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February 4, 2023

PM Ungureanu: Gov’t appreciates soldiers’ understanding for “temporary economic restrictions”

Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu stated yesterday during the meeting occasioned by the MoD’s self-assessment of last year’s activity that the government is aware of the difficulties faced by soldiers and that he appreciates the understanding shown by them for “the temporary restrictions” that the economic context has imposed. “Be convinced that we are focusing on finding solutions that would please all, considering that this country will recover the economic energy it lost in previous years. I hope that in the foreseeable future we could identify solutions for the most stringent problems faced by the Ministry’s personnel and the Romanian army in general,” Ungureanu stated, being quoted by Mediafax. On the other hand, the Head of Government added that this year the Romanian army will remain involved in military operations in Afghanistan and in the regional security process.Defence Minister Gabriel Oprea stated in his turn that he wants the salaries of defence system, public order and national security employees, and the salaries of soldiers in particular, to rise “as soon as Romania’s economic situation will allow it.” “We are going through a crisis and soldiers are affected by austerity measures just like all Romanians are. I want to assure them that their hardships are known at the highest level and that the preoccupation for solving this situation is constant,” Oprea said. In this context, he pointed out that “the most visible component” of the Ministry’s activity in 2011 had to do with revising the soldiers’ pensions. “As a minister I honored my promise to not apply cuts to any pension smaller than RON 3,000, and all those pensions grew following the revision. The army has honoured its duty: that of taking care of army pensioners and of guaranteeing the statute, place and role they deserve in Romanian society,” the Minister added. He pointed out that at the end of the recalculation process “pensions rose for the overwhelming majority of army pensioners, whether we’re talking about retired soldiers that have a full military career or about those with incomplete military careers.” “We’re talking about approximately 70,000 pensioners and the average pension hike for these retired soldiers stands at 34 per cent. Of course, we would have liked for all pensions to grow and we regret that there are approximately 6,000 army pensioners whose pensions dropped following the recalculations,” he added.  melescanu: the army should stay away from politicsAttending the event, the former minister of Defence, Teodor Melescanu (PNL), currently chairman of the Senate’s Defence Committee said that that the army must stay away from politics, because it is “a national institution that does not depend on the alternative to governance.” “We are aware of the outstanding effort you made (…) and we know very well that the moment has been reached when the efforts to sustain the operations abroad, along with those aimed at preserving and developing the operational capacity of the Romanian Army have declined to what I would not hesitate to describe as a very basic level. It is obvious that many of your programmes are rather at a conceptual level and on paper, as there are no resources to make them operational,” Melescanu said. He warned about three issues that should be kept in mind by those who are in charge with the destiny of Romania and its Army, at this moment: the Army must have its missions clearly defined, it needs the financial means to be able to fulfil those missions, and its personnel must have “only one policy, which is the national policy of Romania.”

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