PNL Prime Vice-President Catalin Predoiu launched a tough attack on Prime-Minister Victor Ponta. In an interview to ziare.com, Predoiu says the premier is no longer credible and that Ponta himself actually is Romania’s big problem at present.
‘I have stopped taking Victor Ponta seriously. He is a failed political experiment drawing to an end. Now, Romania’s main problem is not Greece or Ukraine, but Premier Ponta himself. He is no longer credible. Ministries no longer work and investors are reticent to the PSD Government’, Predoiu noted.
The prime vice-president of PDL also said ‘Ponta has taken steps down a road leading to the situation in Greece: has cut investment, grown country debt by foreign loans, made electoral expenditures, stopped the reform of state-owned companies and pubic economic sector in general’.
Predoiu believes ‘the only solution for Romania is for Mr. Ponta to quit. Then, reforms will be needed in the economy and administration. Stet-owned companies will have to be restructured. State companies’ debt and administration’s debt to private companies must be urgently paid. The total debt is now 320 billion lei, which is not acceptable, as it puts economic operators who have to pay taxes and sustain jobs in difficulty and even bankruptcy. The computerisation of ANAF must happen soon and major tax evasion should also be tacked without delay, especially in the fruit and vegetable sector. ANAF must have priorities: start with major tax evasion and then move to bed and breakfast owners with symbolic sales figures.’
Predoiu also said that his main concern was the economy and that he hoped that ‘at least in the last minute, PM Ponta understands that he ahs no right to endanger economic balances and the good prospects of Romanian economy’. ‘Ponta’s resignation would serve to remove uncertainties on the economic philosophy of the Government. If you look at the various Ponta governments, you will spot the inconsistency: over-taxation with more than 30 new taxes in two years, in the first pert, followed by tax relaxation, unprepared by reforms and rationalisation of unproductive public expenditures, on the other hand preceded by stopping investment. When they see something like that, a professional business community doesn’t know what to expect of the Government next year. In 6 months, in 12 months from now, the same Ponta Government will invent a new propaganda and demagogy in order to account for renouncing its relaxation policies, giving the argument of the crisis in Greece, the weather in Turkey or the recovery after knee surgeries. That’s because, in that department, I do recognise PM Ponta’s deserved Ph.D title’, Predoiu also said.
‘We will present a string team’
Asked if he had the list of the Predoiu Cabinet in his drawer, the Liberal would not disclose any names, explaining that it would violate ‘a mandate from the party’.
‘But I do consider people able to give that kind of trust. Only those who have demonstrated skill in their respective fields, who have managed with good results teams, projects, systems or institutions’, Predoiu added.
‘We are responsible, we knew we were supposed to prepare a strong team, we will present a strong team. This is something that did not start yesterday. Things have come to a certain stage’, he stressed.
About the Liberals’ dependence on UNPR for getting a majority in Parliament, Catalin Predoiu said he had had and still had a very good relationship with UNPR President Gabriel Oprea, both institutionally and personally.
‘I think the first duty of a team leader is to find the best way to capitalise on the qualities of the members of his team. This is what I tried at the Ministry of Justice, this is what I also did when I was in charge of teams at the university or in my private legal practice’, Predoiu said.
Asked if the composition of the Cabinet would take into account the PNL-PDL parity, he answered: ‘I only think in terms of values and competence, regardless of where they have manifested themselves, in the private sector or in the public sector, in politics or not. The Government must be upright, competent and enjoy a certain level of acceptance in order to generate the trust I was mentioning before. The performance of the Government translated only into good governance is not enough for an up-going trend in the economy and reform of society. It takes a national effort, therefore people who are able to trigger this effort and trust’, the vice-president of PNL further said in the interview.