President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday stated that the disappearance of the Cantacuzino Institute is ‘unacceptable’ and it is not among the options to the current crisis.
‘I didn’t come earlier because I wanted to wait some more for a solution to the problem to appear. However, since I saw that such a solution still doesn’t exist, I wanted to personally come and discuss with the managers to seek for it together. It is unacceptable or out of the question to just leave the Institute disappear,’ Iohannis told the employees of the Cantacuzino National Institute of Research-Development in Microbiology and Immunology, on the occasion of his visit to the institution.
He also said that it will be a big problem if the specialists decide to leave and told them ‘to have a little hope and be optimistic.’
The employees of the institute complained that they haven’t received their salaries and told the head of the state that he gave them hope.
The Cantacuzino Institute, numbering 486 employees, last autumn was placed under the subordination of the Ministry of Education, from that of the Ministry of Health.
The situation of the Institute is currently critical, given that its debts amount to 5 million euros, its bank accounts are frozen by the National Agency for Tax Administration, and its production of vaccines is currently blocked, while the employees haven’t received their salaries on time.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta a month ago stated that he was seeking for solutions to repair the situation at the Cantacuzino Institute.
‘We are trying in the next interval to seek for solutions to repair what was done wrong. This is a very serious concern. We are trying to seek for solutions while we are not allowed to just take the money from the budget, since this would mean a state aid, and the Institute didn’t produce homologated vaccines, even if public money was invested in it,’ said Ponta.
On March 18, more than 300 employees of the institute protested in front of the government headquarters because they haven’t received part of their salaries over the past three months and it seems that the prospects for the Institute is not at all optimistic.
‘An inter-ministerial committee was established on September 17, but no solution was brought up to light yet. The government keeps postponing finding a concrete solution to save the Institute. The single thing that happened was that it was placed from under the subordination of the Ministry of Health to the one of the Ministry of Education. We are going to continue with our protests until a solution is found,’ said the leader of the TESA trade union of the Cantacuzino Institute, doctor Toader Marian.
‘But the solution doesn’t reside in just keeping up the protests, the solution is to restructure and to resume the licenses, since otherwise we can’t produce anything and, of course, we can’t make money if we don’t produce. And the products need to meet the European norms. Restructuring means that those employees who are just not fit for the job must leave. In fact, this measure should have been implemented long ago. There is a GEO that we are currently discussing with the government to erase our debt. The jurists are also trying to find an alternative solution,’ the Ministry of Health stated back then.
He maintained that the Institute should have been placed under the subordination of the Ministry of Education ever since 2012 and that the current situation is mostly the result of the mismanagement, Agerpres informs.
Ponta: Complicated situation at Cantacuzino Institute; nothing to happen sooner than one and a half year
Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Wednesday said the situation at the Cantacuzino Institute is complicated and the prospects are dim for the institute to produce something sooner than one, one and a half year.
‘I have informed Mr President Iohannis about the situation at Cantacuzino. It is a complicated situation because back in 2013 I gave the money to then Health Minister Nicolaescu, as he requested, but he spent the money and did nothing. I have suggested a debt cancellation and doing everything needed so that the University of Medicine and Pharmacy may take it over. They did not want it. (…) I believe that together we will find a solution for the institute. The problem here is that its authorisation was withdrawn in 2010 and the prospects for getting a new authorisation in a short period of time are dim. So, in the meantime we will still invest money in it and nothing palpable will come out of it for the market sooner than one, one and a half year,’ Ponta said after attending the launch of a pilot project for a Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation.