In full recession year and amidst dramatic austerity measures, Victoria Palace employees cashed 13th wage, holiday premiums and other bonuses worth EUR 500,000.
The employees working in the building of the Executive benefited from over half a million euro worth of bonuses in the first nine months of the year, cashing the 13th wage as well as holiday premiums. Only on the 13th wage of its workers the Government spent over EUR 365,000 until September. Calculations show that each of the 539 employees of the Victoria Palace received an average of EUR 678, plus the holiday premium. The budget spent so far amounts to EUR 160,000, standing for an average bonus of EUR 300 per employee.
Protocol expenditures were also quite high – EUR 760,000 spent so far on the various foreign delegations meeting with PM Emil Boc. For example, approximately EUR 1,800 was spent just on official dinners, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the only foreign official that was received by the prime-minister at the Government. Another EUR 20,000 was spent on flowers and gifts for official delegations.
The representatives of the Government defend themselves, claiming that all these expenditures are covered by the law. ‘Under the applicable legislation, all employees except for dignitaries are entitled to the 13th wage that was paid from the budget of the Government Secretariat General (SGG) in 2010, in the amount of RON 1,535,066, to a total of 779 beneficiaries, including the workers on the PM’s Control Corps, the Anti-Fraud Department, the Inter-Ethnic Relations Department also including many civil servants who ceased work in the course of 2009. Apart from the 13th wage, under the law, civil servants are entitled to holiday premiums which, in 2010, SGG paid to a total of 164 beneficiaries, the total amount being RON 671.049 lei’, reads a release signed by the SGG press office. ‘The current legal framework allowed for these premiums to be paid. First of all, holiday premiums were only paid to civil servants who represent approximately one third of the SGG employees. Secondly, there is a law, Law no. 188 of the civil servant, which stipulates this obligation. At the same time, the 13th wage is stipulated by Law no. 330’, Government Secretary General Gabriela Andreescu also said, according to Realitatea TV.