as president of the PSD Organization in the county.

Probably because of the frenzy of the vote at that stage, it was announced that he got 153 votes, out of 152 members present.

They then made a correction and stated that 152 out of 153 members present in the team, voted in favor of the current leader of PSD Olt.

According to the statement issued following the vote, this was necessary because rumors were circulated in the public space about a possible removal of Paul Stănescu from the Olt County Organization. According to the document, Stănescu will not vote in favor of the no-confidence motion.

He received a massive vote of confidence from mayors, deputies, parliamentarians, county and local councilors and presidents of local organizations from PSD Olt.

The curious thing is that in the end of the press release signed by Marius Oprescu, the executive president of PSD Olt and president of the County Council of Olt, it is stated that the people who want to take over the leadership of PSD Olt, may only do so according to the bylaws and in a democratic manner and are being invited to run as part of the County Elections Conference.

Let's try and clarify.

In the beginning of the press release, Oprescu speaks about rumors of removal, and then in closing refers to people who want to take over the leadership of PSD Olt.

It follows that in fact, the rumors are actual information, as we have been told by sources from the interior of the social-democrat branch of Olt and that, from Bucharest, Viorica Dăncilă gave the greenlight for the replacement of Paul Stănescu, for whom she has already found an interim replacement.

That would be nobody else but PSD secretary general, Mihai Fifor.

One of the participants in yesterday's meeting said:

"Viorica Dăncilă tried a maneuver. She summoned in Bucharest six social-democrat mayors from our county, for whom she approved the funding of some projects, trying to get them on her side. The prime-minister complained to the six about the attitude of Paul Stănescu and she said that the PSD Olt leader would be inclined to vote against the government. The six mayors who were in the meeting have reported those things and how the meeting in Bucharest with Dăncilă went. They think that the president of the PSD tried to set a trap for them and to initiate the elimination of Paul Stănescu through them. The next step would have been the appointment of Mihai Fifor as interim president of PSD Olt. That information has also reached Paul Stănescu, but he doesn't believe that the prime-minister wants to remove him from his position as the head of PSD Olt, even though he has had several conflicts with Viorica Dăncilă over the last year".

The quoted source claims that Dăncilă wants Paul Stănescu removed, because he has also been in conflict with Liviu Dragnea and they haven't backed the decision of the prime-minister to run for the position of president of Romania and he hasn't backed Viorica Dăncilă in the Congress in her bid to become president of the PSD. Moreover, it seems that Dăncilă was informed that Stănescu would like to become the president of the PSD, if the current social-democrat loses the presidential elections.

It it is rumored that yesterday's meeting of PSD Olt was held without Paul Stănescu, the leader of the county of Olt PSD organization being notified.

The local PSD members used this method because they are worried that in Bucharest a decision to remove Paul Stănescu will be made immediately after the vote on the vote of no-confidence.

Another participant in yesterday's meeting told us: "All the maneuvers are set up by Darius Vâlcov and by the former PSD Olt deputy Nicolae Stan. We have no power. But, we want to use this avenue to warn Viorica Dăncilă that if she takes any action against Paul Stănescu, she will find herself in Bucharest, in the next meeting of the National Executive Committee, with all the PSD Olt officials officials holding local and national positions, and with a large number of the county branch".

The threat of the PSD Olt branch comes as on November 10th, we are officially entering the campaign for the presidential elections which will see their first round on November 10th.

It seems that for that reason, Viorica Dăncilă will be forced to step back when facing Paul Stănescu, regardless of the outcome of the vote of the motion of no-confidence, to avoid electoral campaign difficulties in the county of Olt.

In the last elections, the county of Olt has brought up many votes for the PSD on a national scale, second only behind the Teleorman social-democrat organization.

Contacted by BURSA, Paul Stănescu declined to comment "matters which concern the internal affairs of the PSD".

AS THE VOTE OF NO-CONFIDENCE NEARS,

Additional funds promised to social-democrat mayors

Viorica Dăncilă is raising the stakes of the vote for the no-confidence vote. To make sure that the social-democrat parliamentarians will vote against the motion, apparently the PM has decided to pressure them through the local PSD politicians. So, aside from the budget correction of 1.7 billion lei in favor of the mayoralties which was going to be approved last Friday by the government, the National Forecast Commission yesterday published the list of the 469 projects for which financing from the Fund for Development and Investments was approved.

Out of the list of projects, most of them concerning the modernization of alleys and local roads, stand out the huge amounts allocated to three county councils led by PSD barons. The General Mayoralty of the PSD, led by Gabriela Firea (PSD), receives 104 million lei, just like many communes from the counties of Teleorman and Olt, known as social-democrat fiefs.

The total amount of the 469 projects is 7.36 billion lei.

One month ago, the Government and the National Forecast Commission, have approved 116 projects, with a total cost of approximately 2.3 billion lei.

Now, the County Council of Neamţ, led by Ionel Arsene, is set to receive 521.9 million lei for the "Integrated Modernization, Consolidation and Rehabilitation of county roads and bridges project, which ensure the connection to the TEN-T network of the Neamţ county".

The Maramureş County Council, led by social-democrat Gabriel Zetea, will receive 102 million lei for "The asphalting of the county roads network", while the Dolj County Council, led by Ion Prioteasa, would earn 62.4 million lei for "maintenance works on DJ641, on the boundary of the Olt County -Albeşti (DN65F)".

Bucharest, led by Gabriela Firea, would receive 104 million lei from the state budget for the project "Penetration and junction between Splaiul Independenţei-Ciurel-Bucharest- Piteşti Highway".

The City of Buzău, led by social-democrat Constantin Toma, will receive 150 million lei for transport infrastructure maintenance works, while the city of Alexandria (in Teleorman), led by mayor Victor Drăguşin will receive 44.6 million lei, for maintenance works and current repairs of the pedestrian and road infrastructure.

In Ilfov County, the city of Snagov, led by Marian Oancea (PSD), will receive 172 million lei for the expansion of the sewer network and increasing the capacity of the sewage treatment plant and expanding the drinking water supply network.

The curious thing is that for most of the works that will be financed from the state budget by the Dăncilă government, there are non-reimbursable European funds. The action of the National Forecast Commission, of the members of the Government and of the PSD mayors shows once again that they are not interested in accessing European funds, in submitting projects to the European Commission, but in burdening the public budget debt with infrastructure works.

(G.M.)

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