One week before the vote parties rival in making electoral promises. Same goes with personal attacks and reciprocal accusations.
PSD President Victor Ponta said Friday in Suceava that the PSD congress that will nominate the candidate of the party in the presidential elections will not designate the candidate for the office of prime minister, which must be decided by the ruling alliance. “It is not enough to have the president’s support in order to be prime minister. It was evident in the case of Boc and Mihai Razvan Ungureanu that these were failures,” the social-democrat leader mentioned. He reiterated that the USL majority will be restored after the elections for the European Parliament.
Prime Minister announced that 92 taxes would be removed starting with July 1, with this measure leading to no major budget impact, but to a lower bureaucracy and fiscal incentives for taxpayers. In her turn, Finance Minister Ioana Petrescu said that the total impact of the 92 taxes will be 900,000 lei, of which about 850,000 lei on the total consolidated budget and the rest on independent institutions.
Another measure that the Government will take in 2015 refers to index the small pensions by at least 4.5 per cent. According to Ponta, the Executive was looking for a solution not to adjust all pensions through the same indexation, both for those with 10,000 lei revenues and for those with 500 lei. On the other hand, the Premier declared he is in favour of a national cohesion programme to close the gaps between Romania’s regions. He added that the big investments in Romania are directed to already developed areas, while the counties in Moldova (east) are still deprived.
A day before, Ponta was in Botosani and he expressed his bewilderment at PNL having filed a motion of censure together with some of their former archenemies, such as Emil Boc and Elena Udrea, whom Antonescu had been scrambling to remove from rule two years ago. ‘I don’t know what has changed so much. I could never partner with the likes of Udrea, Boc, Blaga and Anastase,’ said Ponta, mentioned he is convinced that the motion filed by the Liberals will not pass.
The economic programme of PNL, adopted Friday by the Permanent Delegation, proposes capping the VAT and other taxes at 16 pc, renouncing the idea of a new accord with the IMF and relying on an annual economic growth rate of 5 pc for the next 10 years. Another measure refers to “revising the system of taxes and dues enforced outside the Fiscal Code, the so-called parafiscal taxes, and diminishing their number by at least 50 pc during a 3-year interval.” Furthermore, the liberals insist on enforcing the individual insolvency.
PNL Chairman Crin Antonescu declared, after the Friday’s meeting of the party’s permanent delegation, that his party will propose him as a presidential candidate, in tandem with Klaus Johannis for Prime Minister. Johannis added that the idea of the two-team has been assumed as early as the campaign for the European Parliament election. ‘Mr. Antonescu and I make up a very good team. (…) We are actually preparing ourselves for governing; we want to be ready, to have a governing programme applicable the next day [after the elections],’ Johannis explained.
On the other hand, he claimed that it is mandatory for right-wing parties to have a dialogue after the European elections, in view of agreeing upon a common formula in the presidential elections. If such dialogue did not happen, it would be “a big mistake,” he warned. He lashed out at the Ponta cabinet, which he accused of achieving “an exceptional TV governance” by announcing “scores of measures” that bring no benefit, at the end of the day.
On Saturday, in an election campaign meeting which took place in Constanta, Antonescu said the real battle in the election campaign is neither between Ponta and Udrea nor between PSD and Traian Basescu, ‘but between PSD that wants to bring Romania back in time to 2004 and PNL’.
Asked to comment a statement of the premier, in which he had agreed to giving up shares in the Constanta Port to the municipality, the liberal said that, if Ponta took a polygraph test, “the machine would break apart, needles would go off the scale.” On the other hand, he said that his party has “no ongoing talks” and is not preoccupied with constructing new alliances, and instead wants the political right to be stronger, but “this discussion must start from ideas of projects.”
Attacks and accusations
‘I believe it’s very important that people go to the polls on May 25. All those not willing to leave Romania in the hands of a single party, the state party, the Social-Democratic Party (PSD – editor’s note), must vote and give a signal there is a powerful electorate, a powerful segment of electorate that is against Romania being turned on PSD’s hands’, deputy Elena Udrea (the People’s Movement Party) said in an interview to Agerpres.
In his turn, PDL leader Vasile Blaga said that the “young PSD members are worse than the old ones,” claiming that “the young guard of PSD works only with clans.”
Asked if he would renounce the quality of presidential candidate in favour of Crin Antonescu, the PDL candidate for the presidency of Romania, Catalin Predoiu answered that he did not come to PDL “with this quality in the pocket” and cannot use it as he pleases. The first vice-president of PDL however criticised Antonescu and the economic programme proposed by PNL, which he described as “a lump of clay restored by Vosganian” and a “demagogic” document.