PM Ponta: 20pct VAT “red line” of Fiscal Code negotiations

Prime Minister Victor Ponta says the value-added tax cut to 20 percent is the “red line” of consultations with the parliamentary parties on the Fiscal  Code.

Speaking at Romania TV private broadcaster on Monday night, he added that the interim head of his Social Democrat party Liviu Dragnea had called him to discuss the matter.

Asked whether the ongoing dispute on the Tax Code also has an economic facet, Ponta answered it was “one hundred percent political.”

Ponta dodged a question on his possible resignation if the VAT is eventually set at 21 percent instead of 20 percent: “I do my job. Right now, I am a general manager of the Government, with four people in the Board – Mr. Liviu Dragnea, Mr. Gabriel Oprea, Mr. Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Mr. Daniel Constantin .My duty is to tell them how things look, then they will make a political decision.”

The Parliament passed the Fiscal Code by a unanimous vote on June 24. President Klaus Iohannis refused to sign it and returned it for re-examination on July 27. The Parliament should discuss the re-examination request in an extraordinary session on August 24-26. Meanwhile, the opposition National Liberal Party – formerly headed by Iohannis – has changed its position and no longer supports the act, and the UNPR voiced its openness to renegotiating it.

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