Guy Verhofstadt is known to be a strong campaigner for European solidarity, and has been very a active in the European Parliament election campaigns as the Leader of the Liberal Democrats to support all liberal parties across Europe. Earlier this week, he rattled the cage of the crusty British establishment by promoting the slogan "Bollocks to Brexit" to encourage UK voters to vote for the Liberal Democrats.
Today he is campaigning in Romania, and we publish here in full the English translation of a post on her Facebook Page of the Romanian national leader of the ALDE Group, Norica Nicolai MEP.
"Dear Guy, I hear you are getting ready to participate today in a campaign rally organised by a neo-populist political alliance, whose European election list of candidates is led by a person who during his youth used to wear the odious uniform of the Romanian Securitate (the former secret police).
The person leading their list today had as a mission the surveillance of Mrs Doina Cornea, the most prominent anti-communist dissident of the 1980s. In all political cultures it is known that somebody who has worn the uniform of a secret service agency once will always wear it, openly or not. You will come to Bucharest to give your support so that the children of the former Securitate officers can become the Securitate officers of our children.
Before you bought your ticket for Bucharest it would have been good if you could have called me or one of my colleagues so that we could tell you who you are about to shake hands with. The whole list of candidates you are about to support is full of children of, or supporters of former communists guilty of political police abuses. Even if we don’t judge our children by the mistakes done by their parents, I would like to remind you of the Romanian proverb “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Dear Guy, I am less concerned regarding the picnic you are about to attend – I just wanted to let you know who you’re going to break bread with - but I am more concerned about your continued campaign against my country.
I think you are deeply mistaken when you unconditionally support the institutions and their repressive practices and I think you are even more mistaken when you refuse to see the grave abuses perpetrated in the last 10 years in the Romanian justice system.
Talking as one liberal to another, I have to say that I was expecting more responsiveness from you in the face of such abuses of power and clear meddling of the intelligence community into the justice system of Romania.
We, in ALDE Romania, continue to believe that the citizens’ freedom has priority before the coercive structures of the state and that the true meaning of the rule of law is based on the protection of human rights and freedom and not on the uncontrollable accumulation of power by the judicial and coercive institutions, with the support of populist politicians.
Also, Guy, I am concerned that in an interview given to the Belgian press, Mr Emmanuel Macron, is talking about the political construction he is envisioning together with leaders like Charles Michel, Mark Rutte, Antonio Costa and others, but I couldn’t find your name. Or was it perhaps included under the catch-all phrase “and others”?
We are not going to meet today, but I am sure we will meet at our Congress at the end of June where we are going to continue to support the values we used to support together: the dignity of a human being, freedom, equality, democracy and rule of law.
In the meanwhile, enjoy your stay in my country! Our Romanian hospitality is world famous!"