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January 18, 2022

Catalin Predoiu: ‘Ponta would leave Government tomorrow if he did not fear what the PSD barons would do to him if he did’

National Liberal Party (PNL) Prime Vice-President Catalin Predoiu denounces the rectification of the budget presented during the PSD BPN meeting on Monday, which went on the table of ministers during the Cabinet meting on Tuesday.

In a press release, Predoiu says the budget rectification is, in reality, ‘a budget baronisation’

‘Ponta obsessively repeats that he took over the country, in 2012, from a <pit>. In the <pit> where he was offered the government as a gift in 2012 he found the EUR 5 bn buffer at the Ministry of Finance, a stabilised budget deficit and credibility on foreign markets restored by the previous governments. It is an incorrect thing for him to claim that he took over the economy in a crisis. In 2012, Ponta took over an economy that had been macro-stabilised. The important thing now is that he should not start a spiral of populist measures his government cannot sustain for any more than 12 – 18 months. It is important not to repeat mistakes made by other economies, even those in developed states’, Predoiu warns.

He claims the economy can grow through public investment in infrastructure and points out that Romania ‘cannot afford a model of economic development based on large deficits and high expenditures with an unreformed administration’.

‘Romanian entrepreneurship and capital need a reliable government that should not delude with temporary measures that cannot be sustained over a longer period, a reliable government that should be able to keep the fiscal framework on a long term. However, what we see with the budget rectification operated by Ponta (actually Dragnea), is, in fact. A ‘budget baronisation’. The Ponta Government takes resources away from investment and infrastructure development and gives them to the PSD barons. The non-sense rectification of the budget is one more proof of the lack of honesty of the Ponta Government’, the PNL official further says.

He adds that Victor Ponta should resign as economy ‘now needs a government with credibility in the world, able to attract investment and support for Romania’.

‘Well, Ponta no longer has credibility even for opening a doughnut sop in Dubai. If he, indeed, wishes to serve Romanian economy, he should step down from the government as he stepped down as the head of PSD. For now, he fears what PSD could do to him more than he cares about the Romanian economy. In fact, from what it is being said down the hallways of power, Ponta would leave Government tomorrow if he did not fear what the PSD barons would do to him if he did’, Catalin Predoiu also says.

All ministers were called to the government on Monday for talks on the rectification of the budget, and, on Tuesday, all the members of the Executive will have a special meeting to adopt the rectification.

Catalin Predoiu’s assertions come in the context where PM Victor Ponta had said on Monday that the new Fiscal Code was good for all the citizens of Romania, all local or foreign companies in this country that have invested here over the last years and added that a political debate on the topic was ‘a big mistake’. Ponta said the ‘political debate – this is how I explain this right now – is something like that – some lady probably started weeping, went to Iohannis and said: <Boss, if Ponta does the Fiscal Code too, what else can we do, since we are urging him to resign all day long? This is how low it got’, Ponta said, referring to PNL Co-president Alina Gorghiu.

‘The Fiscal Code is good for everyone who are now watching us, there are citizens who live in Romania and who, by cutting VAT, obtained an extra income of 5%. Maybe 5% is not a lot, but, you know, after Boc and Predoiu took away we are giving back. That’s a very good thing. The Fiscal Code is a good thing for all Romanian companies or companies with foreign capital that have invested these last three years, that have put Romania on the first position in economic growth in the EU and that have made it possible for us to move from the 700,000 jobs lost in 2010 – 2011 to come to a plus of 275,000 – 300,000, it’s a very good thing for Romania, for anyone who wants this country not to live from crisis into another crisis, from a loan into another loan’, Ponta said on a TV channel.

In this context, the PM pointed out he could not understand how the Liberals, who had voted for the Fiscal Code, no longer supported it.

‘The discussion on the Fiscal Code is one and a half years old. We have talked with everyone – the business environment, trade unions, Senate, Chamber of Deputies, everyone, we made all calculations. I cannot accuse Mr. Isarescu, because he has never said this Code was a good one. Now he has said it wasn’t good. But I know for a fact that, last year, Mr. Iohannis was saying that, if you vote for Ponta, he will raise taxes and fees. He said vote for me and I will cut the VAT to 19%. That Ponta you were not supposed to vote for (…) is now cutting taxes. But I am sure that this Fiscal Code will be adopted by Parliament again’, Victor Ponta also said.


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