Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea announced on Sunday that the coalition did not establish a discussion on a potential Government reshuffle this summer, pointing out however that a discussion on an assessment of the act of governance itself will exist. The PSD leader expressed his disappointment with the way some ministers are communicating. “I haven’t had any discussion with the Premier, [with] Mr Tariceanu on this topic. I don’t know. There will be a discussion about an assessment of the act of governance itself, but we haven’t established that this summer we would talk about a potential reshuffle. Of course, I’m more pleased with some and less pleased with others, but I don’t want to name names,” Liviu Dragnea told RomaniaTV.
The PSD President expressed his dissatisfaction with the way some members of the Dancila Cabinet are communicating the measures adopted.
“Tomorrow (Monday – editor’s note), the Premier will present a kind of review of the six months of governance, in which she will present the most important measures adopted, the positive effects of these measures, with each minister set to present these things in the upcoming period, hopefully this summer. If there is any sadness on my part and on the Premier part, it’s for the fact that the ministers… if they had nothing to present that would be one thing, but they have adopted plenty of measures and they should present what good measures they have adopted in a certain field. I hear a negative static that nothing has been done, and that’s why they must communicate what was done on the basis of the governance programme. There is no minister in this Government with nothing to communicate. There is no field in Romania’s economic and social life in which measures were not implemented. By postponing this they will present a lot at one time and they must know how to structure it,” Liviu Dragnea added.
Possibility opens for PSD-ALDE joint presidential candidate
The candidate for the presidential elections in 2019 will be designated after an analysis to be concluded this autumn, and a possibility has opened for a joint candidate of the Social Democratic Party – Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (PSD-ALDE) ruling coalition, PSD national leader Liviu Dragnea said on Sunday.
“The candidate will be designated after a very rigorous and serious analysis that follows reason and not egos. The possibility of a joint PSD-ALDE candidate has opened. I discussed the matter with [ALDE national leader] Tariceanu and agreed that any variation is open, but we should think it out very well, and surely we’ll talk to all of our party colleagues and see what the best chance to succeed is. So, it will be a rational and not some ego-centred, shallow pride analysis, but focused on the wish to win (…) Do you know what is very important to Romania after 2019? That the president of Romania supports this development and supports a better life for Romanians; he should be a president rooting for Romanians, because the president, at the head of this rather convoluted, complicated system, from which all kinds of misfortunes and illegalities, all sorts of abuses, has proved that the president can do bad things if he is a bad man, acting in bad faith,” Dragnea told Romania TV private broadcaster in response to whether or not he is ready to join the competition for the 2019 presidential election.
He added that he did not say that the future presidential candidate will not be from the PSD: “I do not want you to misinterpret my words. The most important thing to us is for the PSD-ALDE alliance to win the election and be supported, or for both of us to have an own candidate, or we will leave this option open to exploration, the possibility of a joint candidate who may be from PSD or from ALDE.”
“We leave this option open to analysis because the most important stake for 2019 is to win the election so that in 2020 we can win the general election, so we can build the majority and carry on what we have planted today, carry on the current government programme, this development programme the like of which Romania did not have,” added Dragnea.
The PSD leader added that the analysis, which has already begun, is conducted separately within PSD and within ALDE, and it will be completed “in the autumn towards the end of the year.” “We are in no hurry (…). We’re doing it separately and we’ll talk it together,” Dragnea said.
He added that the candidate could be unveiled at the end of the analysis.
Dragnea also said that the analysis also takes into account the European Parliament elections.
“Pension point will reach RON 1,265 in 2019. All pensions will rise”
On Sunday evening, the PSD President presented the new Pension Law and the modifications that will take place so that in 2019 the pension point will stand at RON 1,265 and will reach RON 4,256 in 2021. However, Liviu Dragnea pointed out that this law is not applicable to special pensions.
“In 2017 we brought the pension point to RON 1,000, in 2018 to RON 1,100, in 2019, as we said in the governance programme, to RON 1,265. Let’s take a gross pension of RON 1,500. Someone who earned this in 2016 collected a net pension of RON 1,399, deducting the 5.5 percent social security contribution and the 16 percent difference surpassing RON 1,100. We’ve eliminated [this] for pensions lower than RON 2,000, so that the pension grew in 2017 as a result of the hiking of the pension point, but the net [pension] also grew because we eliminated the health insurance contribution. So, we made the gross equal to the net. In 2020, the net [pension] is more than twice its level in 2016. (…) With the formula from the new law, in 2021 it will be RON 4,507 gross and the net pension will more than triple, to RON 4,256. (…) This law is not applicable to special pensions. Special pensions are not the object of this law,” PSD President Liviu Dragnea told RomaniaTV on Sunday evening.
The Social Democrat also announced the new formula for calculating the pension, which will come into force in 2021.
“What will be the new calculus formula? The pension will be the number of [pension] points multiplied by the reference value. The value of the reference point is the ratio between the pension point of 2020, RON 1,175 hiked by 5 percent, which means the inflation rate and half of the salary hike. These things will come into force in 2021. They will come into force earlier in only one situation, but the recalculation of all pensions is needed. It is practically impossible, the pensions for all pensioners, all 5.2 million of them, must be recalculated,” Dragnea added.
Liviu Dragnea also said that “the contributory principle, namely that your pension will match your contributions,” will be introduced, targeting companies that are not paying contributions. This, Liviu Dragnea says, is why social security contributions were transferred.
“We introduce, for the first time, the contributory principle, namely that your pension will match your contributions. Companies that are not paying social security contributions may have problems, but each citizen will be informed about the number of points accumulated. There are now cases in which companies are not paying social security contributions. Employees must know how much they will receive. If we are working for a company that is not paying the contributions, it’s not fair toward others who are working for companies that pay their contributions. One of the reasons why the contributions were transferred to the employee is that there were millions of Romanians who were working and whose social security contributions were not being paid. Back then we had a pension budget deficit of six billion lei, it has now dropped to three billion. It will drop to zero, but each year we must channel money to the state budget,” Liviu Dragnea added.
“I’ve understood why these guys no longer want us. When Romanians will be happy they will be harder to manipulate”
Liviu Dragnea stated that, following the pension and salary hikes that will take place as a result of the modifications brought about by the PSD, Romanians will be happier and “harder to manipulate” and this is “the main reason these guys no longer want us,” referring to the Opposition and Klaus Iohannis.
“I believe I’ve now understood why these guys want us gone. Because in 2020 and starting in 2021, when pensioners will have a pension that is decent and well-deserved, but a healthy pension, when employees will have high salaries, when companies will do well, when farmers will receive each year their subsidies and will develop, then Romanians will be happier. This means they will be a people that is harder to manipulate and a people in which this seed of hatred is sown with more difficulty. This is, I believe, the main reason these guys no longer want us. So, they have a reason for what is happening to me but not only to me,” Liviu Dragnea told RomaniaTV.
The Social Democrat added that the slogan “vote for us to kill the others” lies behind the anticorruption fight.
“I kept thinking – why? This is the only explanation and, I don’t know if you recall, I presented a very simple diagram during the campaign. Why is it that every time the PSD governed there were hikes, and every time the others came [to power] there were economic slumps? So that hatred could be sown, because they will never come and say ‘we want you to live better.’ No, it’s ‘vote for us so we would kill the others.’ This was their slogan, covered by the anticorruption fight, by anything related to the judiciary. By absolutely anything that would cover up their inefficiency and the fact that they don’t want people living better. What we present is not magic, as Iohannis was saying. It’s pure economy, but economy turned toward social justice, turned toward the desire to give all Romanians a benefit from the economic growth; not economic growth, low salaries and even those distributed poorly and unfairly,” Liviu Dragnea concluded.
“Viorica Dancila invited at Cotroceni at Brussels’s request”
The PSD leader claimed that the meeting between Premier Viorica Dancila and President Klaus Iohannis, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, took place at Brussels’s request.
“Naturally, I talked to her after the meeting at Cotroceni. They discussed how they would collaborate against the backdrop of Romania’s takeover of the EU Council. The Prime Minister has remained open, just like she was on taking office. It seems it took place at Brussel’s request. It’s possible, but when the Prime Minister comes ask her. I don’t want to say it here, because I wasn’t there, but everything we said during that meeting after she took office, because we – both Ms Dancila and I – had a meeting with Mr Iohannis, and that’s what we said, we agreed. In what concerns everything concerning external actions, Brussels, the presidency of the EU Council, she should inform the President and, at the same time, the President being the only one who attends European Council summits, he should tell the Government and Parliament what he is discussing there, what his commitments are, because, looking in the Constitution, he can pass no law, no Government decision, no ordinance. So, commitments cannot be taken there, such as the negotiation of the multiannual financial framework, considering that we are the ones doing it, not you. The Government and Parliament does that. Such a thing didn’t happen, and you saw that yourselves,” Liviu Dragnea told RomaniaTV.
PSD leader: Tarcea clearly said pressure is being put for the substantiation to be done faster
On Sunday evening, the PSD President declared himself shocked by the statement made by the President of the Supreme Court, according to which High Court of Cassation and Justice judges must substantiate all sentences by September. Liviu Dragnea said this is clearly pressure put on the judges.
“I saw Ms Tarcea, the President of the ICCJ [High Court of Cassation and Justice]. For me it was shocking to see what she said, putting clear pressure on the judges. She said it clearly that pressure is being put for the substantiation, the trial, to be done faster,” the PSD leader told RomaniaTV.
The PSD leader’s reaction comes after the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice announced that she has asked all subordinate judges to substantiate all their sentences by September. “In my opinion, it is impossible, at least at the High Court, to observe the 30-day substantiation deadline. All kinds of administrative measures have been taken, at present the number of dossiers whose substantiations were delayed has been reduced significantly. I have given everyone a September 1 deadline for them to take advantage of the judiciary holiday and to finish the stock of dossiers that they must draft. Otherwise they will bear the consequences of the law, namely I will notify the Judicial Inspection, something that I have done before in other situations too, it would not be a novelty for them,” Cristina Tarcea previously stated for RealitateaTV.
On Sunday, Liviu Dragnea added that the deep state, whose representative President Klaus Iohannis is, benefited from his conviction.
“There’s been constant talk about this (who benefits from Liviu Dragnea being convicted in the court of first instance – editor’s note). The deep state, and the beneficiary is Iohannis and all those around him: prosecutors, intelligence officers, SPP [Protection and Guard Service]. He [Klaus Iohannis] sees nothing but the second term. Had he been interested in Romania he would have considered my public calls for three-way talks, with Mr Tariceanu too, to meet in order to reach an agreement. What I saw in exchange: the Premier should resign, I hid away with some Jews, criminal complaint against the Premier,” the PSD leader added.