PM assures 2017 budget deficit will stay below 3pct of GDP, 5.2 bn euro attracted in EU funds

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Premier Sorin Grindeanu said on Saturday in Timisoara that this year’s budget deficit will keep below 3 pct of GDP and that 5.2 billion euros will be attracted by year-end in European financing.

”The budget deficit will be kept below 3 pct, we are serious partners [of the IMF], we know what our commitments are and we stick to them. For instance, we are the first government to effectively keep another commitment pledged by Romania, namely the 2 pct allocation for Defense (…). The same goes for the 3 pct deficit. (…). It’s true, we set the bar high as regards plans to attract European funds, it’s 5.2 billion euro for 2017, which means a lot compared with zero last year, but it’s feasible. This was the purpose of the discussion with Commissioner Corina Cretu, to unlock all management authorities that are not yet accredited. A multitude of financing guides will be released in April,” PM Grindeanu said.

He underscored that the issues with the absorption of EU funds rolled over from last year and that achieving the targets set by the current government requires a lot of work that also needs close monitoring.

”This is why, together with Deputy PM Sevil Shhaideh, we decided to hold progress monitoring sittings every 10 days to check on the absorption of EU funds, for us to be able to successfully attract the planned 5.2 billion euro by the end of the year,” said Sorin Grindeanu.

Referring to the concerns expressed by the IMF visiting delegation, Grindeanu said that PSD’s move two years ago to apply a tax relief, a VAT cut included, had also been met with concerns which however dispelled in a few months, and that the subsequent economic growth was even higher than the government had expected.

”All those measures taken two years ago led to economic growth, a great part of gray economy moved into the light and the measures we envisage now are of the same type,” the Premier said.