Romania’s Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Monday evening that as long as he is Romania’s prime minister, he will not accept Romanians continuing to be “humiliated” by Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer’s opposing Romania’s joining the Schengen area, adding that the latter’s position is unacceptable. Also, Ciolacu said Nehammer was a hypocrite, as cited by Agerpres.
Ciolacu said that if Austria again uses its right to veto Romania, he will appeal to the European Court of Justice and ask the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament to join in this process.
First of all, what Austria does not understand, or I think it understands very well – and you saw that the Austrian people understand better than the politicians. What Chancellor Nehammer is doing is unacceptable. First of all, I, too, am prime minister, and he is transient. You have the right to veto. The European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament have made a recommendation that Romania has deserved this for ten years; it is meeting absolutely all the technical requirements. You have the right to veto, but you have to justify it. That’s why I said that as long as I’m Romania’s prime minister, I won’t accept the chancellor as a hypocrite and continue humiliating Romanians and Romania.Marcel Ciolacu, Romania’s Prime Minister, about Austrian Chancellor
The statement was offered to CNN Antena 3, a private broadcaster in Romania, when asked to confirm that Romania would block Austria’s participation in NATO meetings, as two Austrian officers have been waiting for months to be accredited to NATO. Still, their access is delayed by Romania, which asked for time to think.
While Romania respects all the sanctions against Russia, all of them without exception, while Romania helps the Republic of Moldova stop being dependent on Russia – and at this moment, I can tell you for several weeks that the Republic of Moldova has been independent of Russian gas – you, Austria, are a neutral country, don’t spend a single euro on defence acquisitions. Romania increased its GDP allocation from 2% to 2.5% to deter Russia from doing what it wants to do. And you come up as a hypocrite and say that Romania has no right in Schengen without justifying your veto at all.Marcel Ciolacu for CNN Anena 3
The prime minister also said that Austria has continued to buy oil and gas from Russia for almost 7 billion euros since the war started.
“From my point of view, it is money that Putin uses in the Russian economy further to support the war in Ukraine, dirty cash. But you come up – although everyone proves that there is no migration through the territory, 2% – 3% pass through Romania – but you come up and say: ‘Sir, I am against’ (…) Romania loses at least 2% of its GDP by not joining the Schengen area”, Ciolacu added
He added that Romania will not impose economic sanctions on Austria but respects the sanctions imposed on Russia.