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September 22, 2019
POLITICS

Dragnea: I trust Victor Ponta, he’s my friend, he has my and PSD’s backing

“I have great trust in Victor Ponta, he’s my friend, my comrade, he is my colleague and he has my and the party’s total backing for his position at the helm of the Romanian Government,” Social Democratic Party (PSD) Interim President Liviu Dragnea said on Monday evening at Antena 3 TV.
Referring to the Fiscal Code, Dragnea pointed out that he and the Premier conjunctly asked the Finance Minister, as a result of the request to re-examine the draft law, to run a new analysis in order to see whether the President’s worries are justified.
“We, Premier Victor Ponta and I, jointly asked Finance Minister Teodorovici 2-3 weeks ago to take the Romanian President’s request seriously, he probably had some elements that prompted him to return the Fiscal Code to Parliament, and to run another analysis, a prognosis, in order to see whether the President’s worries are justified or whether within the Finance Ministry the calculus and analyses show that the Fiscal Code can go forward as adopted in Parliament,” Dragnea stated.
PSD’s Interim President also explained that the political leaders agreed on a technical discussion last week, however the final decision on this issue belongs to political leaders because it entails the assumption of significant responsibility.
Dragnea opined that it is better for the debate on the President’s request for the re-examination of the Fiscal Code to be postponed, “in order to be certain that it is a decision adopted in an informed manner.”
“From what I understood, the Premier had a meeting with the Romanian President, and with Deputy Premier Oprea. The possibility of changing the initial version was discussed. When this possibility appears it means some elements have appeared and so I said it’s better for all, for us in the coalition and for our opposition colleagues, to give ourselves several more days, because nothing wrong will happen if we eventually hold the vote next week, during the normal sitting, but when we take the decision we should be certain that it is a decision adopted in an informed manner,” Liviu Dragnea stated.
The PSD leader also stated that he forwarded a proposal in this sense to his ruling coalition colleagues during Monday’s meeting, all of them, Premier Victor Ponta included, agreeing with it.
“I said that two or three extra days of internal analysis conducted by us within the coalition along with the Finance Ministers, by the opposition along with their specialists, won’t do any harm, so that when we meet on Thursday we should have many more elements and then maybe we would find the best solution. Maybe this Fiscal Code will remain as it was when it entered Parliament, or maybe it will be modified if the Government says we have to do it because another element has appeared, we have to hike salaries, but I believe a better organized discussion is necessary,” Dragnea added.
Referring to the technical talks on the Fiscal Code, Liviu Dragnea said that he received contradictory information “both from the opposition as well as from the coalition colleagues that attended them.”
“I am almost convinced that on Thursday (at the party leaders’ meeting – editor’s note) all political leaders attending the meeting will have a solution, in order for it to enter parliamentary procedures as soon as the September 1 sitting starts and in order for the changes to the Fiscal Code to be adopted shortly thereafter,” Dragnea pointed out.

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