Acting national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea said Monday after a meeting of the PSD National Standing Bureau that a meeting of political leaders on the Fiscal Code will be hosted by Parliament Palace on Thursday.
He added that he had a phone conversation on the matter with co-chair of the opposition National Liberal Party (PNL) Alina Gorghiu, who agreed on the meeting.
“I have informed my colleagues about the discussions inside the ruling coalition and the decisions made, including us meeting the other parliamentary parties on Thursday. I had a phone conversation with Alina Gorghiu and agreed to meet on Thursday at 10:00hrs with the other political leaders to tackle the Fiscal Code at the Palace of Parliament,” said Dragnea.
He added that the PNL leader voiced agreement on the Thursday’s meeting. “Yes, she agreed. I also saw the first reaction of Mrs. Alina Gorghiu after my announcement this morning. I find that a right reaction. I discussed after the meeting of the National Standing Bureau if Thursday is all right and what was a right time, and we agreed for Thursday, at 10:00 o’clock, at the Palace of Parliament,” said Dragnea.
Asked whether or not another discussion on the Fiscal Code is needed with President Klaus Iohannis, Dragnea said the meeting on Thursday is important as it can conclude with a shared opinion.
“The Fiscal Code is no child’s play; it is quite some of the most important pieces of legislation that could trigger or hamper development. (…) It is much more important for us to take some extra time (…) to scrutinise the figures and involvements so that on Thursday we can have a conversation and a final vote in the knowing,” Dragnea explained.
He added that the ruling coalition has to show up with a shared opinion at the meeting, saying the opinion will be ready by Thursday.
Teodorovici: Fiscal Code final form to be hammered out following Thursday’s political talks
Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici said that following the political leaders’ meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 27, the final form of the Fiscal Code will be hammered out for Parliament to adopt the new proposals next week, specifically the suggested 20 percent VAT and the one-year deferment of the scrapping of the extra excise on fuel.
“There was that technical discussion you already know about, with the two proposed measures, one to defer the extra excise, the other to have the 20 percent VAT as of January 1. So a political discussion of the political leaders is scheduled for Thursday and we’ll see exactly what the final form will be so that next week we can take it to Parliament,” said the Finance Minister.
He explained that this political meeting is necessary since this is a decision to be taken at the party and ruling coalition level.
Asked why he said last week that an agreement on the Fiscal Code had been reached and that therefore no political talks would be needed, Teodorovici explained that last week there had been a purely technical discussion from where the two measures proposed by the National Liberal Party had emerged.
“I said that was a technical discussion and that these were the couple of measures proposed by the Liberals, [the VAT cut and the extra excise],” said the Minister of Finance.
Teodorovici added that the extraordinary parliamentary session was not closed due to any unexpected occurrence.
“Nothing serious happened. I told you, talks at coalition level will be held on Thursday and we’ll make a relevant decision within the coalition, on what measures to refer to Parliament next week. (…) We, the Finance Ministry, voiced our opinion in our capacity as government structure, the ongoing talks deal with what I told you. We’ll see exactly if other measures will add to the two already specified,” the Minister said.
Teodorovici said talks with figures on the table had also taken place in the meeting of the National Standing Bureau of the Social Democratic Party, and that there is no problem in this regard.
“A discussion will take place on Thursday for us to see exactly what the final form is. No other measure was discussed apart from the already established two,” said the Minister.
Teodorovici mentioned that analyzes of the new Tax Code held after the technical discussion in Parliament focused on the new form of the Tax Code with the two measures added.
“There are different figures now, which, we’d say, look better, there are already savings to the 2016 state budget. So we said it, postponing the extra excise by one year and cutting the VAT in two steps to 20 percent and then to 19 percent, would bring about some potential savings for 2016. This was the only talk, nothing else,” said the Minister of Finance.
He added that the increase in the public servants’ wages and the planned measures in the new Fiscal Code are unrelated to one another.