POLITICS

2012 budget adopted by Commissions

All 8,000 amendments of the opposition rejected.

The MPs that are part of Parliament’s Budget-Finances Commissions adopted the 2012 budget on Tuesday evening, in a joint meeting, in the form elaborated by the government, all amendments filed by the Opposition MPs being rejected. The MPs voted the draft budget’s 48 articles in approximately four hours, time in which they also rejected all amendments filed by the Opposition. The Opposition MPs accused the government of the fact that the 2012 budget is violating several laws and was built on the basis of laws that did not come into force at the time it was sent to Parliament, and some of them are yet to come into force. “Was this budget based on laws currently in force? You had the possibility, you issued emergency ordinances, you did everything you wanted. Why should we vote a budget based on laws that are not in force yet,” PSD MP Petre Popeanga stated. The Opposition complained that the local authorities’ revenues were cut by approximately RON 1 bln, and that the laws on salaries and social assistance have not come into force yet.

According to ‘Gandul’ daily, the Opposition’s amendments included many that were asking for funds for churches. “Two out of ten amendments filed on next year’s budget concerned churches. Most proposals came from the Liberals and Social-Democrats who signed dozens of requests to channel funds towards local parishes. The MPs claim they acted at the behest of local communities, of citizens and church officials alike, and some of them do not shy away from saying that their “relation with the divinity” helped them in their political careers and with the help of God they will manage to get money from Boc,” the ‘Gandul’ article reads. In reply, PDL Senator Radu Berceanu considers that the filing of a high number of amendments that call for the earmarking of funds for churches is explainable given the approach of elections. “Those that want to be church builders should use their own money to build churches or whatever they want to build in order to stand out in the community,” Berceanu said.

IGAS on gasoline thefts

The budget annexes that concerned funds for budget owners were debated and voted too. Thus, the budgets of the following Ministries were debated and voted yesterday: the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Environment Ministry, European Affairs Ministry, Communications Ministry, Justice Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education.

Internal Affairs Minister Traian Igas was present at the debates, addressing the claim that gasoline is stolen within police precincts. Igas stated that gasoline being stolen is the only explanation he could find for the unexplainable sum of EUR 2 M spent by policemen on fuel each month. “There are quantities of fuel that we basically don’t have. We have them on paper, but we don’t have them in real life, we don’t have them in storage, we don’t have them in gas tanks,” Igas said.

The Parliament’s Budget-Finances Commissions approved yesterday the Ministry of Economy’s budget too, a budget that will total RON 1.43 bln next year. The commissions adopted an amendment that concerns the transfer of RON 10 M to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, for the reserves of heavy water and uranium.

On the other hand, the MPs from the Budget-Finances Commissions complained that some ministers, such as FM Teodor Baconschi and Catalin Predoiu, Justice minister, were not present at the debates.

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