Romanian leader slams Dutch 'abuse' over Schengen
(BUCHAREST) - Romania's President Traian Basescu on Thursday accused the Netherlands of abuse over its blocking of Romania and Bulgaria's accession to the visa-free Schengen area.
"I have noticed the Dutch abuse against Romania and Bulgaria," the president said during a conference marking the fifth anniversary of Romania's entry in the European Union, in 2007.
"Romania should be in the Schengen zone today," he added insisting that his country meets all the required criteria.
Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in January 2007, had hoped to be part of Schengen as soon as 2011.
But France, Germany, Finland and The Netherlands opposed the move.
The first three countries have since dropped their opposition but the Netherlands has remained adamantly againsst, calling for more tangible progress in the fight against corruption.
Romanian authorities have in turn accused the Dutch government of being a hostage to Geert Wilders' anti-immigrant far-right party, which supports the ruling coalition.
Basescu said he was "worried" to see "anti-European parties entering governments".
Text and Picture Copyright 2012 AFP. All other Copyright 2012 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.