POLITICS

Dragnea: We won’t overshoot deficit target; European Commission’s signals are profoundly incorrect

The 3 percent of GDP deficit target will not be overshot, Lower Chamber Speaker Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday, pointing out that the signals that the European Commission issued in this sense are “profoundly incorrect.”

“When big states overshot the 3 percent deficit there was no reaction from the European Commission. In Romania, at a time when overshooting the 3 percent deficit is out of the question, they keep showing us yellow cards or warning us. The governing platform will be implemented. The deficit will not be surpassed, on the other hand we want to be allowed to develop Romania. All these signals are issued based on I don’t know what, in my view they are profoundly incorrect, those [signals] coming from the European Commission. I don’t believe that’s how a member state should be treated, even if we’re talking about Romania,” Dragnea stated at the Palace of Parliament, in a joint press statement with Premier Sorin Grindeanu.

Asked whether Romania will give a response on this topic, Dragnea said “it’s possible.”

“I’ll have a meeting with Mr Tariceanu this very day, we’ll also talk with the Prime Minister, because, in my view, this approach is not fair. Romania is nevertheless a member state with full rights, the economic data, the macro-economic indicators, are looking very good, on the other hand we keep receiving all kinds of concerns. Why? Last year it was peace and quiet when Romania had started on a very steep downturn,” Dragnea stated.

Asked whether this response will take the form of a letter addressed to the EC, Dragnea pointed out: “We’ll see.”

He added that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker can talk with ex-Premier Dacian Ciolos about this. “Mr Juncker can very well discuss this with Mr Ciolos, they are meeting very often,” Drangea said.

On Monday, the Lower Chamber Speaker wrote on Facebook: “In #Europe there is talk, on two tones, about financial discipline. When France or Spain overshoot the 3 percent deficit threshold nobody gets angry. When #Romania has the biggest economic growth in the EU they are talking to us once again about austerity, based on more or less accurate opinions.

“I believe rules should be the same for all. The Romanians’ salaries are 2-3-4 times lower than those of Europeans. It’s necessary to raise them in order to stop young people from leaving the country!”

In his turn, Premier Sorin Grindeanu commented on the European Commission’s warning about a significant failure to attain the budget objective.

“I believe it would be better to ask those that preceded the Government I am leading, because they are talking about what happened in 2016 when, even though there weren’t large investments in Romania, even though things went as they did and as Romanians saw they went, (…) the deficit went a little over 3 percent. We took the commitment that (…) we’ll maintain these things in line with the things we assumed jointly with our partners from the European Commission and we will keep our word,” Grindeanu said.

The Head of Government pointed out, in his turn too, that there was “quiet” last year.

“Last year – quiet; Romanians and I never heard, for a second, these fears concerning overshooting and they did overshoot. (…) This deficit [target] was overshot without there being, I emphasise, without there being major investments, without starting major projects in Romania, and this is extremely serious,” Grindeanu stated.

 

“I talked with the Premier about the Administrative Code and the Local Public Finances Code, two important laws”

 

Lower Chamber Speaker and PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday that he talked with Premier Sorin Grindeanu about the Administrative Code and the Local Public Finances Code, two “extremely important” law packages that would be adopted as parliamentary initiatives.

At the same time, he pointed out that in the second half of the week he will meet the Prime Minister and the ALDE President to discuss the performance of the current ministers.

“First of all, we talked about the meeting with the UNCJR and about the Administrative Code. There is still a lot of work to do on local administration legislation. We discussed this law in principle, the Administrative Code. It should be a parliamentary initiative, we’ll also meet Mr Tariceanu to decide,” Liviu Dragnea pointed out at the Palace of Parliament when asked about the discussion he had with Premier Sorin Grindeanu in his Lower Chamber office.

According to Dragnea, another topic tackled during his meeting with the Prime Minister had to do with the Local Public Finances Code.

“There are two laws, basically there are two extremely important law packages. And of course, we’ve already agreed on what to tell our UNCJR colleagues,” Dragnea pointed out.

Asked whether the talk also tackled the assessment of the members of the current Government, the PSD President pointed out with a smile: “We don’t do that in 10 minutes.”

The PSD President also pointed out that in the second half of the week he will meet Premier Grindeanu and ALDE President Calin Popescu-Tariceanu to discuss the ministers’ performance.

“I know exactly what I said, I have the property of words. I told you – in the second half of the week, it’s something that will happen,” Dragnea stated.

 

Grindeanu on possible Gov’t reshuffle: We’ll analyse each ministry

 

Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated on Tuesday that a decision regarding a possible Government reshuffle will be taken in the second half of the week, when “each ministry” will be analysed.

Asked during a joint press statement with PSD President Liviu Dragnea whether a Government reshuffle is necessary, the Head of Government answered: “We’ll see in the second half of the week and, just like President Dragnea told you, we’ll analyse each ministry and you’ll definitely see the decisions.”

Likewise, Grindeanu referred to a comment he made on May 17, during an interview for Agerpres, when he said about a possible reshuffle: “I don’t know whether someone makes substitutions in the 15th minute when they have a 3-0 lead.”

In this context, asked on Tuesday whether the Government continues to have a 3-0 lead, Grindeanu pointed out: “Yes, and that score could grow. But here we’re not talking about individualities, it’s about a team. And the team consists of both the governmental team and the coalition that backs this Government and at this moment it’s 3-0 and I believe the score will grow.”

At the same time, asked who he had in mind when he said that there are some persons who “are losing their balance,” Grindeanu answered: “The Opposition, of course.”

In his turn, Liviu Dragnea reiterated that the analysis will be carried out in the second half of the week.

Likewise, asked whether a coalition meeting is set to take place in the following days, Dragnea answered: “A meeting indeed.”

Asked if he tackled this topic during his meeting with ALDE President Calin Popescu Tariceanu on Monday, the PSD President answered: “Tangentially. I discussed something else with Mr Tariceanu yesterday.”

 

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