Contradictions within USL on loans rollover



PM Ponta says initiative was discussed within Union, his alliance partner PNL Chairman
Crin Antonescu contradicts him.

The measure regarding the credits reshuffle announced earlier this week by the prime minister sparked conflicting statements within the Social Liberal Union (USL). While Prime Minister Victor Ponta told Mediafax on Thursday that the measure regarding the credits rollover was discussed within USL on Sunday night, PNL leader Crin Antonescu claims, according to Gandul, that the measure on bank loans rollover was not discussed within the Union. “The measure on loans rescheduling was discussed within USL on Sunday night, after the CSAT meeting,” said Ponta. He added USL made a “technical” presentation of all was discussed with the IMF, also about the excise tax and the credits rollover, saying: “It is true, these are technical measures, maybe they were not all remembered.”  On the other hand, Crin Antonescu told “Gandul” newspaper on Thursday that this feature “was not discussed within USL nor during the PNL meeting with the IMF”.  Sources within the Union told Mediafax on Thursday that the measure announced by the Government following the negotiations with the IMF officials, of bank loans rollover, was not discussed within USL, being promoted by the Ministry of Finance, led by Liberal Daniel Chitoiu, through Minister delegate for Budget Liviu Voinea. The proposal was among several solutions created by the ministry, according to the same sources. Consequently, although the proposal belongs to a ministry led by a liberal, most PNL leaders found out about this measure the moment it was officially announced by the Government.
Prime vice-chairman PNL Klaus Iohannis announced during the Standing Delegation of PNL last Friday that the bill request clarifications about the way the measure was decided to be promoted, without PNL to be consulted, as this measure is not liberal in his opinion. “ I am somewhat surprised because it is a measure which, as far as I understood from the TV, was discussed, negotiated and accepted by the IMF. My surprise stems from the fact that it was not discussed within the party. Then, the problem arises whether the Government had the huge opportunity to introduce this measure in those discussed with the IMF and did not have the patience to discuss it with the political parties, or whether the political advising was omitted from reasons I do not know. All in all, this measure was not discussed within our party so certainly it could not have been agreed upon,” claimed Iohannis.
The Liberal prime vice-chairman adds that halving the instalments for certain categories of people does not seem “a good measure” and that it will not give results “unless in talk-shows” and the idea of “an economy almost reaching bottom” might grow “artificially exempting” these people did not persuade him. “The motivation does not seem good to me: raising the economy by boosting consumption. What do we do then? Teach people spend their already little money just for the sake of it. I imagine we stimulate economy creating jobs where people earn better and then we spend more,” he reasoned.
According to the initiative, the individuals with loans opened at banks and average wages smaller or equal to RON 1,610 will have their instalments halved, within RON 500 a month for two years, and after this period they can benefit from a government fiscal credit for another two years, worth RON 200 a month. The possible benefits were discussed for companies as well. After this two-year period during which a debtor can benefit from the reduction of their instalments by half, the government provides a fiscal credit “to cover the increase in the interest rate for the two years during which the instalment decreases,” explained PM Ponta, when he announced the decision. According to the prime minister, the measure could target 907,000 debtors, was discussed with the National Bank and agreed upon by the international partners of Romania.

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