Premier Mihai Razvan Ungureanu said Monday evening, on the public TV, that he intends to go in Parliament after 100 days of his mandate as PM, in order to explain in detail the measures that will be adopted by the Government in this interval and the prospects for the following period. Ungureanu added that he is willing to take over a new mandate at the Victoria Palace after the parliamentary elections of this autumn, saying that he accepted the nomination as prime minister in order to build, not to “patch.” “I do not believe that things will be over in November, because if I thought this way, it would mean that I must patch up, rather than build. I came to build, not to patch,” the head of the Government added. Asked whether he intends to run in the next presidential elections, Ungureanu said that his priority is to keep the Government working and, if the ruling programme will have the expected social effect, then one can also speak about “what’s next.”
The premier said that he has not received yet any proposal from PDL to enter this party and, at this moment, he has not set himself the objective of joining any political party, but such an option will be announced “at the right moment.” “I am independent as long as I want to be independent, but this does not mean that, sometimes in the future, I will not be able to assume the political colours which I feel I can represent best, I have an enormous freedom of option. For the time being, I am independent and I consider that, from my position, supported by a coalition formed of ruling political parties, I can afford this position,” Ungureanu mentioned.
The UTC past and the wife’s money
Ungureanu insisted to explain his position as alternate member of the Union of Communist Youth (UTC), which he held during high-school, saying that it was the result of his very good grades, which brought him many prizes. “If there is guilt in winning prizes, and reaching such a situation, then obviously I am guilty, in turn. At the age of 16, thus, we talk about guilt in this case,” Ungureanu said. He also replied to a complaint filed by the Group for Political Investigations about a possible conflict of interests caused by his wife’s contract with the Austrian company OMV AG. Ungureanu explained that the money paid by OMV to his wife, when he was the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) do not represent a conflict of interests, as defined by the legislation. According to the premier, the money provided by OMV belong to a social project of the company, which involved very good doctors from Romania and abroad.
Replacing the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, impossible
Speaking about the relation with the Opposition and the parliamentary strike of the Social-Liberal Union, Ungureanu mentioned that he cannot say that he does not enjoy the support of the opposition. He explained that he needs the opposition and wants a dialogue with it, but he cannot do impossible things like replacing Roberta Anastase from the position of speaker of the Chamber of Deputies. “How can an Executive interfere with the businesses of the Legislative? I expect to be told how an Executive can do this. I am convinced that President Ponta knows there is an impossible thing here. What can be done is a continuous dialogue with the opposition, on matters of general interest,” the chief of the Government stated.
ANAF, CNAS chiefs, in the crosshair
If the premier explained that he cannot replace Anastase, things are different for ministers and state secretaries, as he claims he is free to change anyone and will not hesitate to use this right. He assured that he will not hesitate to sack the chief of ANAF, Sorin Blejnar if the budget incomes obtained from fighting tax evasion will not get at least close to the imposed limit of 1.5 pc of the GDP, and will do the same in the case of the head of the National House of Health Insurances, Lucian Duta, if there will be no performance. In Ungureanu’s opinion, one does not deal with tax evasion by attacking the small taxation, with inspectors sifting through flowers in the market. “(…) I am interested by the riches that escape taxation, I am interested by the tonnes of vegetables and fruits that enter Romania every day,” Ungureanu argued, adding that authorities must also keep an eye on oil products. An idea for combating tax evasion came yesterday from the General Commissary of the Financial Guard, Arpad Ladanyi, who told Realitatea that reducing the VAT to 10 pc for food products would serve the fight against this phenomenon. Referring to the row caused by the suspension of EC payments for POSDRU, Ungureanu said that he will not hesitate to replace the chiefs of various government agencies, wondering why the former chief of POSDRU has not been sacked before he came to the Government. In a different move, the premier confirmed that the Government analyses a possible reduction of social security contributions within a margin of 3-5 pc, “certainly for employees, maybe also for employers.”