Former Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu wrote on his Facebook page that he is leaving the ministry “holding my head up high and with the feeling of a job well done,” and presented a review of his two-month term at the helm of the Ministry of Defence.
The ex-minister said he does not want to insist on his decision to resign, on the reasons behind it or on the context in which it took place.
Adrian Tutuianu added that he took an active part in the procedures for the procurement of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), the Patriot air defence system, the multi-mission corvettes and the armoured amphibious personnel carrier, that he contributed to the revitalisation of the Cantacuzino Institute and planned to re-open some military schools and high-schools in order to ensure the necessary number of specialists in various key domains of the Romanian Armed Forces.
“And, as an irony of fate, today, September 6, after my resignation, Romania’s request concerning the procurement of the HIMARS system has cleared the U.S. Congress, with technical and specific talks set to start – just like in the case of PATRIOT –, talks that will configure, down to the smallest detail, the system that will enter the Romanian Armed Forces’ list of equipment. In brief, this is the activity in the 2 months and 5 days of my term within a ministry in which the only policy is the defence of the country. The activity, in extenso, is on the website of the Ministry of Defence. I repeat! I’m leaving holding my head up high! I’m leaving with the feeling of a job well done!” Tutuianu wrote on his Facebook page.
Dragnea on Tutuianu’s resignation: I’m very upset and sad, we lost a good minister. He was the victim of an error of communication – or not
On Wednesday, PSD President Liviu Dragnea declared himself “upset and saddened” by Adrian Tutuianu’s resignation from the helm of the MoD, arguing that the Government lost a “very good” minister and deeming that he was “the victim of an error of communication.” He added he does not know whether that error belongs to Tutuianu or to the ministry’s civil servants.
“I’m very upset, very sad. We lost a very good minister, who appears to have been the victim of an error of communication – or not. I don’t know whether it was necessarily an error of communication, and not necessarily on his part. There is no kind of fears, of reasons for which MoD employees should worry that they might not receive their rights,” Dragnea said.
He stated he found out about the MoD communique when he was having lunch with the Premier and the Deputy Premier, and he asked them to talk with Adrian Tutuianu and the Finance Minister in order to solve the situation.
“It’s a gesture that I wouldn’t have wanted to see. He’s a good minister, but such communiques cannot go without consequences, because it also threw into doubt our credibility within NATO,” he pointed out.
Liviu Dragnea vehemently dismissed the allegation that the situation within the MoD is caused by PSD infighting. “I too have read these short stories, they are novelletes and short stories, there is no such thing,” the PSD President said.
He added that Adrian Tutuianu will not return at the helm of the SRI Oversight Committee, since the procedure to replace him there has already started and PSD has taken a decision on this issue.
“We’re head over heels in love with the external and forget we’re Romanians, we’re not lackeys,” Dragnea said, annoyed by questions regarding the country’s image following the MoD scandal
The Social Democrat leader was annoyed by the journalists’ questions about Romania’s external image following the Defence Minister’s resignation on account of the situation within the MoD, stating that “we’re head over heels in love with the external” and we forget that we are “Romanians, not lackeys.” He subsequently pointed out that foreign partners are only interested in Romania meeting its commitments.
Dragnea was asked whether having three Defence Ministers replaced in a span of one year is not also a problem for Romania’s external image. An annoyed Dragnea responded: “I don’t know, maybe you see it [as a problem]. Externally, the most important thing for our partners – since I see we’re head over heels in love with the external and I see this is our main preoccupation, sometimes forgetting we’re Romanians, not lackeys – (…), and we’re interested in this too, externally everyone’s interest is in making sure Romania meets all of its commitments.”
Dragnea said there should not be a return “to the communist period” with a Government “that would spend 10 years” in power.
President Iohannis signs decree appointing Deputy PM Ciolacu acting defence minister
President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday signed a decree appointing Deputy Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu acting minister of defence.
He also signed a decree under which the defence minister office was vacated following Adrian Tutuianu’s resignation.
On Tuesday, Tutuianu announced he was resigning citing “bad communication” on the payment of the service members wages.
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose accepted his resignation and later said that there are no problems with the national budget, “there is money for all the ministries” and that the Government is going to make a positive revision.
Tudose also explained where the “madness” over the military pay originated.
“The Ministry of Finance said something wrong was happening there. It would not be normal and right for the food allowance the military receives to be paid in the first half of the month for the entire month, as that would be payment in advance and the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance it’s such payment be made at the end of the month. It was there that some people understood something else,” Tudose said.
The Defence Ministry announced on Tuesday that it ordered the payment of the net pay /benefits on September 15, with no individual contributions and taxes, despite the fact that the budget revision for 2017 has not been made yet. At the same time, it was mentioned that between September 21 and September 25, the employer’s and employee’s contributions to the income tax will be paid.
The ministry also said, “the payment of other rights related to staff expenses (rents, food rations, etc.) was ordered to be made around September 25, after the budget revision.”
PM Tudose: I’ve asked for DefMin’s resignation as an honorable act to get us out of this situation
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on Tuesday that he asked Defence Minister Adrian Tutuianu to resign his ministerial office, calling it an honourable act to get out of the situation created at this ministry by a press release.
“We suddenly woke up to a statement and a post on the Ministry of Defence website, some indications from the centre to the local units that somebody had to do some tricks with money, that there is no money for wages although some money is needed now and some later on. I must confess I was shocked, I was with Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Chairman Dragnea at the table. All three of us had gone for a meal after the vote in Parliament. All three of us learned about this alert in Romania, that there is no money for defence. First, I called the minister of Finance, who was equally shocked, and then I called the minister of Defence. You see, somebody failed a communication and I understand that something like that had been in the making since Friday. I left the table and all came to work. I asked the minister to come and explain himself, I asked for his resignation. I told him the resignation would be an act of honour to get out of this situation,” Tudose told TVR public broadcaster on Tuesday evening.
He also mentioned that Tutuianu wrote his resignation, which he accepted, then informed Liviu Dragnea, and he called President Klaus Iohannis to send the papers for the acting defence minister’s office.
FinMin after MoD salary crisis: Budget adjustment will be finalised by end of September and will be positive. Talks on budget revision held on Wednesday at the Victoria Palace
The Public Finance Ministry (MFP) pointed out, in a communique issued on Wednesday, that the budget adjustment “will be finalised by the end of September” and “will be positive.”
According to the MFP, “the budget adjustment will be finalised by the end of September.” “The adjustment will be positive and will be based on prior consultations with all ministries.”
On Wednesday, Premier Mihai Tudose summoned the ministers at the Victoria Palace in order to discuss the budget adjustment but also the prevention of cases similar to the one registered at the Ministry of Defence. “The Premier wants to make sure there will be no other cases similar to the MoD case,” governmental sources told MEDIAFAX.
According to the quoted sources, Transport Minister Razvan Cuc came at the Victoria Palace where he met with Deputy Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu.
Furthermore, Deputy Prime Minister Sevil Shhaideh also arrived at the Gov’t headquarters.
The meetings are held in the context of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose stating on Tuesday at Antena 3 private television station, that there are no problems with the state budget, mentioning the Gov’t is to make a positive revision.
“There is no problem. Moreover, within a week – two weeks tops, we will have the first budget revision of this year and it will be a positive one,” Tudose said.
The budget revision would take place around 20 September, according to Deputy PM Marcel Ciolacu.
“By 5 September we will have the projection on budget for 2018, between 5 and 7 September, at the Victoria headquarters, the PM team will be working with the Finance Ministry team, both on the budget and revision. Between 7 and 10 September, each minister will have individual meetings with the Finance Minister and the Finance Ministry team and we will establish the figures and around 20 September we will have the budget revision,” Ciolacu stated on 25 August in Neptun seaside resort.
Furthermore, the Executive is preparing the bill on state budget, that is to be sent to Parliament in November.
“The state budget draft law will be drawn up and sent to Parliament in November, in order to start the next year with an approved budget,” PM Mihai Tudose stated on Monday in Parliament, at the debate called “Prime Minister Question Time.”