National Liberal Party (PNL) Honorary President Mircea Quintus Ionescu stated on Saturday at PNL’s National Council meeting, where those speaking before him were ushered on the stage on the rhythm of rap music playing in the background, that God is Christian and Liberal, encouraging those “temporarily holding high offices” to put action before talk.
“Too many words, the poverty of mankind. (…) Our fellow citizens are waiting from those temporarily holding high offices to put action before words, to say what we did, not what we are planning to do,” PNL Honorary President Mircea Quintus Ionescu said at the PNL National Council meeting which validated the amendments adopted following Vasile Blaga’s resignation.
Mircea Quintus Ionescu pointed out that the party’s strength does not rely on a few “dependents.”
“I want to tell you that, knowing this party’s history, based on my feelings and knowledge, PNL was never as strong as it is today. PNL’s strength does not rely on three, four, five dependents who knows where, but on the party’s base. The party’s base consists of our very strong county branches and of all the strong and loyal local representatives,” Quintus said.
He also referred to Alina Gorghiu’s rise within PNL which, according to him, shows that “party members are evolving.”
“Madam president Gorghiu, president of our party, – I find it difficult to call you madam, I selected you when you were a young lady. This means that our party members are evolving. I don’t consider myself old either, I’m only elderly. (…) Liberals never get old. Those who got old before their time, we know where they are, [members of] a party that still dares to call itself Liberal,” the PNL senior said, attacking ALDE.
PNL’s Honorary President told the “paid comrades” who “are shedding crocodile tears” bemoaning PNL’s fate that the party “was never as strong as it is today.”
He confessed that in his opinion “God is both Christian and Liberal.”
“I stop here by praying to God to keep me strong so that I could contribute, as always, to our electoral campaign, being convinced that our party can but win the elections. So help us God, who is, in my opinion, both Christian and Liberal,” the Liberal concluded.
Unlike PNL’s Honorary President, those who took to the rostrum were ushered on the stage while rap music played in the background. PNL’s campaign anthem – “Just Romania” – was launched at the meeting, featuring rap and hip-hop rhythms.
“A just Romania, a lot of right (…) people are expecting / A just Romania, where there is a lot of hope, where the state respects us, where you see a future,” were the lyrics sang in the backdrop while Liberals such as Adriana Saftoiu, Catalin Predoiu, Eugen Nicolaescu, Raluca Turcan and Cristina Busoi were entering the stage.
Those who gave speeches talked about PNL’s governing platform and the political reform that the party proposes.
PNL Bucharest First Vice President Adriana Saftoiu said in her speech, which focused on political reform, that the state should guarantee the right to happiness.
“I believe the state has to guarantee my right to happiness, every citizen’s right to happiness,” Adriana Saftoiu said. She also told Liberals that they have the opportunity to build “a friendly, not a sanctions-wielding state.”
“We have a unique opportunity, to draft a program for Romania that would give priority to the citizen and only afterward to the state. I believe we should establish that, from this moment on, starting in December 2016, the state is not hierarchically superior to the citizen, the state is on the same level and what we should do is build a friendly state which should, first of all, help people, become the friend and not the one wielding sanctions,” Adriana Saftoiu emphasised.
PNL governing platform: Child benefit at 200 Lei, doubling of doctors’ salaries on 1 July 2017 and gratuity for first 3 in vitro insemination procedures
In the governing platform launched on Saturday, the Liberals promise a child benefit of 200 Lei, the doubling of doctors’ salaries on 1 July 2017, a similar salary hike for professors and nurses, but gradually, as well as gratuity for first 3 in vitro insemination procedures.
“Romania’s National Reconstruction,” PNL’s governing platform, is centred on the idea that “the state has to serve the citizen,” an idea expressed by President Klaus Iohannis at the first meeting of the Presidential Commission on the National Project.
The Liberals want another 24 billion Euros invested in Romania’s economy in the next 4 years. For that purpose, they plan to set up the Romanian Urban-Rural Development Fund (FRDUR), set to reach assets of 11 billion Euros in 4 years’ time and to be used for strategic investments and for covering financing deficits in critical areas, and the Romanian Development and Investment Bank (BDIR), with a starting capital of 200 million Euros and set to operate a crediting portfolio of at least 1 billion Euros.
BDIR will be set up and will function like the European Investment Bank, having as shareholders the ministries whose investments involve the use of the bank’s funds. The bank will have private management.
The generalisation of the 16 percent flat tax and a flexible Labour Code that would allow employees to exercise their right to work in line with their own financial expectations and by closing negotiated partial labour contracts for Saturdays and Sundays, as well as including other conditions they may want, is at the centre of PNL’s economic measures.
In the healthcare domain, PNL promises the doubling of doctors’ salaries starting on 1 July 2017, and the hiking of nurses’ salaries by an average of 20 percent annually, starting on 1 July 2017 until they are doubled.
Another objective is the construction of 8 regional emergency hospitals in Cluj Napoca, Iasi, Craiova, Timisoara, Constanta, Targu Mures and Bucharest’s Districts 3 and 6, and the bi-annual updating of the list of pharmaceutical drugs.
In what concerns education, PNL promises salary hikes in this sector too – the annual hiking of salaries by an average of 20 percent starting in the second half of 2017 and until the salaries are thus doubled, a move accompanied by an evaluation of the members of the teaching staff.
Likewise, PNL wants to generalise pre-university education in a single shift by building around 18,000 seats in educational units, but also to generalise education starting at the age of 4.
The hiking of the child benefit to 200 Lei per month is at the centre of the social measures.
In order to stop the demographic slump, Liberals consider establishing day-care centres, kindergartens and “after-school” centres at job sites, but also lowering the income tax by 50 percent for parents who have more than two children, up until the child or children reach the age of 7.
Likewise, the first 3 in vitro insemination procedures will be free, paid by the state budget through a special national program. A larger package of free medical check-ups for pregnant women who are older than 35 years of age will be introduced, being meant to properly screen the pregnancies and to offer all information on the babies’ state of health (among others, concretely it proposes gratuity for amniocentesis, a necessary pre-natal diagnosis test that is far too expensive for many families).
In what concerns the judiciary, a central role is played by the reforming of the Superior Magistracy Council (CSM) and the transferring of judiciary budgets to this institution, as an important leverage for ensuring its independence.
Under the political chapter, PNL lists the elimination of privileges, including special pensions for MPs, and the drafting of a precise three weeks per month working schedule in Parliament, from Monday to Thursday, and a week per month for work within local constituencies.
PNL also promises to develop the national irrigation infrastructure by building the Siret-Baragan Canal, banning intensive logging and rendering controls more efficient by making the legislation harsher. It also promises to establish the Black Sea Basin Cereal Grains Commodity Market through a public-private partnership.
When it comes to infrastructure, Liberals want to connect Wallachia, Transylvania and Banat by giving priority to the construction of the Sibiu-Pitesti expressway and completing the Pan European Corridor (Arad-Sibiu-Bucharest-Constanta); to connect Moldova and Transylvania by starting the construction of the Union Expressway (Targu Mures – Iasi – Ungheni) by establishing the Romanian Urban-Rural Development Fund (FRDUR); to connect Oltenia and Banat through the Oltenia Expressway (Timisoara-Calafat, part of the corridor that will link northern German ports with the Balkans); to start the construction of the Comarnic-Brasov expressway.