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Jean-Claude Juncker doubts that the Bucharest gov't is fully understanding what it means to chair the Council of the European Union

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker asserted in an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag, quoted by DPA that he doubts that the Bucharest gov't is fully understanding what it means to chair the community bloc for six-month period, as Romania is taking over from 1 January 2019 the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"Romania is technically well-prepared for the six-month presidency of the Council of the EU starting in January - thanks also to the active support of the European Commission. I believe, however, that the government in Bucharest has not yet fully understood what it means to take chair over the EU Member States. For prudent negotiations, you also need a readiness to listen to others and the firm will to put your own wishes aside. I have some doubts there. What is more, Romania's internal situation is such that the country cannot act as a compact unit in Europe. There needs to be a united front at home to foster unity in Europe as well during the presidency", Jean-Claude Juncker told Welt am Sonntag in the above-mentioned interview.

The ruling PSD (Social Democrat Party, ed. n.) leaders have reacted on Saturday night to the statements made by the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker regarding to what degree Romania is ready to take over the presidency of the EU Council, asserting that actually the guilty for the stalemates among the state institutions is president Klaus Iohannis.

The head of the PSD National Council, former Defence minister Mihai Fifor says that Juncker "takes the Victoria Palace (the gov't seat, ed. n.) for the Cotroceni Palace" (the presidential administration's seat, ed. n.) and that the EC head has a "totally distorted" perception on what is happening in Romania because of Angela Cristea, head of the EC's Representation in Bucharest.

"(It is, ed. n.) at least curious the sudden oscillation of Mr. Juncker towards Romania only a few days before it takes over the rotating presidency of the EU Council. At a first glance, I'd be tempted to say that the refined Mr. Juncker is taking the Victoria Palace for the Cotroceni Palace and that he feels an almost parental need to find fault with the gov't. Yet, knowing how any European official picks their information, even Mr. Juncker himself, meaning through the diplomatic officials, nothing wonders me anymore. (...) When the person who is informing the European Commission is none other than Angela Cristea, I can see no good things we could expect. After the shameful note surfaced in the public space clearly showing the political involvement of Angela Cristea against the PSD, she should have been replaced immediately by her boss, Mr. Jean Claude Juncker. Which obviously didn't happen, so there is no wonder that Mr. Juncker has a totally misperception on what is going on in Romania. This fact is the one that has kept her in her position, the fact that she is clearly tainting the perceptions and opinions Mr. Juncker has got about Romania," Fifor wrote on his Facebook page.

"We get it from Mr. Juncker that "technically" we are well prepared for the EU Council's presidency. Yes, indeed, we are well prepared "technically" for years now to access the Schengen Space. And yet, did that reality help?! No. Romania is still outside the Schengen Space, Romania is written reports about, Romania still has the CVM. Romania continues to be treated as a second-hand nation by some officials of the European Union and some Europe's governments. Romania, in exchange proves to be a true paradise for companies that forget to pay their debts to this country," the social-democrat adds.