Citu: I was blackmailed when told approval of PNDL 3 is conditional on passage of SIIJ abolition bill

Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Friday that he feels "harassed" by the fact that USR PLUS ministers did not attend the government meeting, and explained that he was "blackmailed" when he was told that the local spending program PNDL 3 will not get the seal of approval until the bill on the abolition of the Section for the Investigation of Judicial Crimes (SIIJ) is passed. "I was blackmailed when they told me that the draft regulatory act will not get the seal of approval until a bill to dismantle the SIIJ is passed, and I made every effort and supported any measure coming from the Justice Ministry to abolish the SIIJ. Now, I just feel harassed, it's the Romanians who should feel blackmailed," Citu said. In connection to the ultimatum USR PLUS Co-Chairmen Dacian Ciolos and Dan Barna have given him to hand in his resignation, Citu said that he has the support of the National Liberal Party Asked about his discussions with President Klaus Iohannis, the Prime Minister replied: "I cannot disclose to you my discussion with President Iohannis, but I will tell you what I tell all Romanians: that I will do my utmost for this government to work, for us to move forward with the implementation of the governing program. Today's decision to approve this investment plan is yet another step in implementing the governing program for Romania's development." Citu voiced his hope that the rift doesn't end up in the installation of a minority government, adding that USR PLUS must prove maturity. He also mentioned that he has no mandate from the party's National Political Bureau to switch ministries inside the coalition. Asked whether he will dismiss USR PLUS prefects, sub-prefects, secretaries of state if the censure motion is tabled, the Prime Minister said that it is bizarre that a motion would be filed against one's own government. "I don't want us to get there. It would be sad for Romania. USR colleagues, people I rallied in the street with against Ordinance 13, against Dragnea, against ... extremists like those from the party they associate with today," the Prime Minister said.AGERPRES(RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Maria Voican)

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