POLITICS

Gov’t wants to restore small military pensions to pre-cut levels, IMF says ‘No’

PM: “We seek solutions for army retirees that lost following the recalculation.”

The government asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restore the pensions of army retirees that suffered income losses following the recalculation enforced since 2010, but not in the case of pensions that increased following the recalculation, i.e. over 90 pc of them, but the international experts rejected the proposal.“After enforcing the new calculation system, most special pensions increased, about 90 pc of them. But there also were cases of pensions that decreased after enforcing the system. The IMF said that restoring the previous level of some pensions would also mean lowering the pensions of those who benefited from the recalculation, which are majority. The recalculation was conducted using criteria enforced by law and it would be hard to reverse it only for some, although the electoral reasons are understood,” sources close to the negotiations informed Mediafax. Moreover, IMF officials allegedly reminded the government that the recalculations were admitted, at that moment, in spite of the fact that the army pensioners never contributed to the public pension system. PM Victor Ponta said Wednesday that the ministers of Defence and Interior must precisely establish how much and within what interval the army pensioners that lost during the recalculation can recover their money, as IMF experts recommended not to tackle the issue of pensions.He added that the talks with the IMF were also attended by the Defence minister, who received a rather negative answer. “There is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Defence, which refers to military and MAI pensioners, and those of intelligence services. The IMF experts said: We disagree with reopening the issue of pensions. But what I affirmed and what the minister of Defence can do in the near future – we must make exact calculations, because many military pensioners won from the recalculation, and only a narrow category of people remained that lost. For those people, the ministers of Defence and Interior must precisely calculate and say to what extent can we fix things, and within what time interval,” Ponta said on Antena 3.The premier explained that there are cases of miscalculations that led to injustice, and the government tries to repair these mistakes. The Fiscal Council made public at the end of last year an opinion about the average pension paid to the 159,000 retirees of the army, police and intelligence services having increased by over 30 pc after the recalculation, from RON 1,744 to RON 2,289 a month, although the Labour Ministry anticipated a reduction. The condition that the special pensions of army personnel should not exceed RON 350 was not taken into consideration during talks with IMF and EC representatives, MApN announced, adding that the officials of the two institutions said that justice must be done in the case of miscalculated army pensions.

Ponta: Basescu tries to help the ARD led by deplorable leaders

Also Wednesday evening, during the same show on Antena 3, PM Ponta spoke about President Traian Basescu, saying that his latest statements represent electoral initiatives meant to help ARD, a coalition led by deplorable leaders. “These are electoral initiatives, a wish to help PDL which, through its deplorable leaders – Mr. Blaga, Mr. Ungureanu – and also because of the burden represented by the still living memories of what they did, cannot do very much in the electoral campaign. (…) If thoroughly analysed, everything the president said yesterday and the day before proves to be campaign statements which I think will do no good to the deplorable statements delivered by Blaga, Ungureanu, Neamtu and the other members of the ARD legion,” Ponta mentioned. He also claimed on Antena 3 that the president misinforms about the OSCE observers that were sent to monitor the elections in other states as well. PM Victor Ponta added that he wants a cohabitation with President Basescu, as it was the case in September and October, when “the president stuck to his presidential agenda,” and they talked about things which refer to “the life of Romania.”Referring to the members of the Parliament, Ponta said that the modification of the Constitution should also include provisions clearly defining their attributions, as they promise during campaign the achieving of projects which actually can only be fulfilled by mayors.As for the parliamentary elections, Ponta stated that he wants to remain premier after December 9 as well, but only if USL obtains the majority.

 

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