In Brussels on Tuesday, Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said that in his conversations with European officials in Brussels he very firmly reiterated that the unveiled additional tax on business turnovers will not be introduced.
“I have very firmly reiterated that the unveiled additional tax on business turnovers will not be introduced; that we are predictable as far as our financial and tax systems are concerned, and that all our simulations so far and our expectations point to us keeping within a 3-percent government deficit target,” Tudose said at the main offices of Romania’s Permanent Representation with the European Union.
He added that he discussed with Romania’s Finance Minister Ionut Misa and it is becoming increasingly clearer that the tax as its stands cannot be introduced.
“After yesterday’s conversation at my meeting with Finance Minister Ionut Misa it is becoming clearer that the tax as its stands cannot be introduced,” said Tudose.
He mentioned having discussed in his conversations in Brussels a Europeans directive calling for a conjugated effort of the Europeans states for transparency and interconnection in relation to information about multinationals.
” With Mr President Juncker I discussed the subject of a 2016 European direction that urges the European states to transparency and interconnectivity in relation to financial information about multinationals or companies that externalise their profits, thus leading to an artificial shrinkage of the tax base. It is a very important directive, and we have to somehow implement it. The principle here is every business operator should be paying taxes where they derive profits (…), because they no longer externalise profits, as they are hiding them pure and simple outside the European Union. (…) We have to find mechanisms here, but we will not implement anything (…) that would solve one case and perhaps spoil the smooth operation of honest operators,” said Tudose.
Asked about the solidarity tax, Tudose said: “Simulations of it have not been completed.”
Responding to whether or not he will be scrapping the personal asset return that would be needed in case the aggregate income tax is introduced, Tudose said: “There can be no household taxation, on all your assets, without you first declaring exactly what you own in assets. (…) They are closely related.”
Tudose also said he doubts the asset return will be implemented in 2018.
“As far as the aggregate personal income tax return is concerned, which includes the asset return as well, it will be the end destination. Applying it when we can is complicated. It has to be well prepared in technical terms and in terms of acceptance, so that people may understand what we are doing and why. I doubt such return will be in use in 2018. (…) This is no scare, but a good thing for the citizens. (…) Implementing it now is hard because we do not have the required infrastructure and people have not figured out yet what this is all about,” said Tudose.
On Romania’s accession to Eurozone: We are on our way, but work is still needed in convergence
Romania’s accession to the Eurozone is a “commitment” that our country made once it joined the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Mihai Tudose stated on Tuesday, adding that a lot of work is still needed in terms of “convergence.”
When asked in a press conference in Brussels what is his stand regarding Romania’s accession to the Eurozone, the head of the Executive reply: “It’s a commitment that we made once we joined the European Union. (…) We are on track, we still have to work in convergence, a lot of work is still needed in terms of “convergence.”
According to the PM, there is no deadline set out in this regard. “We haven’t set out a deadline. As soon as possible, but we don’t want to burn some stages, because, afterwards, it will do us more harm than good,” Tudose stated.
On the other hand, the Gov’t chief mentioned that a common topic of all the meetings he had on Tuesday in Brussels was Romania’s preparation for taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
“Mr Minister Victor Negulescu [Minister-delegate for European Affairs] is very involved, has the expertise of the European Parliament and he will collaborate very well, as far as I understand, both with Mr President Tusk and Mr Vice President Timmermans in order to ensure continuity in terms of large European projects, starting with social cohesion,” Tudose also said.
“Pension Pillar II will not be nationalized”
The Pension Pillar II will not be nationalized, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said in Brussels on Tuesday, pointing out that Labour Minister Olguta Vasilescu asked for data on it “only to be informed.”
Asked what is his concern about the Pension Pillar II, the PM said: “I haven’t asked for any assessment in any calculation briefing. (…) Mrs Minister Vasilescu asked for it. (…) She explained that she wanted to see how the money in Pillar II is spend and how it is maintained or what costs it involved. Only to be informed.”
At the same time, the PM pointed out that the Pension Pillar II will not be nationalized.
“Under no circumstance (…) Pension Pillar II is to be nationalized. It isn’t possible,” Tudose also told a press conference organised at the headquarters of Romania’s Permanent Representation to the European Union.
On allocating 2pct of GDP to Defence: There are money and opportunities to spend
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose stated on Tuesday in Brussels, when referring to the allocation of 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Defence, that “there are money and opportunities to spend.”
“It would be hilarious to include 2 percent in the budget and not spend it. It’s the last straw (…) 2 percent was not a commitment just to simply earmark, 2 percent is a commitment with the strategic partners to spend 2 percent. This is why we have to include it, in order to spend it. Obviously, we will have to spend it. It’s not that we must, but we need this thing,” Tudose stated at the headquarters of the Permanent Representation of Romania to the EU.
The head of the Executive mentioned that he expects the National Defence Minister to find “an integrated solution about military solutions.”
“There is no problem in terms of resources. Thank God, there are money and opportunities to spend! I expect from the National Defence Minister, the General Staff to find an integrated solution about military solutions,” Tudose also stated.
Funds worth 600 million euros have been unblocked
Talking about European funds in Brussels on Tuesday, Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said this week 600 million euros worth of such funds have been unblocked.
“The good news is that thanks to the efforts of the entire delegation – and I am not alone in Brussels, as there are also ministers, starting with Mrs Rovana Plumb, Mr Finance Minister Ionut Misa (…) Mr Minister Victor Negrescu – this week 600 million worth of Europeans funds have been successfully unblocked though management authorities embarked on a certification process. This is a good first sign. (…) From January 1, we have been trying to untangle and prevent such things after a zero percent absorption by the 2016 government and no operational management unit,” Tudose said at the main offices of Romania’s Permanent Representation with the Europeans Union.
He said he met on Tuesday with European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, whom he called “invaluable support for Romania.”
“Talks obviously mentioned the cohesion policy, agricultural funds and other requirements expected of Romania as well as funds that can be only earmarked for projects (…), instead of for wishes, words and illusions,” said Tudose.
He went on to say that a solution for detention issues was being also sought.
“We have his entire support to get to identifying a solution that will get us out of infringement territory for detention conditions; we will be seeking a solution to build a penitentiary on European funds so that then we may move the inmates from the others so that we may rehabilitate all penitentiaries one by one, also on European funds.”
He mentioned funds having been unfrozen for a project for the construction of three regional hospitals in Romania.
“We are waiting for a project from the European Investment Bank (EIB) before September. (…) Our commitment is to completing the public procurement procedures on our side so that works proper may start next year, and do so in the period from September to the close of the year,” said Tudose.
PM Tudose on Romania’s accession to Schengen: It is more a political and competition issue
Romania’s accession to the Schengen area is more “a political and competition issue,” Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on Tuesday, pointing out that he approached this topic with the European officials of Brussels.
“In terms of everything that Schengen will mean, (…) we hope that in maximum two years (…) things be solved. In respect to Schengen the speakers have also agreed that, from a technical stand, things are almost ready, if not completely ready, as this is more a political and competition issue. (…) Things have gone to the economic area more. But we have confidence that we’ll also overcome this moment,” Tudose said at the headquarters of Romania’s Permanent Representation to the European Union.
At the same time, the PM said that Romania is tasked with ensuring the pro-European path of the Republic of Moldova.
“We mustn’t forget even for one second that we are an important country of the European Union, but we are at the extremity of the European Union, at the border, and a huge task in incumbent on us, both in terms of ensuring Moldova’s pro-European path and in terms of everything that Schengen will mean,” Tudose showed.
“Solidarity fee not to be introduced for now; simulations not very good”
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose on Tuesday said that, for now, the solidarity fee will not be implemented, in the context in which the simulations conducted by the relevant institutions haven’t come out “very well.”
“No, not any other fee, on anything. Neither that on solidarity, for now, because there, too, simulations I understand haven’t come out very well. And then (…) we work on the old principle: instead of killing an innocent, I better refrain,” Mihai Tudose told Antena 3 private television broadcaster.