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May 17, 2021
POLITICS

Grindeanu: It was suggested to me to pass Sovereign Investment Fund via OUG. I’m sure Tudose won’t accept it either

Ex-Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated on Monday evening, on TVR1, that creating the Sovereign Investment Fund via government emergency ordinance (OUG) was suggested to him, and expressed his conviction that Premier Mihai Tudose will not accept it either. Grindeanu said it is necessary for this Fund, which is set to include companies such as Hidroelectrica, Tarom, Transgaz and Romgaz, to be set up through a law adopted by Parliament.

“It was suggested to me that the Sovereign Investment Fund should be adopted via OUG, which I didn’t accept,” Grindeanu said.

He pointed out he is convinced Premier Mihai Tudose will not accept the setting up of the Sovereign Investment Fund via emergency ordinance either.

Grindeanu emphasised that the setting up of this Fund should be debated in Parliament, because “10-12 billion euro” are at stake.

“We’re talking about everyone’s patrimony. We’re talking about Hidroelectrica, Tarom, Transgaz, Romgaz,” the ex-Premier explained.

Sorin Grindeanu also explained that the Sovereign Investment Fund project should have started off from the Economy Ministry and should have followed the circuit of approval at the other ministries, something that did not happen and as a result there was no way of bringing it up for discussion during Government meetings.

The members of the Government discussed, in a first reading, on June 30, the Sovereign Investment Fund project. The project will undergo public consultations and will take the form of a bill by September, after which it will be sent to Parliament.

“This Fund is an economic stimulus measure which, following the drawing of capital from internal and international financial markets, will allow the setting up of sources of financing for profitable and sustainable investment projects that will generate a multiplying effect in the economy, leading to development in parallel with the growth of budget revenues,” the Economy Minister stated.

Mihai Fifor pointed out that European and international institutions also agreed with the idea of creating the Sovereign Investment Fund.

In an interview for News.ro, published in early May, Mihai Tudose – Economy Minister at the time – was saying that the Sovereign Fund for Development and Investment will be put up for public consultations by May 15 and will have an initial capitalisation of 1.8 – 1.9 billion lei.

The Fund will consist of 25-30 state-owned companies – listed or unlisted on the stock exchange – which are subordinated to the Energy, Transport, Economy and Health ministries, however all of the Fund’s companies will eventually be listed on the stock exchange.

On February 9, the Government decided to adopt a memorandum on the setting up of the Sovereign Fund for Development and Investment (SFDI).

According to the memorandum, the SFDI’s goal will be to develop and finance profitable and sustainable investment projects, being a financing mechanism that will identify and materialise investment opportunities with an impact on sustainable economic development and the creation of jobs in the long term.

The Romanian state will be sole shareholder throughout the period in which the SFDI functions.

 

“I perceived Bogdan Stan as being close to Liviu Dragnea. Resistance to replacing him was constant”

 

Ex-Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated on Monday evening, on TVR1, that he perceived Bogdan Stan, the former head of the Romanian Tax Authority (ANAF), as being “close” to PSD leader Livi Dragnea, because the proposal to appoint him to that office came from that “area” too. Grindeanu said he was planning to dismiss Stan and he does not understand why, after dismissing him, Premier Tudose appointed him Deputy President of ANAF.

Grindeanu said that at the end of May he had a meeting with the leadership of ANAF, being dissatisfied with the VAT and profit tax collection level, bearing in mind that there had been economic growth in the first quarter, followed by growth in consumption and sales.

Sorin Grindeanu said he told ANAF’s leadership that there are two options: either their subordinates do not recognise them as professionals, and in this case it is a management issue, or tax evasion is at state level and in this case it is the job of those with prerogatives in combating it.

“I gave them a few days and I said I would replace them. And then Firea’s attacks started,” Grindeanu added.

He claimed that resistance to replacing Bogdan Stan at the helm of ANAF “was constant.”

Asked whether Bogdan Stan “is close to Liviu Dragnea,” the ex-Premier said: “That’s how I perceived him and I perceive him.”

Sorin Grindeanu added he does not understand why, after dismissing Stan from the position of ANAF President, Premier Tudose then appointed him ANAF Vice President.

 

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