It is up to Prime Minister Victor Ponta to announce a solution to implement the new Tax Code, the ruling coalition decided in its Monday meeting. The announcement was made by the acting chairwoman of the Social Democrat Party (PSD, the main coalition party) Rovana Plumb, who also mentioned that Ponta did not attend the meeting.
The Fiscal Code and officials’ wages were the main topic of debate on the agenda of the emergency meeting of the ruling coalition on Monday. The representatives of the ruling parties met in the absence of PM Victor Ponta, former leader of PSD, who left for Istanbul for a post-surgery examination of his knee.
The participants discussed the subject of the new Fiscal Code being sent back to Parliament and a possible extraordinary meeting of the Parliament to adopt the document, as interim-PSD leader Rovana Plumb had said that might happen in the latter half of August.
The president sent back the Fiscal Code to be re-examined by Parliament as it might cause economic imbalances. Afterwards, PM Victor Ponta said that, in the context of the Fiscal Code being rejected by the president, the Government would start adopting measures included in the document wither by emergency ordinance or by asking for a vote of confidence in Parliament.
During the meeting, the leaders of the coalition also talked about the ordinance regarding the wages of officials, another subject of dispute between the president and premier. Last week, Rovana Plumb, Labour Minister, was noting that the ordinance on the salaries of officials would be discussed on the ruling coalition on Monday and that the sustainability of the financing of the measure would be addressed on the occasion of the budget review.
‘There is currently no budget to sustain the ordinance on the salaries of officials’, Plumb said. The interim PSD President, Rovana Plumb, said the current ruling coalition wanted to make ‘a sustainable decision’ on the Fiscal Code. On Monday, before the coalition meeting, she said there were several options under debate for adopting the most important measures of the Fiscal Code.
‘The Government must take into account the vote of the Parliament. We are considering any sustainable option. (…)We have no final position yet, as we have three options – ordinance, vote of confidence or parliamentary session’, Rovana Plumb said.
In her opinion, the Fiscal Code is a tool that will lead to economic growth and predictability in the business environment.
As for the ordinance on officials’ wages, Plumb said that ‘it would need to be budgeted first’.
‘We will see what budgetary impact it would have now, considering the budget review and we will say if, indeed, we can implement it right now. Our position is to implement it together with the salary law’, Plumb also said.
Rovana Plumb: ‘Premier Victor Ponta will communicate the solution’
After the meeting of the ruling coalition, Rovana Plumb said the solution to the Fiscal Code, sent back by President Klaus Iohannis to be re-examined by Parliament, would be communicated by Prime-Minister Victor Ponta. She did not say if a decision had been made during the meeting, but, as the journalists were insisting, repeated that the premier would communicate the solution.
‘We have consulted on the coalition and we all support the Fiscal Code in the form proposed by the Ponta Government and adopted by the Romanian Parliament and the solution to the re-examination request will be communicated by Prime-Minister Victor Ponta. There will be no other meeting of the coalition on this subject. Premier Victor Ponta will communicate the solution’, Rovana Plumb said.
ALDE leader and Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu was missing from the coalition meeting. He is one a short holiday, according to news channels.
Gabriel Oprea ‘totally’ supports chief of Executive
Gabriel Oprea said, after the talks on the Fiscal Code, that the coalition must strengthen the power of Victor Ponta.
‘We have decided that Victor Ponta must make a statement on the Fiscal Code and the coalition to totally support him’.
And since Rovana Plumb is acting President of the main ruling coalition party, Oprea thinks ‘it would be correct for Rovana Plumb to communicate the matters of the coalition’.
Eugen Nicolaescu: ‘Only solution is to call Parliament in session’
The Fiscal Code cannot be adopted by emergency ordinance or by the Cabinet requesting a vote of confidence because that would be against the Constitution, claims the deputy leader of the PNL group in the Chamber of Deputies, Eugen Nicolaescu.
‘I would like to stress a constitutional aspect: as long as a law has been adopted by Parliament and is in the promulgation phase, the normative act cannot be adopted by a different legislative procedure such as a vote of confidence or an emergency ordinance, except, of course, by breaking the Constitution’, Nicolaescu said on RFI Romania.
In his opinion, the ruling coalition ‘will probably come to its senses, sit down at the table and call the Parliament in session, since this is the purpose of having a parliamentary majority and, of course, absolutely all those who have something to say should debate again on the risks of enforcing the Fiscal Code, as the Government has not fulfilled its commitments’.
What’s the solution for adopting the Fiscal Code? ‘The only solution is to call the Parliament in session, debate the re-examination request of the present, where there are three options: one is to send it back as initially adopted, the second one is to operate changes and the third one to reject it’, Eugen Nicolaescu explains.