The interim president of Save Romania Union (USR), Catalin Drula, requested on Monday the resignation of the director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), Eduard Hellvig, on the grounds that he is responsible for the elaboration of the new laws of national security.
"Let us not forget Mr. Hellvig, who came out in a press conference from which, I am convinced, no one understood anything. He told us that society is too full of securism, we agree, the parties are too full of securism, we agree, that's why they are not able to make coherent public policies, that's why they, the PNL (National Liberal Party) and PSD (Social Democratic Party), are not able to function without command. But we haven't heard who is resigning for the abhorrent laws of national securism, and we're waiting. Therefore, we, the Opposition, come up with solutions in this case. The solution is the resignation of Eduard Hellvig, who is responsible, from everything the Romanian leaders tell us at the moment, for the elaboration of these sinister laws," Drula said at a press conference at the Parliament Palace.
According to USR, in the new national security laws "the informal powers that the SRI in particular, but also other intelligence services, have already acquired, in recent years, through levers of control and non-transparent influence, are legalized".
"USR warned from the very beginning against the strategy of transforming the state in the Securist Republic of Romania through the new laws of national security, and presented its own vision regarding the organization and civil control over the secret services. USR will give mandate to its representatives in the select committee in Parliament, which will debate the new national security laws, to strengthen real civilian control over the services and to oppose the militarization of society," a party release said.
On 17 June, the SRI director Eduard Hellvig said that the idea that, in 2022, the Romanian intelligence services could return to the model of the former (political police of Ceausescu regime) Securitate was "totally wrong".
In his opinion, the Securitate was "a creator of mentalities" and "an administrator with a coercive role of the consciences".
Eduard Hellvig added that he wants the institutions, political class and civil society to work together so that Romania "heals from securism" and finally leaves behind the practices of the former Securitate.