The government headed by Prime Minister-designate Mihai Tudose on Thursday got the Parliament’s go-ahead by a vote of 275 to 102. Two votes were cancelled. The ballot was secret.
Eight PSD MPs did not take part in the confirmation vote. Victor Ponta and Liviu Plesoianu were among them, the two having announced they would not endorse the Government.
After receiving Parliament’s confirmation vote, the members of the Mihai Tudose Government left for the Presidential Palace where they were scheduled to take part, later in the evening, in the swearing-in ceremony, in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis.
PM Tudose: Told to turn brake into accelerator
Mihai Tudose, Prime Minister-designate, declared on Thursday in the plenary sitting of the reunited chambers of parliament that there was a “brake” in the activity of Grindeanu’s Government, which he must transform into “an accelerator”.
“Grindeanu’s government, many of us here were part of, has led things in a good direction, but for what the PSD-ALDE [Social Democratic Party – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats] government has proposed for self, it is not enough. I do not want to criticize what happened, but I understand that there was a brake, and I was told to turn this brake into an accelerator. That’s what I’m going to do,” Premier Tudose said.
In his opinion, Romania needs a restless government, in a state of alertness, of concern, of permanent effort.
“At the time of the former Government’s investiture in January, Prime Minister Grindeanu spoke of a normal government. (…) I understand that the main issue of this Government was precisely that normality, that relaxed normality, I believe Romania needs today, quite the opposite, a restless government, a government in a state of alertness, concentration, concern, permanent effort. (…) If we want for these promises made in the campaign to become reality, we must forget normality. “Whoever wants normality, they should get a nine-to-five job. In this Government, dear fellow ministers, we will work non-stop, we will work to recover what has been lost and what has been delayed,” Tudose further said.
The Prime Minister specified that there would be additions to the governing programme “due to delays and failures” in the first six months. “The finality will be the same, (…) what we promised in the campaign will be achieved,” added Tudose.
According to him, the new government “has enhanced its strengths” and includes “people at the top of the party, weighty, experienced people.”
“This shows that PSD clearly and definitely assumes, to the highest degree, its political responsibility for the economic programme,” Mihai Tudose said.
“We lack vigorous investment and budget revenue growth”
Romania is currently in a good economic moment but needs a “vigorous growth” in investments and budget revenues, Prime Minister-designate Mihai Tudose told the Parliament plenary session on Thursday.
“I’d like to believe that it’s for this reason that I was brought to the helm of this government, to refresh the government’s attitude towards investments and (…) investors,” Tudose said.
He said he will give “a boost” particularly to investment and budget revenue growth, and the Sovereign Investment and Development Fund will become operational within short.
“I was proposed for this position by Chairman Liviu Dragnea and got President Klaus Iohannis’ nod of approval to give a boost particularly to investment and budget revenue growth, and I don’t want to fall short of the confidence shown to me. The Sovereign Investment and Development Fund, one of the most powerful investment instruments of this program, has been ready for some time now. In my [former] capacity as Minister of Economy, I saw to its construction. The fund will now become operational within shortest time and it will send a very strong signal from Romania to the domestic and international business milieu,” Tudose said.
According to him, measures will also be taken to increase the efficiency of the National Tax Administration Agency for better budget collections. Tudose also said that for economic growth to continue, investment in infrastructure is needed.
Tudose mentioned that the government will enforce the uniform pay law, which will have “a multiannual impact on the budget, but also a highly important social impact”.
“There are a lot of urgent elements for this Government to solve, from industry to agriculture, from infrastructure to taxes, from healthcare to education,” said Mihai Tudose.
Turnover tax to replace profit tax, VAT cut to 18 percent delayed to 2019 (new ruling programme)
The profit tax could be replaced by a turnover tax in two-three stages as of next year, according to the new ruling programme.
As for the profit’s taxation, the authorities consider in the energy sector, an additional taxation, by at least 20 percent, of the profit obtained from natural resources extracted and unprocessed in Romania.
The diminishing of the value added tax (VAT) on the other hand, is postponed until 2019, and the 5 percent reduced quota will be extended from 2018 for the sale of houses smaller than 120 sqm and for agriculture inputs.
“We count on 50,000 new jobs in constructions, following our proposition of VAT cut through houses’ sale,” the document reads.
All the laws covering the economic field will be included in Romania’s Economic Code that is to be passed at the latest by 1 July 2018. The legislative code will comprise the Tax Code, the Tax Procedure Code, the Law on Establishing Commercial Companies, the Tax Evasion Law, and all the other economic laws.
“Prevention will be one of the main principles of Romania’s Economic Code. Which is why we shall pass the Prevention Law by 1 October 2017. This actually means that an economic operator could not be sanctioned anymore, if it has not been previously guided and afterwards prevented. Practically, we put aside the red card it used to be given and replace it with two yellow cards,” the new ruling programme adds.
Dragnea: I consider Tudose a good manager; he must prove it by managing the governance
“I hereby inform PM-designate Mihai Tudose that we will oversee more carefully, but at the same time we’ll also be closer, so that the governing platform’s deadlines are respected. (…) I warn the future Cabinet that the commitment that we, politicians, have taken before citizens was to raise incomes for all Romanians, not just for those who work in the public sector,” Liviu Dragnea said.
The Lower Chamber Speaker claimed that, in his opinion, PM-designate Mihai Tudose is a good manager. “Mr Mihai Tudose is a manager whom I consider to be good, whom we designate today to implement our strategy to develop Romania in the following years. I have the confidence he’ll be a good manager, however it’s up to him to prove it by managing the act of governing,” the PSD leader added.
Liviu Dragnea expressed his confidence that the Tudose Government will be more efficient and determined in accomplishing the provisions of the governing platform.
PSD leader: “For the first time, the Gov’t received a clear signal that political power resides in Parliament”
“After almost six months in power, the PSD-ALDE coalition comes before you with a new Government formula and a new Prime Minister, in order to once again ask Parliament’s confirmation vote. It’s indeed a first in Romanian politics for a parliamentary majority to replace, via no-confidence motion, the Premier it appointed. Yes, it’s the first time this happens, but I’m saying with all conviction that it’s a good thing that this political class has also used this option that no other parliamentary majority used before,” the Lower Chamber Speaker stated.
Liviu Dragnea claimed that, as a result of the no-confidence motion against the former Government being adopted, Parliament has become stronger.
“I’m telling everyone that today, following the no-confidence motion adopted against the previous Government, Parliament is stronger and has returned to the place it deserves in relation to the Executive branch. For long, Parliament was treated as the Government’s appendage, as a voting machine that had to rubberstamp, as if on a conveyor belt, the emergency ordinances issued by the Government,” the PSD leader added.
He claimed that, for the first time, the Government “received a clear signal that the political power and the legitimacy conferred by the Romanians’ vote resides in Parliament.”
“Things have seriously started to change in this new legislature. Firstly, the number of ordinances has been considerably lowered and we’ve seen important laws being seriously debated in the Romanian Parliament; there were real parliamentary debates, full of political legitimacy received at the ballot box,” the PSD President emphasised.
Vosganian: ALDE backs Mihai Tudose with discernment and conditioned by his agenda on the rule of law
“PSD is a left-wing party and has its agenda. ALDE is a right-wing party and has its agenda. Between the two agendas there is a common element: defending democracy, fundamental rights and liberties, defending the rule of law and the balance between the branches of government,” Vosganian said.
ALDE’s Lower Chamber MP said that his party’s priority has to do with citizens’ rights, and he expects the Government to adopt measures in this sense, with “honesty.”
“Honesty, however, means partnership, discernment. Mr Tudose, we assure you that our support will be with discernment, conditioned by this agenda we have, the rule of law,” he said.
Vosganian mentioned the amending of the Criminal Code, the redefining of abuse of office, separating conflict of interest and lobbying, and the civil servant’s statute. He pointed out that the Government will be “severely monitored.”
The Lower Chamber lawmaker added that he hopes this Government will be successful: “If this Government performs, it will be the decisive argument for the no-confidence motion.”
PNL: This Government is nothing but the mailed fist of a crooked and uncultured truth, swinging back and forth from utopia to dystopia
On Thursday, in his speech before Parliament, PNL’s Ben-Oni Ardelean criticised the new Government proposed by the PSD-ALDE majority, calling it the mailed fist of a crooked and uncultured truth, comparing Liviu Dragnea’s behaviour to “the North Korean communist tyranny,” and stating that the new Government’s platform is inept.
“This Government can be nothing but the mailed fist of a crooked and uncultured truth, swinging back and forth from utopia to dystopia, (…) these are scenes worthy of the North Korean communist tyranny. You’re ruling by fear and terror, Mr Dragnea, and this will turn against you. Many people died in the Revolution to have the right to speak freely, to vote, however you managed the counter-performance of generating the biggest protests since the 1989 Revolution, plus the performance of tabling a motion against your own Government,” PNL MP Ben Oni Ardelean stated before Parliament.
He harshly criticised the new Cabinet’s governing platform, stating that the Social Democrats modified it “at night, like thieves.”
“I understand that last night, like thieves, you changed the governing platform too, through which you want to detonate the entire Romanian economy. (…) Common sense, civilisation, honour, courage, these are things, concepts, that are far from this embarrassing moment. (…) You lied to the honest population, a litany of utopias, the famous governing platform, demonising the very concept you presented as the ultimate truth, known only by you, Mr Dragnea, mystical for all the others, which today already causes allergy when someone utters these words. Plus, the author tells us that it’s inapplicable and must be revised, and based on it you subjected them to this alleged assessment, promoting, to the office of Prime Minister, the class’s worst student, who received precisely grade zero. Unfortunately, we find ourselves before a party enamoured with its own governing platform, an inept platform in its essence, which proves that the obsession of fulfilling the five-year plan seems not to have disappeared from PSD’s communist reflexes,” Ardelean added.
USR: Is the Tudose Gov’t everything PSD-ALDE had best? Reject the pardon law, during the day, like the atoned
On Thursday, during the debates on the Government’s confirmation, USR’s Cristian Seidler criticised Mihai Tudose’s nominated Executive for being “nil,” as shown by the assessment carried out by PSD leaders, and asked the PM-designate to reject the pardon law “during the day, like the atoned.”
“Mr Mihai Tudose, you can count on USR, because if you’ll have initiatives similar to OUG 13 we’ll be here and in University Square. (…) If you have honest intentions, ask your Lower Chamber colleagues to reject the pardon law. During the day, like the atoned,” Seidler said.
He criticised Florian Bodog for not solving the vaccines crisis. “Were you really unable to find within PSD-ALDE a person more competent than Florian Bodog for the Health Ministry?” he asked.
Kelemen: Vote for Tudose Gov’t is not a blank cheque; UDMR disagrees with modification of governing platform
UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated on Thursday, at the joint plenary meeting in which the confirmation vote for the Tudose Government was expected to be cast, that UDMR MPs will endorse the Cabinet but their vote is not a blank cheque, considering they are unable to agree with several changes brought to the governing platform, such as the turnover tax and the global income tax.
“Today, on the basis of the collaboration protocol, we’ll offer a positive confirmation vote to the Government led by Mihai Tudose. This vote is not a blank cheque, we’ve seen several substantial changes brought to the governing platform, which require more explanations and more discussions,” the UDMR MP said.
He added that UDMR MPs do not support the turnover tax and the global income tax.
“I’m telling you now, we won’t be able to endorse the introduction of the turnover tax and we should know what the solidarity tax is about. Just like the global income tax does not seem to me to be an initiative that would change something for the better,” the UDMR leader emphasised.
In closing, Kelemen Hunor stated that UDMR MPs are expecting “dialogue from the Government, a sincere dialogue on all topics that will enter the decision-making circuit.”
Tudose after the Parliament’s confidence vote: I assure you that your vote will be capitalised in a professional, responsible governing
Prime Minister-designate Mihai Tudose assured the parliamentarians on Thursday after the new government and its ruling programme got the MPs’ go-ahead, that he will have “a professional, responsible governing directly oriented towards Romania’s citizens.”
“Thank you for your today vote. I assure you that your vote will be transformed and capitalised upon through a professional, responsible governing directly oriented towards the citizens of Romania. So help us God,” Mihai Tudose said, making the sign of the cross.