The relationship between Premier Mihai Tudose and PSD leader Liviu Dragnea seems to have become very tense, and tensions between the two are erupting just a few days after the new Cabinet was sworn in. While the “honeymoon” with ex-Premier Sorin Grindeanu was somewhat longer, things are different with Mihai Tudose who, according to sources, is not willing at all to obey the commands coming from the helm of the party.
Convergent political sources claim that tensions have appeared between Dragnea and Tudose because of the governing platform, since the Premier does not want to implement down to the minutest detail what the party is asking him to implement.
Premier Mihai Tudose allegedly phoned Liviu Dragnea three days after he was sworn in as Premier, telling the PSD leader that he does not want to obey the party’s commands nor will he implement the governing platform in the existing form, Antena3 private television broadcaster informs.
Antena3 claims, in this context, that “the Premier did not stop here however,” and mentions that some members of the former Grindeanu Government have been reinstated in office, as members of the Tudose Government. Serban Valeca and Eugen Teodorovici are allegedly the persons concerned, who became honorary aides to the Prime Minister. According to Antena3, Mihai Tudose allegedly objected to the fiscal chapter included in the governing platform, “saying that it would destroy the economy and the companies.”
“They had a big fight over the phone on Monday evening. Dragnea reproached Tudose for some of the appointments he made within the Government and for repeating Grindeanu’s mistakes; Tudose responded by saying he does not intend to be a soldier who blindly follows orders,” the aforementioned source points out. According to the same source, “Iohannis stated at the press conference that he understood the Premier does not endorse PSD’s governing platform.”
In the public statements they made in recent days, Dragnea and Tudose did not confirm or deny the tensions, but both pointed out that they had “down-to-business” talks. Dragnea claims he had a “very down-to-business” talk with Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, while the latter said he does not look with “scepticism” on the economic measures included in the governing platform “but very carefully, if they attain their purpose.”
“If they attain their purpose but create malfunctions in another parts of the economy, those measures will not be implemented. I’ve talked with Mr Tariceanu too, in detail. The points of view are the same. Our public communication was not very good on Thursday, it was a very agitated day, but things have been clarified. The alliance is not creaking. An analysis will be carried out on the solidarity tax too; if the planned positive effect stemming from the implementation of this measure is not justified, it won’t be implemented,” he emphasised.
Asked whether failure to implement these measures means the governing platform will not be observed, Liviu Dragnea claimed a serious analysis will be made. “I hope we’d find the way through which all honest people would win, including the state budget. If we won’t find this way, we won’t implement measures that do harm,” Dragnea concluded.
In his turn, Mihai Tudose said he had constructive talks with Liviu Dragnea.
“We haven’t started fighting yet. (…) We talked yesterday (…), constructively, about how to set things on the governing line,” Tudose said.
Tudose denies conflict with Dragnea over governing platform: If simulations show measures do more harm than good, we won’t implement them
Premier Mihai Tudose pointed out, on Wednesday, that he has no conflict with Liviu Dragnea over the governing platform and did not have an argument with him as the press claimed. The Head of Government reiterated that the new measures included in the governing platform, such as the changing of the taxation, will be implemented only after simulations prove they would not “do more harm.”
“I too have read the piece of news according to which I had an argument with Mr President Dragnea on Monday. We didn’t get to talk on Monday. But, if it’s somehow a must, we’ll get into an argument to validate your piece of news. We haven’t had the time to get into an argument yet, not on Monday, not yesterday and not today,” Tudose said.
He pointed out he had a “constructive” discussion with Dragnea on Tuesday, after they took part in the reception offered by the U.S. Embassy on the U.S. Independence Day. The discussion centred on “how to set things on the governing line.”
Asked about the possible implementation of some taxes, Tudose stated analyses are being still made and modifications will not be carried out unless it is proven, via simulations, that they will be beneficial.
“If we notice measures that do more harm than good, we won’t implement them. If they’re good, we’ll introduce them. We’ll analyse the introduction of new taxes if they give good results in the simulation. (…) We’ll run all simulations possible,” the Premier said.
He pointed out he has already asked the Finance Minister to start these assessments.
The Premier added he is “optimistic” about the implementation of the governing platform. “I’m not sceptical in what concerns the governing platform. I’m optimistic,” he said.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday, at the Palace of Parliament, that he discussed with Premier Mihai Tudose some measures included in the governing platform, such as the turnover tax and the solidarity tax, and the Prime Minister looked at them “very carefully,” there being the possibility that they may no longer be implemented if it is ascertained they would create problems for a certain part of the economy.
PSD’s Dragnea on business environment critics: They should be patient and meet Gov’t representatives
Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Liviu Dragnea suggested on Wednesday to the business environment representatives that they should be patient until they meet government members to discuss the measures announced in the governance programme.
“We highly appreciate these criticisms. Our suggestion to them is to be patient and meet government representatives, as the measures haven’t been provided there in order to be implemented the day before. I suggest patience to them, because same as all measures in the election programme have been adopted – when we take time to discuss with the business environment and they are quite satisfied with the adopted measures and with those to be taken – the same will happen in this case, too. There will be open, honest discussions and to the point. There has been much nervousness, we understand, there are still some issues, we have seen that attacks have started, I am not left alone, Prime Minister Tudose is also the target. I have asked them to take charge of the governance programme and make up for delays; discussions will start with the business environment and other society structures on every measure provided there,” Dragnea said at Parliament Paalace, responding to whether or not the business community was consulted before some fiscal measures were proposed in the governance programme, as very many criticisms are coming from this area.
On the other hand, Dragnea mentioned that the Tudose Government will conduct weekly self-assessments.
“I believe that this government will operate better and differently. It already started on Sunday (…) to make a very detailed assessment of the exact circumstances it is starting from; they have already established, as the PM was saying last night, very well-articulated working groups, with weekly schedules and weekly reports, because self-assessment is the most efficient manner, instead of expecting someone else to assess. Of course we’ll have regular talks inside the party, but this will be an entirely different thing, because they are the most interested, because they have a mandate from the parliamentary majority, therefore from Romanians (…) to put that governance programme into practice, and I have great confidence in them,” Dragnea said.
PSD leader assures no tax measure enforced before detailed analyses, simulations are conducted
Social Democrat leader said that no tax measure will be enforced “abruptly”, but only after detailed analyses and simulations are carried out.
“Both Premier Tudose and myself have said it on the very day the vesting vote was cast – that the parliamentary majority and the government’s concern is that all the companies operating in Romania pay their taxes fairly and at the forecast level. This does not mean that the two or three envisaged measures won’t be discussed. No measure will be enforced abruptly, detailed analyses and simulations will be first conducted. If a measure intended to bring to light possible profit transfers would affect honest companies, that measure will not be adopted,” Dragnea said at the Palace of Parliament when asked when will the turnover tax be enforced.
He added that he and Premier Mihai Tudose had a “hands-on” discussion, with Tudose telling him that he is not skeptical about the economic measures in the governing program, “but is rather highly concerned that they truly attain their goal.”
“If they attain their goal, but create failures elsewhere in the economy, those measures will not be enforced. I also had a detailed discussion with [ALDE Chairman] Mr. Tariceanu, we share the same views. Our public communication was not at its best on Thursday, it was a very agitated day, but things have meanwhile cleared up, and the Alliance relationship is not growing weary. As for the solidarity tax, there will be an analysis, a simulation, if it turns out that the planned positive effect of this measure is not justified, the measure will not be enforced,” Dragnea pointed out.
Asked if the non-enforcement of the measures would mean that the governing program will no longer be observed, the PSD leader said that a thorough analysis will be made. “I hope we are able to find the way for everyone acting honestly to stand to gain, the state budget included. If we don’t find such a way, we won’t enforce measures that could do harm,” Dragnea concluded.