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June 22, 2021
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Polemics between the incumbent and former PM over the EU funds. Premier Grindeanu accuses Ciolos Gov’t of delays and losses in absorption of European grants, ex-PM defends himself

Premier Sorin Grindeanu announced on Monday evening that his ministers will publish in the following period an up-to-date analysis of the situation, accusing the Ciolos Government of a “drama,” namely of delays and losses related to the absorption of European grants that can no longer be recovered.

“Neither my colleagues nor I have talked about the burdensome legacy, but we have to and in the following period each ministry must come up with an up-to-date analysis of the situation as we found it and where we want to get to. This is absolutely necessary and will happen,” Sorin Grindeanu stated for Antena3 private television broadcaster.

He accused the previous Government, led by Dacian Ciolos, of “delays and losses” related to the absorption of European grants that “can no longer be recovered,” labelling as a “drama” the situation Romania is facing when “there are Governments that do not care about the citizen’s well-being.”

“This year, [the absorption of European grants] will be at EUR 5.2 billion and for this we have to start our engines. There are some things, it will be shown in the following period, which unfortunately cannot be recovered. Thanks to 2016 we will be on schedule from this point of view, of European grants. Certain delays and what was lost in 2016, unfortunately, can no longer be recovered. Aside from anything else, I believe this is the drama we continue to experience from one financial framework to the next when there are Governments that do not care about the citizen’s well-being,” Grindeanu added.

 

Former PM Ciolos defends himself:  There is no messy inheritance in European funds

 

Romania’s former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Tuesday told incumbent Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu that there is no such thing as messy inheritance in the area of European funds, urging him to govern transparently and avoid “blowing up smoke easy to disperse.”

“There is no such thing like messy inheritance in the area of European funds; Mr Grindeanu, try and govern transiently and build up on policies and projects started last year, instead of blowing up smoke that is easy to disperse like the claim there were zero European funds taken in last year,” Ciolos said in a Facebook post in Romanian.

He argues that Grindeanu has been failing for almost two months in power to overcome untruths perpetrated by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in the electoral campaign of 2016.

“My disappointment is so much bigger because official data are at hand for him, he does not have to ask his subordinated ministers for them,” Ciolos wrote.

 

PM Grindeanu : In budgetary exercise 2014-2020, Ciolos is naught

 

 Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu declared on Tuesday that Ciolos Government “is naught” in terms of attracting European funds in the budgetary exercise of 2014 – 2020, adding that if the former prime minister did not know that, he would show the latter the official documents.

“I saw a statement of former Prime Minister Ciolos about the fact that amounts of money were drawn last year. I think he knows very well what I am talking about. We’re talking about the budget exercise of 2014 – 2020. We are in 2017, he was prime minister in 2016. The budget exercise of 2014 to 2020 is zero. If he does not know that it is naught, we will show him the official records,” Grindeanu stated at the end of a working visit at the Ministry of Transport.

 

PM on President’s remarks on budget: Normal scepticism as zero European grants drawn

 

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu says a possible explanation for President Klaus Iohannis’s scepticism over the 2017 national budget drawn up by the incumbent ruling coalition might have to do with the fact that the achievements of the previous government in terms of absorbing European grants were nil, in contrast to the incumbent Government’s commitment to draw 5.2 billion euros.

“If I look in contrast to what happened last year, when the Ciolos Cabinet was at rule, I can say it is normal to be sceptical, given that zero European grants were absorbed. People voted for us to do the job and we unveiled and are following an ambitious governing platform with an ambitious budget that includes a very important component of European grants. If you compare 5.2 billion euros, as we have committed to take in this year, to zero, things may be like Mr President said,” Grindeanu told Antena 3 private broadcaster in reply to whether the President’s remarks on the 2017 national budget are “correct” or “exaggerated.”

He added that his relationship with Iohannis is conducted within organisational boundaries.

As far as his relationship with national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea is concerned, Grindeanu said it has been the same since the first days when he became the prime minister, adding that his relationship with Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, co-chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), junior member of the ruling coalition, is similar.

He also mentioned a visit that MP Victor Ponta paid to the Government building, saying that he phoned the former prime minister to invite him over to the Government building.

 

“Each ministry must present up-to-date situation”

 

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu declared on Monday that in the next period each ministry must submit a “radiography” of the situation found in each institution and what their aims are.

“Neither my colleagues nor I have talked about the burdensome legacy, but we have to and in the following period each ministry must come up with an up-to-date analysis of the situation as we found it and where we want to get to. This is absolutely necessary and will happen,” Sorin Grindeanu stated for Antena3 private television broadcaster.

He said that as regards the European grants, the government is “quite ambitious” in the 2017 budget.

“We aim to attract 5.2 billion euros. Almost half of this amount in agriculture, the rest – the operational programmes must start working. It’s a lot of work and no one is backing down,” the Prime Minister added.

Grindeanu also revealed that the Government has still to implement 11 measures by the end of March.

“This Government will last as long as we keep our promises to people – the governing platform – and this is what we are doing. By the end of March, we still have 11 steps in our governing programme that we must adopt in the Government,” the Prime Minister asserted.

“Continuation of protests after Ordinance 13 was repealed, a political stake”

Premier Sorin Grindeanu added on Monday evening that in his opinion the continuation of protests even after the abrogation of OUG 13, which would have amended the Criminal Codes, represents a political stake, adding that “maybe some were taught to come to power without elections.”

“We took these abrogation decisions, we went and explained at the European Commission too, we are doing things in Parliament as transparently and legally as possible… They [the Victory Square protests] are continuing and I’m only seeing a political stake during this period. Maybe some were taught to come to power without elections. And we’ve had an experience of this kind,” Sorin Grindeanu stated for Antena3.

He added that some politicians took “an active part” in the protests.

“But I’m talking about that small part. Very many want to use this moment to engage in politicking. I believe this is obvious for everyone. We – the coalition, the Government – are continuing to implement what the Romanians voted for, the governing platform. And that’s what Romanians want,” the Premier added.

 

“Iordache, as good a colleague as possible, friendship connects us”

 

On Monday, Premier Sorin Grindeanu said former Justice Minister Florin Iordache is “as good a colleague as possible,” with whom he is friends and who tried to solve a problem but did not know to manage the communication side, which was deficient.

“It wasn’t an out of the ordinary conversation. I can state that Florin Iordache was the only member of the Romanian Government I had known many years before [getting to know] other colleagues. And apart from the political side, a friendship connects us too. Some things were done not related to the substance. I don’t want to talk about the substance of the problem, but about what I said from the first evening, namely the management of the deficient communication,” Sorin Grindeanu said on Antena3.

The Premier pointed out he did not ask former Justice Minister Florin Iordache to resign.

“Mr Iordache resigned before last Thursday’s Government meeting. I’m sorry, he is as good a colleague as possible, I’m sure he’ll do an extraordinary job in Parliament. He’s a man who tried to solve a problem that must be solved now and in the following weeks,” Sorin Grindeanu added.

 

 

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