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May 24, 2022

Storm in a tea kettle

Ordoliberalism debate organised by the ‘Ordoliberalism and social market economy in Romania’ working group, the Institute for Popular Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation drives mini-scandal inside ruling party.

During the debate also attended by PM Emil Boc, the blueprint of a reform for the Romanian society was released. The event gave the prime-minister the opportunity to criticise the state-centred model of development and the citizens’ dependency upon the state, adding that the 2009 economic crisis had demonstrated the failure of that kind of state policy in Romania over the past 20 years.

The participants in the discussion addressed the idea of terminating the current system of public social security, the minimum wage and possibly the privatisation of the whole of the local healthcare system, all in an attempt to minimise the state’s role in the economy. One of the primary ideas stemming from the presented project was that the current pension system is a serious threat to the right of property, therefore it out to be ended. The argument supporting this kind of philosophy is that, after 40 years of work, taking into account a mean life expectancy of 72 years, a Romanian only gets back a quarter of the money subscribed during his/her economically active life. At the same time, the authors of the project say remuneration should be agreed by and between employers and employees directly, without the ‘burden’ of a minimum wage set by the Government.

Emil Boc supported the ISP project, stating his belief that ‘People can only be free when they no longer depend on the state, which is also the fundamental objective of both the Democrat-Liberal Party and the Government that I represent.’

PDL Deputy Cezar Preda however says it is a totally unbecoming thing for Valeriu Stoica to be driving the party towards a foreign area of popular doctrine and that manifestations such as the debate also attended by the prime-minister should stop. Preda pointed out that now, the entire PDL is in a situation where it has to explain to each and every citizen of this country that it was not the author of the proposal.

Realitatea TV has presented the document debated on by ISP as a possible intention of PDL’s, all based on the statements of PM’s adviser Adreea Paul Vass who had noted that such measures ‘with an impact which should not be underrated’ could be taken on a very long term, but certainly not on a medium term. Asked to comment on the idea of terminating the public social security system and the minimum wage, Labour Minister Sebastian Lazaroiu, who was not present at the mentioned debate, on Tuesday, said it was out of the question.

‘I have been mandated by the premier to tell you that there is and there will be no project of the Government for the abrogation of public pensions or minimum wage,’ Government spokeswoman Ioana Muntean also said.

PDL member Valeriu Stoica declined Preda’s criticism arguing he ‘was mistaking the debate on a doctrinaire document on Ordoliberalism, prepared by an independent panel for PDL’s position.’ Valeriu Stoica pointed out that the independent panel ‘had only put a document up for debate, taking into consideration that Ordoliberalism and the market economy were assumed by the German Christian Democracy and became the foundation of the German economic development programme after WWII.’

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