Romania: How long can Dragnea hold out?
Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the ruling party PSD in Romania, has come under pressure after a group of investigative journalists called the Rise Project gained access to information that potentially proves that the Tel Drum construction company embezzled public funds. This company was allegedly under Dragnea's control in the past. Romania's press sees Dragnea in a tight spot.
PSD chief in trouble
Dragnea is caught in a downwards spiral, notes Radio Europa Liberă:
“His credibility within the party is in doubt, after he failed to rush through an amnesty law to save those who were under investigation for corruption or who had already been convicted. The Social Democrats are also beginning to lose voters. A survey carried out in September by the polling institute IMAS shows that only 28 percent of Romanians would vote for the PSD. This means that the Social Democrats have lost almost 20 percentage points in the two years since the election.”
Getting rid of inconvenient puppet master
The compromising data could stem from Dragnea's former yes-men, the weekly Revista 22 speculates:
“The case feels like a reckoning between protector and protected. Clearly there was a short circuit in relations between the former local bigwig from Teleorman [Liviu Dragnea] and his servants from the construction company Tel Drum or his lackeys in the state authorities, who could generally be referred to as 'the system'. The events show that the man who essentially ruled the country [as the puppet master in the cabinet] for almost two years no longer has any protection. He would not be the first person to become inconvenient and dangerous for the system and thus be disposed of in this way.”