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January 16, 2021
POLITICS

Acting PM Grindeanu reviews his six-month mandate. What advice he has for his successor

“Tudose should be aware and prepare for the moment his turn will come, several months from now”

 

Acting Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated on Wednesday, at the Victoria Palace, that PM-designate Mihai Tudose should be aware that “his turn” to be ousted will come several months from now and advised him, knowing that he likes chess, “to very carefully prepare his future moves.”

“PM-designate Mihai Tudose should be aware – and I think he is – and should prepare for the moment that will come several months from now, when his turn will come. I know Mihai likes chess, so he should prepare the future moves very well,” the ousted Premier stated.

Grindeanu underscored that this political crisis has generated delays in the real economy, not in the governing platform, and that “this whole political circus, generated by a single person, will be paid by each Romanian.”

“These six months I tried to work closely with the team of ministers. With some I worked very well, with others less so, but I believe they were all part of a team and I know you never sabotage your own team. It’s an issue that has to do with honour,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

The caretaker Head of Government stated he does not blame the ministers, with whom he worked during the six months he spent in office, for the decisions they took during this period of political crisis, because he knows how difficult it is to receive, from the party boss, directives that are contrary to correctness.

“I’d like to tell my former governmental team colleagues that I don’t blame them – I know it’s difficult to be placed in the situation of receiving, on one hand, from the party boss, indications that were often in contradiction with what the Head of Government was saying, but also in contradiction with what each of them knew was fair and right,” Grindeanu underscored.

Likewise, Grindeanu pointed out he talked with PM-designate Mihai Tudose about the handover process.

“I’ve talked with Mihai Tudose precisely in order to fine-tune this handover process. We’ll probably talk today and tomorrow too, so that things would go as they should, institutionally. And I have no reason to doubt this. (…) We’ll meet in the following days, when both our agendas allow it, so that this process would be as fair as possible, institutional and without any kind of setbacks,” the Head of Government said.

 

“I encourage Mihai Tudose to change the ANAF team if he wants to improve tax collection level”

 

Caretaker Head of Government Sorin Grindeanu told his successor Mihai Tudose to change the current leadership of the Romanian Tax Authority (ANAF) if he wants to improve the tax collection level.

“Despite the fact that we have this economic growth of 5.7 percent, we’re not collecting [taxes] sufficiently well. We have meetings, on a weekly basis or every 10 days, with the leadership of the Finance Ministry and ANAF representatives, in order to correct some things that have appeared, especially in the last month and a half. At the latest meeting we’ve had, two weeks ago, we didn’t find an answer to the following three questions for example: why, considering consumption has grown by 7 percent, VAT revenues before reimbursements are -7 percent; why have excise revenues dropped by 6.8 percent at four months, considering the consumption of excisable products has grown by 6.5 percent; how come we have the highest economic growth in the EU (5.7 percent), but profit tax revenues have dropped by 5.9 percent? I’ve asked the representatives of ANAF these questions two weeks ago,” Sorin Grindeanu stated.

In this context, Grindeanu encouraged PM-designate Mihai Tudose “to look very carefully at these things, to change the ANAF team if he wants to improve the tax collection level.”

“I had this more or less famous meeting two weeks ago, in which I asked them for explanations and solutions. This political crisis started and they probably didn’t want to offer these solutions, maybe they don’t even have them. I’d ask Mr Tudose to take a look – and a very careful look – at the activity of ANAF’s current leadership team,” Grindeanu said.

 

On Sovereign Investment Fund: It was drafted by a commission at the Economy Ministry; the draft went to the party, waiting for the ruling coalition’s OK

 

Caretaker Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated on Wednesday, at the presentation of his end-of-term review, that the circuit the Sovereign Investment Fund draft took was not blocked by his cabinet as Labour Minister Olguta Vasilescu claimed, the draft being at the party since early May, waiting for “the ruling coalition’s OK.” He explained that the great dilemma was under the coordination of what ministry to set up this fund.

“I’d like to tell you a few things about the famous Sovereign Investment Fund. I kept seeing that reasons are found according to which it was because of the Prime Minister, namely because of me, that this sovereign investment fund did not end up being approved. I want to inform, and with proof, that, just like things are in the case of the others, who are carrying forward this leitmotif, even though they are listed with zero achievements in that assessment that they accepted, I didn’t. They have nil and they’re saying they would’ve done many more things, it’s just that I blocked them. I see this is some kind of explanation they are trying to give,” the caretaker Premier stated at the presentation of his end-of-term review.

“I want to inform them that any law, any bill, must follow the normal circuit for documents,” Grindeanu stated, pointing out that had things been blocked at the Prime Minister’s level then the necessary approvals from the other ministries should already have existed.

“I believe they should look for a different explanation, this one holds no water,” Grindeanu stated.

He said the project was drafted by a commission at the Economy Ministry, specialists from other ministries also taking part in the drafting.

“I took part in the last meeting, when they finalised this project. I received it as a draft, at the cabinet, after which it went to the party – this was happening in early May –, waiting for the OK from the ruling coalition. The great dilemma with the Sovereign Investment Fund was under whose coordination it would be – the Economy Ministry’s, the Development Ministry’s, the SMEs Ministry’s. After I saw the configuration of the Government today, of course, I could be wrong, I believe it will be under the SMEs Ministry’s [coordination],” Grindeanu said.

Labour Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated on Monday that Mihai Tudose fulfilled all of his objectives according to the party’s assessment of the Grindeanu Government’s members, “but they were blocked at the Premier.”

“In the assessment carried out by the party, Mr Mihai Tudose fulfilled all of his objectives, but they were blocked at the Premier. We’re talking about the Sovereign Investment Fund that is ready since May 15th. The list of share packages for the Fund and the bill were lodged with the Prime Minister’s office back then. Unfortunately, even we failed to understand why the Premier blocked this point from the governing platform,” Vasilescu stated.

 

 

 

 

 

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