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September 18, 2019
POLITICS

PNL’s Prime minister-designate: ‘We initiate talks with PSD who I hope will come to its senses’

National Liberal Party (PNL) First Vice-President Catalin Predoiu, possibly future prime-minister if his party comes to power, said on Monday that PNL was willing to sit down at ‘a round table’ with PSD, UNPR and the other parties in order to find that formula everyone can say ‘will stand for ten years’. In the context, Predoiu pleased for ‘simplification of taxation, keeping the financial-budgetary balance, reform of state-owned enterprises, restoration of the systems of education and health’, measures he believes to be priorities especially ‘in this troubled regional context’.

‘I am now entering a negotiation, we are initiating talks with PSD who I hope will come to its senses. Based on all expert opinions that we have, we should come to a formula that everyone agrees will stand. As of today, I have a mandate. I cannot give you figures before I discuss it. If PSD is also responsible this time, if they sit down and talk, we will all find a way’, Catalin Predoiu said on Realitatea TV.

Predoiu stressed the fact that Romania was ‘in an exceptionally positive situation if we know how to play it now, if we reform the administration, if we depoliticise state-owned companies and simply legislation’

‘We need to orient ourselves to genuine themes: simplification of taxation, keeping the financial-budgetary balance, reform of state-owned enterprises, education and health with restoration of the systems. The ‘who bids more on fiscal relaxation’ theme is a false one, unconsciously induced by the premier. I hope this time, after this reasonable initiative, we can sit down around the table, all of us, with economists and specialists, and reach a formula which could stand for the next ten years, under the new conditions that have emerged since the date of the code. One could become an example in this troubled regional context. (…) Mr. Ponta has played the country at the roulette. That’s outrageous. This is about Romania’s best interest. We are in an exceptionally positive situation if we know how to play it now, if we reform the administration, if we depoliticise state-owned companies and simply legislation’, the PNL official explained.

In what concerns PNL’s request to the Government to extend the agreement with the IMF, Predoiu explained that a country cannot be independent from its foreign partners unless it is very powerful from an economic point of view.

‘Without an agreement with the IMF, the refinancing interest on foreign markets will automatically grow by approximately 0.1%, which means about EUR 100 M/year.

The co-financing from European funds is much lower if you have such a cooperation programme. They do not understand just how important these partnerships are. You can only be independent if you are economically very powerful’, said the first vice-president of PNL.

On the other hand, referring to the Fiscal Code, Predoiu stressed the fact that ‘both the president and PNL acted fairly both regarding the ruling programme and the vote and the re-examination request’, in the context where ‘PNL has opened the opportunity of political debates’.

‘In the matter of the Fiscal Code, both President Iohannis and PNL acted correctly at there crucial moments, under distinct circumstances and with distinct stakes. There has been and still is a propaganda that created confusion around this subject and PNL’s opposition. (…) The first crucial moment was when PNL drafted its ruling programme. The programme included a policy of tax relaxation to foster entrepreneurship and growth of business, thinking about the business environment and local capital. But those gradual measures of fiscal relaxation were preceded and still are preceded by what we called accompanying reform measures: reform of collection, reform of state-owned companies and reform of the administration.

The second important moment was the vote, when PNL had a fair position. It cooperated in the parliamentary debate, supported measures which were in its own programme, stressing the importance of accompanying measures. That is the duty of the Government, not the Opposition. Of course PL voted for it as long as its ruling programme contains a relaxation measure.

The third important moment: Klaus Iohannis asks for the law to be re-discussed. It is not a contradiction, because, between moment two and moment three, a few things happened: first of all, the programme of economic reforms of the Government was declared ‘derailed’ by the Vice-President of the European Commission. Not to mention developments in Greece’, Catalin Predoiu also said.

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