POLITICS

PM Ponta: Wages of dignitaries will only rise simultaneously with all other public pay

Prime Minister Victor Ponta told B1 private broadcaster on Thursday evening that he disagreed with the passage of an ordinance allowing for increases in the wages of dignitaries, and that following statements by head of the Presidential Administration Dan Mihalache to the same broadcaster he decided to postpone the coming into force of the ordinance at the next meeting of the Government.

“I disagreed with it [the ordinance under which the wages of dignitaries would be increased]. Yesterday I arrived in Bucharest and voiced disagreement. I said that the dignitaries should indeed be well paid but when all public pay will increase. I told so Mr Oprea and my colleagues, Mrs Plumb and Mr Teodorovici. They told me there was a very clear discussion with President Klaus Iohannis and I did not want to leave the impression that I am against what President Iohannis and Mr Oprea discussed together in my absence. I have just found out from the head of the Chancellery that Mr Iohannis does not know anything and has nothing to do with the matter; so I switched back to my decision and on Wednesday we will make another decision: the wages of ministers and the President will only rise at the same time with all the public pay,” said Ponta.

Asked about his conversation with former acting Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea and President Klaus Iohannis on the matter, Ponta said the two decided to increase the wages of dignitaries in his absence.

“So far as I understand, they discussed to pass the ordinance in my absence because I did not chair yesterday’s meeting of the Government. The decree [allowing Ponta to resume his prime ministerial duties] had not been published. So I said, ‘In my opinion, the rise should happen at the same time with the other,’ as was normal, I respected a conversation between the acting prime minister and the president. If Mr Mihalache says now that I was misinformed and that in fact Mr Iohannis has not got a clue and has nothing to do with the matter, then I believe the fair and common-sense decision would be for us to increase the wages of the dignitaries at the same time with all the public pay. (…) I no longer feel like tolerating these cheap games of doing something to blame someone else,” added Ponta.

Acting Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea on Wednesday announced the Government passed an ordinance under which the wages of the highest-ranking public servants of Romania will increase as from August.

“It is about the President and Prime Minister of Romania, as well as the chairs of Parliament’s two chambers, the directors of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), the Special Guard and Protection Service (SPP) and the Special Telecommunications Service (STS), 48 positions in all,” said Oprea.

 

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