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Ionita (EFOR): No anti-European speech is justifiable in Romania

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The President of the Expert Forum (EFOR) Sorin Ionita maintains that large parties but also smaller political formations, by radicalizing their discourse, legitimate the "nationalist-populist" trend, which could lead in the coming years to the emergence of relevant extremist formations.

The convergence with the EU was quick and represents a historic success of Eastern Europe and the benefits of integration into the Western system of values cannot be challenged, stressed Ionita, on Tuesday, at the launch of the "Populism 2.0 and the rebirth of alternatives to liberal democracy" report.

Fortunately, we do not have extremists in Parliament, I did not have and we don't have any after this round of elections. (...) That is the full half of the glass. The empty half is that in Romania, discourse at the centre is becoming radical. ( ...) And I read an article once that this is what happened in Hungary, Jobbik's footpath was made by the opening speech of the FIDESZ (e.n. the Hungarian Civic Alliance) (...) This is my fear for Romania. The major parties, first of all the Social Democratic Party (PSD), because they have a history in this direction, to go towards nationalism, closure, protectionism and so on, but I do not exclude others. The People's Movement Party (PMP) clearly legitimizes this kind of discourse and then the true heart and soul representatives will appear or even people who honestly believe in something like this," said Sorin Ionita.

He added that the political developments are "fast-paced" in Romania and one will not know, a year from now, which will be the most anti-European party.

"Developments are fast-paced, we do not know which will be the most anti-European Romanian party, a year from now. We see surprising actors that you would not have expected. I mean, you would not have expected that someone like Tariceanu (Senate Chairman, president of Alliance and Liberals and Democrats — ed. n.) to be the anti-Western, anti-multinational spearhead, and to invent, at least rhetorically for now, Roexit. (...) ", declared the President of EFOR.

According to Ionita, "in Romania, no frustration discourse is justifiable, only to the extent which it refers to to certain losers of post-communist transition."

In his view, there is a process to catch up with advanced countries in respect with "the economy, quality of life, quality of governance which cannot be denied and contradicts the miserable speech contesting the EU, contesting the benefits of integration in the Western market and the Western system of values and so on."

At the conference, alongside EFOR experts, were present representatives of NGOs, political and economic analysts. The Annual 2017 EFOR Report "Populism 2.0 and the rebirth of alternatives to liberal democracy" can be read on the Expert Forum website.

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