The PM wants to present the project to the opposition.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta stated that political discussions on decentralization have progressed a great deal, and the Social Liberal Union (USL) will convene today to finalize this project, which will then be presented to other parliamentary groups. “On a political level, discussions on decentralization have progressed a great deal, so that USL will meet Thursday to go over final details, and to ensure the most important decisions are rightly brought closer to the citizens and bureaucratic and administrative expenses are reduced,” Victor Ponta said yesterday, at the start of the government session.
The Prime Minister emphasized that he wishes to present this project to PDL, UDMR and PPDD representatives, as well as Parliament representatives of national minorities. Ponta also requested ministers to dismiss any speculations on the elimination of ambulance services as being false, the correct version being that joint ambulance and SMURD service dispatches will be established. “You will see that many leaders in Bucharest will be against it, because they will be left without a job; of course, they will not be able to have hundreds of employees, secretaries, cars and other things,” Ponta commented, as cited by Mediafax.
USL decided to convene as a last resort, after PSD and PNL failed to reach an agreement on decentralizing the public structure at Tuesday’s meeting of the mixed commission on reorganization. Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea (PSD) and First Deputy Chairman of PNL, Klaus Iohannis, admitted that the commission has not yet reached an agreement on decentralizing the public system, adding that USL would make the political decision.
According to Dragnea, PSD is in favor of the public system decentralization, but he also emphasized that this is not “a piece of resistance” in the decentralization process, while Iohannis, on the other hand, said that the public system should not be decentralized, but continue to be centered around the Minister of Internal Affairs, instead.
During the commission’s discussions, sharp remarks inevitably ensued between the Social Democrats and the Liberals. Liviu Dragnea expressed dissatisfaction at Mariana Campeanu’s absence, the Minister of Labor, considering the topic of discussion involved the decentralization of departments within the Ministry of Labor, as well as departments of the National Agency for Social Benefits and the National Employment Agency.
The Deputy Prime Minister also said that there were too many national agencies, and, when the decentralization law is finished, the possibility of keeping all these institutions operational will be analyzed.