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Iohannis: We cannot function in 21st century with national security laws made during '91 - '92

Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that "it is clear that we cannot function in the 21st century with national security laws made in '91-'92.

"The president does not draft laws, the president doesn't even have a right to a legislative initiative, so that I can say that I did not draft them. Furthermore, those who worked on them, the initiators will tell you when they will be presenting the laws. (...) I have requested since the first term for teams of specialists to work on these laws, because some of them are simply anachronistic, if we are think only of the law for organizing the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), which is not even compatible with the Constitution, after which Romania functions in certain articles," the head of state said, during a press conference at Cotroceni Palace.

Iohannis said that "it is clear that we cannot function in the 21st century with national security laws made in '91-'92.

"How the laws will look like in the end, we will see. What is clear is that drafts were prepared by specialists in the field, that was brought to my attention," Iohannis said.

Furthermore, the head of state said that those supposed drafts "never even entered the legislative circuit".

"The moment they enter the legislative circuit, politicians will be able to express and when they reach me I will express even clearer and I guarantee that these drafts reach me at leasat twice: once Supreme Council for Country's Defence (CSAT), after which for promulgation or another procedure. I can assure you at this moment that no law will get past me, which contains provisions that does not respect basic principles after which we want to function," Iohannis added.

The head of state also said that the law draft is in Government. "CSAT and legislative procedure laws reach me. Don't believe that I censor drafts before entering an approval circuit. That does not happen," the head of state added.

Regarding his statements about information based on sources tied to drafts of national security laws, Iohannis said then that "it is wrong, during this early stage of drafts of national security laws for people to be nervous, because they are still being worked on and will be worked on for quite some time".

"Not any draft is drawn up in a sensible area needs to be made public before those that respond to that document or that piece of legislation finish their work just as it is provided by the Constitution," the head of state said.

Moreso, he said that these laws "have not even begun their legislative path".

"To show up and criticize a draft that was never in legislative debate seems pretty risky, as well as the fact that countless discussions emerged about something that is not yet defined, proved that I was right, in my opinion," the president said.

He also said that journalists don't have to feel threatened.

"You know that I am not using my power to inhibit the independent media. On the contrary. I am using my power to keep the freedom of the press," he added. Also, regarding drafts brought into discussion, Iohannis said: "I have not read them, I did not censor them".AGERPRES

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