What is Romania's governing party planning?
Romania's governing Social Democratic Party has elected a new leadership at a special congress - with the exception of the post of leader, which continues to be held by Liviu Dragnea. Romania's media focus on the man they believe is pulling the strings from behind the scenes.
Criticism just bounces off party leader
All the criticism of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea in the media is just making him stronger, România Liberă warns:
“Liviu Dragnea's plan for the country is currently the best because there is no other plan. ... The PSD congress on Saturday put Liviu Dragnea in the spotlight once more. It doesn't seem to matter whether he is shown in a favourable light on TV or being torn apart by an aggressive minority that is extremely dynamic online. ... Whether this is the media's intention or not, challenging Dragnea is the best PR for him. And the people here in Romania are more interested in investment projects, bigger pensions, and job security than in the independence of the judiciary.”
What Dragnea wants
Even if party leader Liviu Dragnea is barred from becoming head of government because of previous convictions it was he who defined the party's future course at the conference, Europa Libera points out:
“He wants to marginalise foreign capital. He wants quick changes to the laws that would make the secret services subordinate to the government and parliament. He wants changes to the penal legislation and to Romania's foreign policy, where the Republic of Moldova remains an important partner but the balance of power between Europe and the US is shifting and China is gaining importance. Moreover he has stressed the importance of 'pragmatic cooperation' in the region with Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, but has made no mention of the contribution to the Schengen Area.”