Dragnea: Legislation must be clarified. At present, any company can be accused of tax evasion and money laundering

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Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that the legislation on tax evasion must be modified because, “based on the current legislation, any company can be accused of tax evasion and money laundering.”

“We’ve been discussing for some time, we’ve discussed it in the coalition too, we’ve discussed it within the party too, it’s been discussed within the Government too, it’s been discussed with businessmen during various meetings too, it’s even been discussed with the CSM, because it must be clarified, the legislation in this field must be clarified, because as it is today it is not clear, and any legislation that is not clear is interpreted by the audit institutions to the detriment of the one audited, this is the tradition in Romania,” PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated, referring to the amending of the legislation concerning tax evasion.

He added that a decision will be taken in a “relatively brief” time, as a proposal in this field.

“We only talked to attain the main objectives, namely for the legislation to be clear; we shouldn’t forget the desire and principle we care very much about, the principle of prevention; the aim should not necessarily be the closing of the companies concerned or, of course, as has been happening in Romania, the jailing of as many businessmen as possible; for companies it should be very clear what the tax evasion area is and what the non-tax evasion area is, because things are not clear now and this decision is left to the tax inspector, who is not very sure and who says: ‘I’m not very sure, but they’ll settle this with the prosecutor.’ The prosecutor says: ‘I’m not very sure, but you should settle this in court.’ And the businessmen, instead of generating profit, jobs and economic growth in Romania, are very concerned about these audits based on an unclear legislation. Likewise, we are also very interested in establishing, in these cases, the way in which the main aim should be the recovery of the money, not necessarily the killing of the source of income and economic growth for Romania,” Liviu Dragnea added.

“At present, based on the current legislation, on the Fiscal Procedure Code, any company can be accused of tax evasion and money laundering,” the PSD leader added.

Dragnea claims that the variant that the CSM has proposed in what concerns the offences, including tax evasion, “is an important step.”

“What I find very important is the fact that a growing number of institutions see fit to exit the gloomy and dark approach that has characterised Romania in the last decades, and for us to move toward a positive, fair, and healthy approach, bearing in mind this country’s growth and development. (…) We must all be aware that we are not living in a silk cocoon, that we have started a process of changing of attitude and approach on the part of civil servants, on the part of the state’s audit institutions in the business sector, a process built over many years. And we are talking about a mentality built over many years, that concerns the approach particularly toward private companies, and I’m talking about all audit institutions – ANAF [Romanian Tax Authority], other audit institutions, prosecutor’s offices and so forth. Our approach is entirely different, the objectives of a governance cannot be to jail businessmen, to close down companies but, on the contrary, to prevent, to support and, jointly, to build an administrative and bureaucratic system that would be stimulative,” Dragnea concluded.

 

PSD leader on prosecutors’ request that he be sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison: They demand that especially for persons they “appreciate” very much

 

On Wednesday, when asked about the prosecutors’ request in his court case, he said that prosecutors make such requests especially in the case of persons they “appreciate,” once again stating he is innocent.

“They demand that especially for persons they “appreciate” very much. I have three counts of allegedly determining the director to keep employed two employees who were not showing up for work. The second, that I allegedly determined civil servants from the Directorate to sign false documents. The third, that I allegedly told a lady to get a job at the Directorate and not to show up for work. The director explicitly said in court that I didn’t determine her to keep them employed. So, the first accusation drops. In court, I said I didn’t pressure anyone; one of the two employees explicitly said I never told her to get a job at the Child Services Directorate and not to show up for work. From here on, it’s the court’s decision. Oh, the fact that yesterday I saw a statement that affected me, according to which a former director was threatened at the prosecutor’s office, by prosecutors, that she would otherwise lose everything… this statement is important,” Liviu Dragnea said.

During Tuesday’s court hearing, prosecutors asked the court to issue executory prison sentences against all defendants. In Liviu Dragnea’s case, the DNA asked for a prison sentence of 7 years and 6 months, and the cancellation of the suspension of the two-year prison sentence he received in the Referendum Case. In Bombonica Prodana’s case, prosecutors withdrew their charges because she paid the damage.

 

Liviu Dragnea wants Iohannis to consult Parliament and Government before European Council summits

 

PSD leader Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday that President Klaus Iohannis should “at least” consult the representatives of the Government and Parliament before taking part in European Council summits, adding however that the Head of State is “like Satan reproving sin.”

“There (at European Council summits – editor’s note) they discuss issues that very much have to do with the Romanian economy, with economic measures, measures that are in the governmental area and some in the parliamentary area. We always stay put and the President always attends such meetings, and we are trying to carry out analyses, assessments, we consult people with psychic abilities – what is he saying, what could he be saying, maybe we manage to find out what he is thinking, because maybe he comes back and we’ll have to adopt some decisions and we don’t know, because we don’t find that out after he returns either. He is like Satan reproving sin. If the notion of a mandate that he should ask from the height of that office is too much, then at least a consultation would be needed,” Liviu Dragnea said when asked whether the Head of State should request a mandate before attending European Council summits.

He added that no person, regardless of their capacity, “knows everything.”

“So, it’s good for him to consult a Government, a Parliament, because over there you must say something or, if you go there to not talk, then it’s understandable,” Dragnea added.