The value of the compensation the Romanian state must pay to the public employees, based on court rulings, after the 25 percent wage cut in 2010, stands at RON 10 billion (EUR 2.24 billion), Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced Monday on Romania TV private broadcaster. ‘This year, we shall pay RON 2 bn following the suits filed by public employees, magistrates, teachers, against the decisions taken by the Boc Government over 2009-2010. We are paying, because the decisions are final and irrevocable,’ Ponta said. In his turn, Minister-delegate for Budget, Liviu Voinea said that because of these payments to public employees, based on court rulings, the hike of public salaries is no longer possible. Ponta also said a cut in the social security contributions (CAS) due by employers tops the list of topics to be discussed at a meeting early this June with a joint delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC) and the World Bank (WB). The cut will be adopted at an opportune time for the Romanian economy. He said Romania’s economy advanced 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, and exports ‘are advancing by the quarter. Not least, the Government considers the possibility of reducing the value added tax (VAT) on fruits, vegetables and organic products as of January 1, 2015. Ponta said that the Government will conduct an analysis this fall, a year after the cut in the bread VAT. The head of Executive pointed out that a similar measure on meat products ‘is more difficult to enforce’, as there are higher collected amounts.