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President Emmanuel Macron: “I salute the work of the Romanian president who doesn’t let his country get out of hand”


French president Emmanuel Macron praised Romanian president Klaus Iohannis for the way he has steered his country in the right direction and for not letting Romania follow on the footsteps of Poland and Hungary.

Macron, who presented his one-year report in a TV show on Sunday, also addressed the populist and illiberal trends in some EU countries.

“In Europe, the so called illiberal democracies are on the rise,” Macron said, mentioning the attacks on democracy and justice by political leaders in Poland, Hungary and “some in Romania”.

“I salute the work of the Romanian president who doesn’t let his country get out of hand,” Macron said.

Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea referred on Monday to a recent statement made by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, according to which there are 'some' in Romania who wish to weaken the magistrates' independence; Dragnea claimed rather obliquely that perhaps there are institutions that affect the Justice's independence, but underscored that the government in Bucharest wishes to do good things for Romanians and not "make them look good for some or others."

"I carefully read everything President Macron says, the more so as it is my understanding that he and President Iohannis have a special relation, so they are two important presidents in this world and there he wrote: there are some in Romania who oppose the independence of Justice or who wish to affect the independence of justice. Now I, not having a direct line with Mr. President Macron, and since I did not participate in the secret meeting between the Foreign Affairs minister [the French minister, ed.n] and the DNA [National Anti-corruption Directorate, ed.n.]' head - I assume it is diplomatically common for such meetings between a foreign Foreign Affairs minister and a prosecutor in Romania to take place - I wouldn't know what he meant. Perhaps he referred to institutions when he said 'some', maybe certain institutions want to affect the independence of justice, so since I do not have the information, I cannot comment," Liviu Dragnea stated at the end of PSD's National Executive Committee meeting.