Basescu, firm: I reject the enforcement of an additional excise on fuel


PM Ponta said that a possible postponement of the application of excise duty on diesel by three months would mean RON 400 M missing receipts.

President Traian Basescu yesterday received at the Cotroceni Palace the joint delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Commission (EC) and World Bank (WB), and remained firm on positions: he does not support the enforcement of an additional excise on petrol and diesel, which he considers unnecessary. According to a communique issued by the Presidential Administration, during the meeting President Traian Basescu expressed his displeasure at the fact that the arrears of state companies did not decrease as provided by the agreement between the Government of Romania and the international financial institutions. Moreover, the president also voiced his displeasure because a sufficient reduction of the structural deficit is not taken into consideration, which can result in supplementary fiscal measures. President Traian Basescu stressed that certain budgetary expenditures can be covered without enforcing this excise, adds the communique of the Presidential Administration.
President Basescu informed to the IMF officials, since the first meeting of this mission, that he will not sign the letter of intent as long as the document explicitly stipulates the increase of the excise for petrol and diesel by 7 eurocents.
The joint IMF-EC-WB mission concludes its visit to Bucharest tomorrow, February 5, and will make public the conclusions of talks regarding the first and second evaluation of the stand-by arrangement.
Premier Victor Ponta and deputy PM Daniel Chitoiu met the officials of the three international financial institutions yesterday at the Victoria Palace, according to the press office of the Government. Before the meeting, PM Ponta said that a possible postponement of the application of excise duty on diesel by three months would mean RON 400 M missing receipts, showing that at gasoline it certainly will not postpone the application of duty. In a press conference held Sunday, he announced that the members of the IMF delegation met President Traian Basescu “out of courtesy.”
“Fortunately, the representatives of the international financial institutions know very well that they discuss with the Government and this Government has support in the Parliament and this Government will be in place at least until 2016 and, as we fulfilled all our obligations until now, we will fulfil them in the future too. I am aware that they go to Cotroceni out of courtesy, something that also happens on the international stage – the president goes to other countries, where he meets nobody. Now, I asked those who came here to also go meet the president, maybe they will calm him down somehow,” Ponta mentioned, adding that the measures passed by the former Government in 2010 were “antisocial and anti-Romanian.”
Recently, Premier Victor Ponta said that the IMF mission to Bucharest will end with a letter of intent in any conditions, but it remains to be seen whether the document will be also signed by President Traian Basescu.
PDL: The IMF does not give up the excise
PDL president Vasile Blaga said Monday, after a meeting with the IMF-EC-WB officials, that they told him that dropping the 7 eurocent excise on fuel is out of question. The leaders of PDL met the representatives of the delegation Monday evening at the party headquarter and Vasile Blaga announced in a press conference that the democrat-liberals submitted a letter in which they asked questions about the evolution of talks with the Government and proposed a series of solutions to the economic and social problems of Romania. “(…) PDL supports an accord with the IMF. At the same time, I also told them that we grant complete attention to the signing of this accord within the rule of law, taking into consideration the statements of the premier, who said that he would enforce, would go ahead with the letter of intent even if it is not signed by the president, or the president of Romania has never signed such a letter of intent, before or after 1990, regardless of who he was, they were only signed by the ministers of Finance and the governor of BNR,” Blaga explained. He added that the democrat-liberals said that they do not agree to the liberalisation of the natural gas market. Vasile Blaga mentioned that he learned from the representatives of the delegation that dropping the 7 eurocent tax on fuel is out of question.

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