04BUCHAREST3447 / 2004-12-15 17:00:00
Embassy Bucharest
                UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 003447 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE - WILLIAM SILKWORTH 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, KDEM, SOCI, RO 
SUBJECT: ROMANIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT TRAIAN BASESCU SETS OUT 
KEY OBJECTIVES IN ACCEPTANCE SPEECH 
 
REF:  BUCHAREST 3160 
 
THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PROTECT 
ACCORDINGLY 
 
1. (U) Summary.  In his first speech after acknowledging his 
win in presidential run-off elections, Romanian President- 
elect Traian Basescu emphasized EU integration, poverty, 
political influence on state institutions and corruption, 
all key Basescu themes in his presidential campaign.  He 
highlighted another campaign plank - the importance of a 
strong trans-Atlantic alliance.  Basescu also stressed that 
the PNL-PD should lead a parliamentary governing coalition. 
End Summary. 
 
A Jubilant New President-Elect 
------------------------------ 
2. (U) President-elect Traian Basescu accepted victory 
December 13 in a brief, nationally televised speech in which 
he acknowledged the concession of his competitor, center- 
left Social Democratic Party (PSD) PM Adrian Nastase. 
Flanked by  senior members of his center-right Liberal- 
Democratic (PNL-PD) alliance bloc -- including PNL leader 
and potential Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu -- 
Basescu  outlined the priorities for his administration, 
stressing themes he had raised repeatedly throughout  the 
campaign. 
 
Seeking a PNL-PD led Majority 
----------------------------- 
3.  (U) Basescu said his first priority would be to form a 
parliamentary majority that would allow him to  implement 
with "total force" Romania's plans for integration into the 
European Union.  "We are aware that after closing 
negotiations, there are still extremely difficult 
obligations," ahead for Romania, Basescu declared.  He 
stressed that Romania's EU accession obligations could only 
be implemented by a government led by the PNL-PD bloc.  He 
stressed that the alliance had obtained 161 seats in both 
parliamentary chambers, while PSD without its Humanist Party 
(PUR) ally, had obtained only 160.  Basescu said he intended 
to attract to the PNL-PD led coalition the parliament's 
"democratic parties," namely PUR and the ethnic Hungarian 
party (UDMR).   Basescu said he will work to "unite the 
Romanian nation," including Romanians  living abroad. 
 
The Costs of EU Integration: Informing the People 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
4.  (U)  Turning again to EU accession, Basescu said that 
Romania's primary foreign policy goal is joining the EU  in 
2007.  He said the process would surely fail if  Romania's 
leaders do not fully explain to the Romanian people the 
costs and implications of integration.  As long as the 
general public  sees "Europe" as a matter of concern only 
for the government, fewer and fewer Romanians would support 
integration once the costs become clear.  He underscored the 
need for an integration process with a "unified people who 
accept the costs of  integration in exchange for the 
satisfaction that follows integration." 
 
Combating Poverty 
------------------ 
5. (U) Basescu said that Romania should not be allowed to 
"hide poverty behind statistics." He said too many 
pensioners receive  allotments that are lower than their 
monthly bills for winter heating, or electricity, or gas; 
too many farmers become poorer and poorer even in years with 
good harvests; too many of Romanian youth have begun to 
believe that Romania is not a country where they have 
opportunities.  He said addressing these problems would be 
his priority as president.  He acknowledged that combating 
poverty would have to take into account the realities of the 
state budget, but stressed that the country would not 
achieve cohesion as long as the state "humiliates millions 
of citizens" through poverty. 
 
Securing the Independence of State Institutions 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
6. (U) Basescu announced that he viewed as a "special 
priority" the need to remove state institutions from 
political influence.  State institutions should function 
according to the constitution and laws, not through the 
"involvement of politicians in justice, police, the 
prosecutors office" or other places where "serious issues 
concerning the legal process are dealt with."  Basescu vowed 
to be a president who would "watch over and protect" state 
institutions from any kind of political influence.  He 
cautioned that the replacement of the PSD would not simply 
mean the arrival of "new political masters" but that he 
would ask all of the leaders of Romania's institutions to 
fulfill their duties according to the law. 
 
Corruption:  "A threat to National Security" 
-------------------------------------------- 
7. (U) Echoing a theme he iterated during the presidential 
campaign, Basescu characterized high-level corruption as a 
"threat to national security."  He promised to include the 
fight against corruption in Romania's National Defense 
Strategy. Basescu stressed that key governmental 
institutions, including the Justice and Interior Ministries 
and national intelligence agencies, would be charged with 
battling corruption. 
 
The Transatlantic Relationship: Bucharest-London-Washington 
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 
8. (U) Basescu declared that strengthening Romania's 
security relationship with the United States and United 
Kingdom is the foundation of Romania's national security 
strategy.  Hearkening to a theme that he first elaborated 
during a nationally televised presidential debate five days 
before the December 12 election, Basescu praised the 
"Bucharest-London-Washington" alliance.   Basescu described 
Romanian as a bridge between the western values, as 
represented by the EU and NATO, and former communist Eastern 
European states.   According to Basescu, Romania should 
maintain friendly relationships with Russian, Ukraine and 
Belarus in order to help provide a "stabilizing force" on 
NATO's frontiers.  Basescu also observed that Romania and 
Moldova (which share a common language, culture and history) 
constitute one nation living in two countries and that the 
"Romania has the obligation to treat Moldovans as good 
Romanians." 
 
Praise from Independent Analysts 
--------------------------------- 
9.  (U) Journalist Bogdan Ficeac lauded Basescu for his 
insistence that state institutions should strive to be 
apolitical, observing that  "I haven't heard any other 
politician speaking so firmly about this matter."" 
Respected NGO Pro Democracy's leader Cristian Pirvelescu 
said that depoliticizing state institutions depends on the 
"reconstruction of the lawful state," which was not 
respected during the PSD rule, when "state institutions were 
captive."  He also stated that "political equilibrium leads 
to economic equilibrium."  On the other hand, editorialist 
Bogdan Chirieac opined that Basescu's talk of a "Washington- 
London-Bucharest" had stirred uncertainty, confusion and 
perhaps even annoyance not only in the U.S. and UK, but also 
in France and Germany.  (Comment: EU Ambassadors here in 
Bucharest have been asking the Ambassador and U.K. 
Ambassador Quinton Quayle for an explanation for Basescu's 
remarks.  End Comment) 
 
Comment 
------- 
10. (SBU) Basescu's speech contained no surprises and 
tracked with themes he had stressed during the campaign. 
The speech's delivery reflected Basescu's typically up 
front, direct speaking style and represented an attempt to 
build on the momentum generated by his surprise victory 
December 12.  Basescu spoke with a victor's confidence: his 
insistence on a PNL-PD-led parliamentary government clearly 
rejects the possibility of a governing parliamentary 
coalition including the PSD. 
 
10. (U) Amembassy Bucharest's reporting telegrams are 
available on the Bucharest SIPRNET Website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/bucharest. 
CROUCH 
Crouch 

            
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