Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea (photo) reacted harshly to President Iohannis’s statement regarding the budget execution, claiming that “it’s incredible how he mystifies reality and how, for a quarter of an hour, he talked about sunspots, feigning not seeing the sunlight that we are all seeing.” She told Iohannis that “instead of seeking conflict, he should allow the Government to do its job.”
“It was unbelievable. For a quarter of an hour, President Iohannis talked to us about sunspots, feigning not seeing the sunlight we are all seeing. It’s unbelievable how the President mystifies reality. He is telling us that revenues are faring the worst now, when, in fact, in the first 4 months of the year ANAF has collected 1 billion lei more than the budget plan, and 8.1 billion lei more than last year. I remind the President that, since 2013, 2016 has been the only year in which budget revenues dropped, at the time of the great technocratic Government. The same goes for European grants: the only year in which revenue collection from the European Union dropped was 2016, at the time of the Government endorsed and backed by the President,” PSD Vice President Gabriela Firea pointed out in a press release.
She added that Iohannis has formed “an obsession” with asking Premier Dancila to resign, a Premier that “has so far behaved very decently with the President.”
“I see Mr Iohannis has formed an obsession with this resignation request. Instead of seeking a conflict, he should allow the Government to do its job. People no longer want a fight and a row between those deciding their fate, because this affects them directly. So far, the Premier has behaved very decently with Mr Iohannis. What good does it do to people that the President is demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation?” Gabriela Firea rhetorically asked.
Likewise, she claimed that the President’s manner of expressing himself falls far below the level expected from a President of Romania.
“<Dragnea and his ilk> is a wording far below the rank of a President of Romania. I don’t recall Mr Dragnea speaking this way about Mr Iohannis, even though they are in different political camps. I can understand Mr Iohannis’s political resentment, but this cannot excuse in any way his backsliding in what concerns the public discourse,” Gabriela Firea added.
“If Romanians living abroad see that, even though we’re building schools, streets and hospitals, there’s permanent tension in society, they’ll have second thoughts about returning. Let’s leave tensions aside and let’s try to be more constructive”
On Tuesday, Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea was present at the Government headquarters at the launch of the National Campaign titled ‘Information at home! Safety in the world!”, a campaign meant for Romanians living abroad. There, she said that if Romanians living abroad see that even though there are investments, even though we are building schools, streets and hospitals, there is permanent tension in society, they will have second thoughts about returning. “I believe we must convey this message to Romanians: that we love them, that we cherish them, that we are thinking of them and we are working. And we are leaving aside the tensions and domestic fighting and we are trying to be as constructive as possible,” Firea said.
“For the Romanians who decide to return to the country and have certain hesitations, because they are thinking maybe they got used to a higher living standard, with the civilisation that Western cities have, and maybe they wonder whether we, as a country or as cities, can also live up to that level. I say yes, from very many standpoints,” Gabriela Firea stated.
“And the fact that two bills that are extremely important for the whole country will be adopted this week and next week, I’m talking about the public-private partnership and the public procurement law, very many investments will come to Romania and I’m convinced that Romanian and foreign businessmen will have a different appetite to get involved and invest in infrastructure, education or healthcare projects in our country, in our cities,” the mayor added.
Firea claimed that both local and central authorities must contribute to the programme that the Romanian Government has launched for Romanians living abroad: “I believe each of us should have a contribution to this programme that is so generous, so full of solidarity, a programme launched – not by chance – by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and Minister Intotero today, the Equality of Chances Day, when we can also note that the Romanian Government is being led by a lady and that we have very many women in Government, Parliament, central and local authorities, agencies, and I believe you agree with me that we should tell all Romanians, but today especially all Romanian women who work or study abroad, that we are thinking about them, that we are not forgetting them and that every day we are doing something good, we hope, so that their lives would be better abroad or here in the country.”
“Each of us, those representing the public authority, whether elected or appointed, has a responsibility and I believe that, if each of us does their duty the result will be special. However, if Romanians living abroad notice that in the country, even though investments are coming, even though we are building more schools, more streets, more hospitals, but there is a permanent state of instability, permanently a state of uncertainty, social conflict and tension in society, I don’t believe we are giving Romanians a good example. I believe that, on the contrary, we prompt them to think twice whether to return to the country or only to come on holiday for the Danube Delta, for Maramures, for the monasteries of Moldavia, for the seaside and for our mountains. I believe that, firstly through the way we behave, we are a good example and we are conveying a message to the Romanians living abroad. Through civilised discourse, through the decency with which we express ourselves, and through the fact that we are not trying to derive personal advantage from every situation or we are not permanently criticising those who are working. I believe this is the message we must convey to Romanians: that we love them, that we cherish them, that we are thinking of them, and we are working. And we are leaving aside the tensions and domestic fighting and we are trying to be as constructive as possible,” Gabriela Firea underscored.
Dragnea: President presented a whole list of lies. What he is doing – launching in the public space false information about poor economic results – could represent an attack on national security
In his turn, PSD President Liviu Dragnea reacted on Monday evening to the statements that President Klaus Iohannis made about the budget execution during the first quarter of 2018 and to his demand that Premier Dancila resign. Dragnea accused Iohannis of “presenting a whole list of lies that can represent an attack on national security.” He claimed that all economic data points to positive growth and evolution, and the Premier has no reason to resign. “Mrs Dancila cannot resign because the President is bothered by a governance programme that generates good effects and serious economic growth,” Dragnea said.
He claimed that, in fact, all economic data points to growth.
Thus, Dragnea claimed that budget revenues, industrial production, and exports have grown year-on-year, while the public debt is dropping, and Romania has the lowest unemployment rate ever registered. “The Robor index – of course, it affects everyone, but, if we look at the graph, we are at a very low level, from 2007 until now,” Dragnea stated for Antena3 private broadcaster while several graphs were being presented on the screen. The PSD President stated he takes responsibility for the said graphs.
“Despite President’s public attacks, this Gov’t to implement its ruling programme”
Social Democratic Party leader said that the current coalition (PSD-ALDE, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats – ed.n.), will continue the implementation of the government programme despite “public attacks on behalf of President Iohannis.”
He affirmed that the evolution of the economy is positive and consequently, “PSD will not stop here.”
“Despite all the political barriers put up by president Iohannis, despite all the public attacks on behalf of president Iohannis, this Government will implement its ruling programme,” Dragnea said.
He further maintained that president Klaus Iohannis’ statements on Romania’s economic situation are of a political nature.
“I believe this stance had several objectives, politically speaking. The first objective, to try to justify the request for resignation of Mrs. Prime Minister Dancila last week, linking it to some economic data which are false and which are lies, so that the idea that he requested her resignation for the visit to Israel does not gain ground. Moreover, it is very difficult not to understand or to realise that it is a political involvement as the president of Romania, constitutionally, should not have, because he referred, and not for the first time, to a political party, to PSD. Not to mention myself, as I have been the president’s target for two years,” the PSD leader added.
“Last year too we received the same criticism, right from the start of the year, still from Cotroceni [Cotroceni Presidential Palace, the seat of the Presidency – ed.n.], still from Cotroceni’s expertise, that it is impossible from an economic point of view to curb taxes and duties and have economic growth and have higher expenses. It was proven that it is possible and we did not invent this. Bigger countries have done it and were successful, for a very simple reason: the moment taxes and duties are lowered, the taxation basis is increasing that is the number of those producing revenues goes up. So overall revenues rise. Last year too they were saying we wouldn’t have the economic growth that we forecasted, that we would exceed the deficit. It was proven that was not the case. It is very simple and it is not about economic magic. It has to do with very well grounded programme which is well put into place. We can in return talk about the black magic of right-wing governance, including the technocrat governance, when president Iohannis installed the government and we voted for it in Parliament,” Dragnea further said.
Rovana Plumb to Iohannis: Government should be allowed to do its job
European Grants Minister Rovana Plumb has responded to President Klaus Iohannis, who criticised the absorption rate of European grants, by pointing out that she has taken the absorption rate up from the zero percent registered during the Ciolos Government to 16 percent at present.
“I saw that President Iohannis is concerned that PSD is allegedly not fighting [sic] European grants. I saw that the President is concerned that the Government allegedly did not absorb sufficient European grants. President Iohannis feigns concern, because had he really been concerned then he would have had a much harsher reaction in 2016, when Romania had zero absorption of European grants during the mandate of the Iohannis-Ciolos Government. Unlike him, we have fought and have managed to transform the zero of Mr Iohannis’s Government into 16 percent absorption [rate], compared to the European average of 18 percent,” European Grants Minister Rovana Plumb stated.
The minister claims that the Executive must be allowed to work to have results.
“For me the way in which the President talked about the European grants in the first quarter is impossible to understand. I believe it is imperiously necessary for the Government to be allowed to do its job. I don’t want to enter a polemic, but this political tension does nothing to help the proper functioning we all need, the proper functioning of Romania,” Rovana Plumb added.
President Iohannis: PSD is mortgaging country’s future. Evolution of public finance totally unsatisfactory, hence PM Dancila’s resignation paramount. PSD’s Dragnea: Ms. Prime Minister has no reason to resign. Despite President’s public attacks, this Gov’t to implement its ruling programme