President Iohannis at “Eliminating the radio-TV fee – support or threat to the mission of the public radio and television companies?” debate : Had it not targeted radio-TV fee, I would’ve promulgated the bill repealing 102 taxes

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President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday said that he would have promulgated the a law repealing 102 rates and non-fiscal taxes recently passed by Parliament, had it not included the radio-TV licence fee.

The head of state criticised Parliament for not having debated this last matter.

“Had it not been for these fees that are paid for the Public Television and the Public Radio, I would have probably promulgated the law, just like that, even if certain taxes should have been discussed,” said Iohannis at a debate on the radio-TV fee repealing, showing that he would have done that because the Government had okayed it, albeit with several amendments.

“This initiative for repealing some rates and taxes would have probably had a very positive impact if certain minimal conditions were observed, which wouldn’t be bad in its essence, and I say it openly that my electoral programme also included such tax cancellation; I, like many Romanians, say that we have way too many taxes, we must cut them, they should be easier to enforce, that we should cut through some red tape. But, unfortunately, Parliament, for a reason I do not get, blame it on a whim, entered an emergency procedure. Within two weeks, the law was passed by both chambers and received a final vote,”  Iohannis told “Eliminating the radio-TV fee – support or threat to the mission of the public radio and television companies?” debate organized by ActiveWatch on Thursday.

President Iohannis added that “the whole approach has a major problem” since the fee was eliminated without basic public talks for the Public Television and the Public Radio, without putting anything in place.

He said he is not at all convinced that will exists for this fee to be eliminated, specifying that after the law passed through Parliament the two public bodies’ heads asked him for a meeting and that he received letters from the European Broadcasting Union – of which TVR is a member – and from other international bodies, trade unions to not promulgate this piece of legislation.

The president asked the participants in the debate to provide arguments so he could have an opinion on the repeal of the radio-TV fee.