President Iohannis warns political decisionmakers “not to push Romania in a fiscal adventure with sad ending”: Package of measures announced by Gov’t becomes fiscal confusion. PSD-ALDE’s salary hike promise is false

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President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday that the package of fiscal measures announced by the Government represents “the clamoured fiscal revolution and is becoming fiscal confusion.” “The great fiscal revolution brings an extra 3 lei per person, it’s absurd. PSD-ALDE’s promise to hike the salary is false,” Iohannis said. He warned the Government to be careful and judge carefully so as not to push Romania and Romanians in a fiscal adventure with a sad ending.

President Klaus Iohannis stated that several months ago, at the swearing-in of the Government, he asked for a simple thing – for an end to be put to this fiscal hopping, and it did not happen.

“Romania is going through a period of economic growth. In itself, economic growth is very good news, even a record in the European Union, but this growth has vulnerabilities that must be known – the growth is based mainly on consumption and such growth is not seen as sustainable growth. An essential part for healthy economic growth is missing – the investments,” Iohannis stated at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He said that the lack of investments is a very worrisome signal and that investments have dropped significantly year-on-year, both in the private and public sectors, a drop of 20 percent.

“Foreign investments have dropped 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Even more worrisome, public investments have dropped by an impermissibly high amount. They dropped by more than 20 percent compared to the same period last year, and they weren’t actually great last year either,” he pointed out.

Likewise, the President said the situation is a “very strange” – the economy is growing but fiscal revenues are dropping. “Instead of having more budget revenues, paradoxically, we have fewer budget revenues. (…) A revealing example – it’s known that the efficiency of collecting fiscal revenues is measured as percentage of GDP. This year, collection has reached a historic low of 25 percent of GDP, in contrast to the 35 percent we planned several years ago. Twenty-five percent is extremely low, and this should worry all of us,” Klaus Iohannis stated.

He added that the Government is behaving like a man who earns increasingly more and borrows increasingly more, leaving the debts on the shoulders of his children and grandchildren.

President Klaus Iohannis added that the package of fiscal measures announced by the Government does not represent the clamoured fiscal revolution and is becoming fiscal confusion.

“The Government has announced a package of fiscal measures, it seems it will enter the Government’s discussion these days. That is why I’m making today’s statement, because this package is not the clamoured fiscal revolution but will become a fiscal confusion,” Iohannis said.

The President added that “the great fiscal revolution of PSD-ALDE” will bring an extra 3 lei per person.

“It’s absurd. I too want people to earn more. But PSD-ALDE’s promise that the income will grow by transferring contributions and lowering the tax is simply false. It will grow by 0.1 percent. It will grow by a little more in the case of the minimum salary, because it was modified. Why is this fiscal-budgetary mega-hopping needed?” Iohannis added.

 

“I warn political decisionmakers not to push Romanian in a fiscal adventure with sad ending”

 

On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis warned the Government to be careful and to judge carefully so as not to push Romanian and Romanians in a fiscal adventure with sad ending.

“I’m asking the PSD-ALDE coalition to show responsibility and to give up this kind of fiscal policy that generates mistrust and isn’t helping anyone,” Iohannis stated at Cotroceni.

Likewise, Iohannis warned the “political decisionmakers” to be careful and judge carefully and to avoid pushing Romania and Romanians in a fiscal adventure with sad ending.

 

“Procedure for passing judiciary laws is vitiated; amendments hack the laws into pieces”

 

On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis stated that the legislating procedure has been vitiated by the way the judiciary laws were promoted, the sought amendments “hacking the laws into pieces.” The Head of State pointed out that the independence of the judiciary is essential for him. Asked whether, when stating he will use all his prerogatives to maintain the independence of the judiciary, he had in mind convening the referendum he triggered in spring, the Head of State said he is willing to use “absolutely all” prerogatives.

“We never had such a vitiated legislating procedure: package of laws assumed by the minister, reports requested, all negative. The minister does not give up, he goes in Parliament, without having the right to legislative initiative, he physically hands them over, parliamentarians take them as if they had made them at home. This is no way to legislate,” the President said.

In what concerns the content of the draft judiciary laws, the Head of State said some of the amendments are “good, timely and necessary.”

“However, there is a long way from correcting the legislation, which in essence was a good thing, to hacking it to pieces, and we shouldn’t go down this road,” Klaus Iohannis emphasised.

Asked about abuse of office, the President said: “I hear all kinds of public theories and I can’t help but say that I fear the hacking to pieces of the current legislation in this case too.” Iohannis said that, in his opinion, there should not be a threshold in what concerns the value of the damage caused.

“I hope laws that do good, not ill, to the judiciary, to the independence of the judiciary, will come out from the parliamentary debate. (…) I’ll be very active in this legislative process and I’ll use all prerogatives,” President Iohannis pointed out.

He also stated that he has no prerogatives to legislate but “the opinion of Klaus Iohannis the person” is that the Judicial Inspection “should remain at the CSM, for a clear constitutional reason: it is dryly written in the Constitution that the CSM is the guarantor of the independence of the judiciary, hence we easily deduce that the Inspection should be there too.”

 

Head of State asked about referendum on Justice: I’m willing to use all levers to maintain independence of the judiciary

 

On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis was asked whether, when stating he will use all his prerogatives to maintain the independence of the judiciary, he had in mind convening the referendum he triggered in spring. The Head of State said he is willing to use “absolutely all” prerogatives.

“I’m willing to use absolutely all levers and presidential prerogatives in order to intervene in this process, in the sense of maintaining the independence of the judiciary. All that is possible and legal and constitutional can and will be used by me,” President Iohannis stated.

He said he will not give details because they have to do with his political strategy.

Asked what would be the conditions in which he would decide to convene the referendum, the President said: “You’ll find this out when I’ll take this decision.”

 

Iohannis once again says presumption of innocence does not operate in politics: An accused politician has no place being at the helm of the state

 

On Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis stated once again that the presumption of innocence does not operate in politics, and an accused politician has no place being at the helm of the state until he solves his problem. Iohannis said that if the said politician is innocent he can return to politics. “But until then…,” the President said, gesturing in the sense that the said politician should remain silent.

“The presumption of innocence operates for any person, if criminally probed or tried, but it’s a presumption that is used and works in the rendering of justice, not in the implementation of politics. Mind you. We separate justice from politics. I want justice to remain far from politics,” the President emphasised in his answer.

Klaus Iohannis added that “there is no such thing in politics.”

“In politics there are electoral promises, there is integrity or, on the contrary, there are expectations and there is a politician’s posture. For a politician to be credible, he needs to be upright and then the presumption of innocence is under a different chapter. A politician accused of corruption, or embezzlement, or lying, or aiding and abetting, has no place being at the helm of the state until he solves his problem. If he is innocent, good for him, very good, he can return to politics, he can go forward and say: ‘I was unjustly accused but I proved my innocence and now I have come to fix the country.’ Great! But until then…,” President Iohannis emphasised and gestured in the sense that the said politician should remain silent.

Asked if he supports the adoption of a law on the accountability of magistrates, the Head of State answered: “The accountability of magistrates is stipulated in the legislation and the discussion is artificial. One can talk about harshening, about a change or anything, but accountability is stipulated in the legislation. Specialists – but mainly those from within the system, not storytellers from without – should analyse and come up with proposals to improve the legislative framework. If it would be a good thing.”

 

“No occult forces in Romania, Senate president Tariceanu’s a bit obsessed”

 

President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday stated that there are neither occult, nor underground forces in Romania, and added that the Senate Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu sometimes creates the impression that he’s “a bit obsessed”.

“In Romania there are neither occult, nor underground forces and certainly there is no parallel state here,” Iohannis asserted at the Cotroceni presidential Palace, asked to comment on the recent statements of the Senate’s head.

He asserted that Tariceanu turned more and more weird.

“For a while, I have looked into the statements of the gentleman you have mentioned, who used to be a prime minister at some point. He sometimes had interesting to follow approaches, but for some time now I follow no more the assertions of this gentleman because he became more and more weird. Sometimes an impression that he is a bit obsessed is created. Or, the persons a bit obsessed do no good to politics and above all, these very strange approaches have surfaced intensely ever since the prosecutors have sent this gentleman to court,” the head of state said.

On Monday, the Senate head, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu affirmed that the president of Romania could have had a stance and call to observance of the Constitutional Court’s decisions, regarding the persons who do not want to show up when summoned to the parliamentary committees’ inquiries.

“After taking over his mandate (Klaus Iohannis, ed. n.), he is proving us that he is the beneficiary of this system, of the parallel state and through his attitude and public statements he only confirms this assertion of mine. It is regrettable, because there could not be two parallel powers in the state: the legitimate power and an illegitimate power,” Tariceanu had said.