National Liberal Party (PNL) Interim President Raluca Turcan stated on Monday that the political party she leads will receive from the Standing Electoral Authority (AEP) reimbursements totalling at least 13 million lei – just as much as the Social Democratic Party (PSD) received. PNL and the Save Romania Union (USR) are the only political parties yet to receive reimbursements for the parliamentary elections campaign of 2016.
“In the following days, PNL will receive at least as much as PSD did. I will no longer publicly comment on information that tendentiously fuels the financial situation concerning the reimbursements for the elections campaign. (…) At this moment, PSD’s debt is triple that of PNL. There is no public discussion about PSD’s debt. Likewise, PSD has recovered from AEP around 50 percent, there is no talk of the fact that PSD hasn’t recovered a part of the sum,” Raluca Turcan stated when asked why PNL did not receive anything from the AEP, while the rest of the political parties were reimbursed the expenditures incurred during the campaign for the parliamentary elections of 2016.
Asked whether there are problems with PNL’s invoices for services rendered in the campaign, against the backdrop of information that the same service was paid ten times over, Turcan said that all official documents were signed by the party’s former leadership.
“I noticed with surprise firstly that my picture and the pictures of other colleagues who are currently acting leaders of the PNL are circulating publicly, under headlines talking about legal problems or the breaking of the law. Thus, regarding this information, I want to tell you that my entire duty is primarily in my capacity as president of PNL Sibiu, which functioned in complete legality and completely in line with what the electoral law stipulated,” Turcan added.
On Friday, the AEP reimbursed 27.6 million lei to political parties, representing expenditures incurred in the elections campaign in the autumn of 2016. PNL and USR are the only political parties that have received no reimbursements.
“Announced hiking of physicians’ salaries to 3,600 euros, completely populist and demagogical statement”
At the same time, PNL’s leader criticised on Monday the announcement made by Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu, according to which the physicians’ salaries will be hiked to 3,600 euros, calling it an “aberration” and stating that any talk about public sector salaries should start with the unitary salary law.
“I find it a completely populist, demagogical statement lacking any substantiation. (…) It’s an aberration. We didn’t expect to see such a solid majority, which inherited a pretty good economic situation, ending up talking about austerity after only a few months because they won’t have any other way of pulling this off.
“The policemen are [protesting] in the street, the policemen will finish and other categories of employees will take to the streets, because they’ve fumbled this whole mechanism of hiking salaries,” Raluca Turcan said.
She warned that the populist measures that the current majority announced will lead to austerity measures.
“In the public sector, they carried out some salary hikes in a wrong-headed, populist and irresponsible manner. We’re not saying there was no need to hike salaries in the public sector, but it should have been done in a framework that would have ensured equity and performance and motivation, for work to be done in those fields in an increasingly good and involved fashion. But what has PSD obtained now? A janitor earning as much as a professor. They have simply shattered all that equity and balance in the public sector meant. On the basis of the law, they won’t be able to ensure the restoration of equity unless they resort to austerity measures,” Raluca Turcan added.
Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated on Sunday evening for Antena3 private television broadcaster that the physicians’ salaries will reach 3,600 euros for an anaesthesia and intensive care ward physician by 2018, according to the unitary salary bill.
Olguta Vasilescu explained that, according to the vision on the gradual salary grid, the Romanian President will top the public sector salary pyramid by 2020.
“At this hour, there are thousands of public sector employees whose salaries are higher than the Romanian President’s salary, which isn’t right,” she said.
The Labour Minister pointed out that the President will have a salary of 18,000 lei, followed by the salaries of the Speakers of Parliament, the Premier, the President of the High Court of Justice, the President of the Constitutional Court of Romania, physicians and judges.
Vasilescu claimed that an exception is being made for physicians, so that their salaries will grow a lot starting in 2018, reaching 70 percent of the average salary of EU physicians, in order for Romanian physicians to no longer leave the country.
She said that, starting in 2018, an anaesthesia and intensive care ward physician will earn 3,600 euros.