Prime-Minister Victor Ponta (photo R) posted on a social media network Wednesday night an acidulous and accusing comment against the opposition and especially PNL Prime Vice-President Catalin Predoiu (photo L), who had criticized the VAT cut during a TV show Wednesday night.
‘The phantom – premier (‘to be elected’) of PNL-PDL, Mr. Catalin Predoiu, presented on the TV his position in the VAT cut – he is AGAINST it!!! His arguments being either false or bluntly stupid, all normal people would assume it is political and economic short-sight, or envy that we were the ones to take the measure, or simply lack of intelligence!’ Prime Minister Victor Ponta states on Facebook. ‘Predoiu is just consistent with the PDL people way of thinking. He was a minister of the Boc Cabinet that, in 2010, raised VAT from 19 to 24%, destroying Romanian economy – and all for getting the money they needed for illegal ANRP returns and for Microsoft bribes!’ Ponta further says. ‘It is good for Romanians to know that these people have not chanced a bit – they are still the ones of 2010, that think and do the same, the only difference being that they now call them PNL instead of PDL!’ the premier added.
Ponta also states that ‘we have the obligation not to let them destroy the country again with the stupidity and dishonesty that characterizes them (and which they do not let us forget!)’
Wednesday night, on Realitatea TV, Catalin Predoiu criticized the Ponta Government’s decision to reduce VAT for food from 24 to 9%. PNL thinks that, for the theoretically good tax relaxation measure, the government ceased investments.
‘The dispute is over the fact that these economic policies are not prepared. The Vice-President of the European Commission has said what we have been saying for three-four weeks: that these measures have not been prepared. The argument of the government for this tax relaxation policy is ‘we have the money’. The shortage of revenue the measure would create in a first phase is 5 bn. We need to see where this money is coming from. In Q 1, it came from stopping investment. What we warn about is that this tool turns out to be a threat in the hands of the PM, because this is how he accounts for the measure: he cut investment in Q1. We have a cut of investment funds by approximately 40% on a year-on-year basis – capital expenditures – and 35% – programming of investment from non-repayable funds’, Catalin Predoiu explained.
Previously, Catalin Predoiu had said that ‘Ponta initially said he would cut VAT to 20% this spring. We told him that it wouldn’t be sustainable before January 2016, as we have it in the PNL ruling programme. Today he has told us that he was cutting VAT only for some food categories and the general rate in… January 2016. The conclusion: Ponta is just playing a game of image when he speaks of economic measures. He has come to our conclusion’.
Catalin Predoiu: ‘Ponta mixes up lies and reasoning errors’
Catalin Predoiu was prompt to reply, still on Facebook. The Prime Vice-President of PNL said on Thursday that he refused to join ‘a derisory game of insults’ with Victor Ponta on the subject of VAT cut.
Predoiu added that he would seriously continue to criticize the Government and resumed a challenge made to the PM to participate in a debate on the economic situation and justice in Romania.
‘I have criticized and continue to accuse the Ponta Government of cutting investment for creating the reserve of approximately RON 45 bn to be able to cut VAT. Probably because he is incapable of abstract reasoning and cannot distinguish between two separate things, <the economic measure> and<preparation of the economic measure>, Ponta attacks me again on Facebook using a characteristic language, mixing up lies and errors of reasoning’, Catalin Predoiu states on his Facebook page.
The Liberal also asked the premier ‘to resume the public investment suspended in 2014 and 2015 and ‘do the impact study necessary for any tax relaxation policy’. Predoiu is also demanding Ponta ‘to disclose to the public the answers he got from the IMF, the World Bank and BNR regarding the policies he ahs announced (party renounced)’. He is also asking that the Government ‘resume structural reforms, primarily at state-owned companies’.
In addition, Predoiu suggested to Ponta ‘to study the investment-jobs-purchasing power-consumption-prices-inflation-deflation relations’ and advised him to read ‘an interesting column on the subject published by <Ziarul Finanmciar> today, signed by a reputed economics professor, Eduard Dinu’.