Minister of Public Finance Eugen Teodorovici, on Thursday refused in Alba Iulia to comment on his statement regarding the limitation of the working permit to maximum 5 years, in EU member states, and claimed he did not hear any slogans against him from protesters.
“I said what I had to say. Full-blooded Romanian, that’s all,” said Eugen Teodorovici, upon exiting from the Union Hall, where the Government held a festive meeting.
In what concerns the slogans some protesters chanted against him, the Minister said he did not hear a thing.
Minister of Public Finance Eugen Teodorovici, on Wednesday said that his statement on the limitation of the working permit to maximum 5 years, in an EU member states, has nothing to do with the Government’s standpoint and he added that it was just an “unfortunate phrase.”
Teodorovici harks back to limited work permits in Europe: The talks took place in informal setting
Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici pointed out on Wednesday that he did not table at European level a project on time-limited work permits in Europe, and that the talks focused on solutions for the labour crisis in Central and Eastern European countries.
In a statement for the press, the Finance Minister explained that his proposal to limit the duration of work permits came against the backdrop in which Romania is facing a labour crisis caused mainly by migration. Asked whether there is a project in this sense, he said “No.”
“The talks at European level took place in an informal setting but they concerned not necessarily this topic but topics such as the financing of an unemployment scheme – this potential mechanism through which member states would finance such an unemployment scheme at European level is actually a point on the European agenda. Romania didn’t have an unemployment problem, not during the crisis and not now either. So, we had to find mechanisms, at European level, in order to encourage, finance, support, contribute to the labour force’s return to its countries of origin. We can offer an additional package of services, of financing, of incentives to those who want to return to Romania or to another country – this was the goal –, because this was the discussion in European context, not concerning this or that state,” Teodorovici pointed out.
The Finance Minister added that in what concerns the financing scheme there were also other European colleagues, EU finance ministers, especially left-wing ones, who said that we must consider the return of the labour force or encouraging – through fiscal measures or incentives – the return of people to their countries of origin.
Likewise, the Finance Minister denied that he is against the four principles of the EU, recalling that he was involved in Romania’s negotiation process, especially prior to 2004.
“I never harmed a Romanian, nor will I, whether they are in Romania or somewhere else. It’s clear one can only be pro (pro-EU – editor note). So those who are trying to use or have used this statement I made yesterday during a discussion on the Romanian labour force, it’s clear that they are trying to nit-pick, to present a reason, an argument, not being able to invoke arguments concerning the professional side, concerning the Finance Minister, to bring up such conclusions that some have misunderstood. I don’t want to comment on what each person has commented. I thank all those who have sent all kinds of messages. (…) Maybe my wording was unfortunate. My proposal will always be for Romanians, no matter where they are, both natural and legal persons, to enjoy the same rights in Europe, whether they are traveling, living, doing business,” Teodorovici stated.
The Finance Minister recalled that he also stated that any Romanian Government must create an attractive economic and social environment so that those who are in Romania would stay here, those who left would have reasons to return home, and those who want to come to Romania would be able to do so.
“The four fundamental principles [of the EU], including the free movement of citizens, are fundamental principles. If I was a key-person in the Romanian administration in what concerns the accession negotiations and if you ask in Brussels colleagues who are working within the Commission, not necessarily all Romanians in Brussels – you know that the colleagues who are working in European structures have often brought disservice to the country in which they were born –, but the persons representing the Commission and not only them, you will be clearly told the opinion about me: I’m a staunch pro-European. I didn’t propose anything, nor will I propose anything, that would violate the four European principles,” Teodorovici emphasised.
The Minister of Finance specified that his statement on Tuesday was made at a conference “related to an important topic, the workforce crisis.”
The Minister specified that “it might have been an unfortunate statement or an unfortunate phrase” and specified that his intentions are “pro-European” and his actions are “to the best interest of Romanians and nothing else.”
In a debate in Parliament on Tuesday, the Finance Minister stated that the working permit should be limited to 5 years without the right for a renewal in the same country.
“I also proposed this topic to my counterparts, the finance ministers of Europe and I said that it might sound, I don’t know, maybe a little bit restrictive or of a different nature, (…) but it is what it is and we must learn at European level that, as poorer an area becomes, as richer another one becomes, while somewhere everything breaks. The European Union’s interest, if we are truly leaders, and I refer now to the European leaders, at European level, it must be that cohesion, a true social political cohesion. You don’t feed the Western side and leave the rest of the Europe to face all kinds of issues, you leave it outside. So, the limitation of the right to work. What is this all about, for I know there will be news again that Teodorovici wants to reform Europe. The working permit should be the same in terms of time in all states. One shouldn’t have the right to renew the working permit after the first one, so that you are forced to migrate to Europe. For this way, if one stays in Germany and continues to receive working permit there, he/she will never return to work in Croatia or Romania, meaning in the country where the workforce left. Which is what we need to discuss such measure. Maximum 5 years and after 5 years good bye, you go to another country and look for a job,” said Teodorovici.
Iohannis: I was stunned by Teodorovici’s proposal to seize Romanians inside country’s borders
President Klaus Iohannis criticized on Thursday the statement of Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici regarding overseas Romanians’ right to work, saying it is inappropriate and anti-Romanian.
“I hope that I do not use an inappropriate phrase. When I read that news, so to speak, I was stunned by the suggestion of a remarkable PSD member to seize the Romanians inside the country’s borders. Something like that happened only in the communist era. Such an approach is extremely inappropriate and it worries me a great deal. If this is what the PSD wants – to give an amnesty and pardoning law to escape offender Dragnea from prison and to pass laws to keep Romanians forcefully inside the borders, that is to cancel a right that we all fought for decades – then I can only say that this governance, this PSD approach is anti-Romanian,” said the head of state at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace when asked about the statement of finance minister to put a time limit to the right to work of the Romanians going abroad.
The president said that, following this statement, Teodorovici should leave office.
“In any normal country, a minister who makes such statements and does not have political backing leaves office the second day. The fact that he did not leave me shows that this is an approach agreed by PSD, and this upsets me very much and I think millions of Romanians are upset by it. How can PSD imagine that the right to free movement and the hard-earned right to work of Romanians can be canceled just because a party wants some solutions totally out of line with the European patterns?,” said President Iohannis.
Other reactions after Eugen Teodorovici’s proposal regarding the limitation of the labor force in the EU member states
European Commission: The free movement of the employees is a fundamental right
Referring to Eugen Teodorovici’s proposal regarding the limitation of the labor force in the EU member states, European Commission says the free access is a fundamental right, and the Commission has always campaigned for an as equitable as possible internal market.
“-Usually, we don’t comment about comments
-The free movement of the employees is a fundamental right in EU, one of the pillars of the internal market provided in the treaties, and according to the surveys, it is the right which Europeans enjoy the most.
-European Commission’s position was clear since the beginning of this term: creating a more equitable internal market, with a more profound integration, is a key component for building a more social Europe. To work properly, the mobility of the labor force must be based on clear, fair and applicable regulations, for instance by consecrating the principle of equal pay for equal work performed in similar positions by the assigned employees.
-At the same time, through the European pillar of social rights, EU has committed itself to ensure better working conditions and living standard in the entire Union, in the context of the challenges, such as aging of the citizens, globalization and digitalization”, reads the European Commission’s position, delivered through the spokesman Christian Wigand.
PNL: We ask PM Dancila to dismiss the Finance Minister
The National Liberal Party (PNL) announced on Tuesday that they are asking Premier Viorica Dancila to dismiss Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici after he proposed the introduction of a five-year work permit for all European Union member state employees who are working abroad.
The Finance Minister stated on Tuesday, during a debate in Parliament, that he wants the right to work in an EU member state limited to 5 years, against the backdrop in which Romanian employees working in Germany will “never” come back.
The PNL is asking Premier Viorica Dancila to dismiss Teodorovici, against the backdrop in which his proposal attacks the Romanians’ right to work abroad.
“We summon Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila to dismiss Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici and to publicly distance herself from his proposal to introduce a time-limited labour permit in the European Union. The Finance Minister’s proposal is attacking the Romanians’ right to work abroad and is forcing them to return to the country after the labour permit expires in a different European country,” the press release reads.
PNL representatives consider this a measure that violates the founding principles of the EU and that sends Romania back to the pre-accession period.
“The announcement of a measure that would destroy one of the bases on which the European Union was built, namely the freedom to work in any member state, shows that the Romanian Government is not ready to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union and does not understand the importance of this role. Romania taking over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1st must be an opportunity to defend the rights of Romanian citizens who are working in the European Union, not an opportunity to force them to return,” reads the press release.
The PNL warns that the proposal demonstrates the Social Democratic Party’s hostile and vengeful attitude toward the Romanian diaspora.
“The natural way to determine Romanians to return to the country has to do with economic development, the development of infrastructure and the modernisation of public services to Western standards, all these objectives being in contradiction to PSD-ALDE’s governmental agenda,” reads the press release.
Tariceanu disagrees with Teodorovici’s proposal to limit the right to work in EU countries
ALDE President Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Tuesday that he disagrees with Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici’s proposal regarding the limiting of the right to work in EU countries.
“I will start by making an appraisal rather jokingly. Is this a Liberal vision, by any chance, on the functioning of the economy and the labour market? No. We do not agree at all with such a proposal, because the right to work in the European Union is a gained asset, a right gained by all Romanians, many of whom have understood to benefit from it, and the problem of the labour deficit in Romania, a real problem, is not solved by limiting a right gained by obtaining the capacity of EU member state,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated, referring to the Finance Minister’s proposal.
The leader of ALDE pointed out that Romania is not the only country that faced a labour shortage and it can learn from the example of other countries.
“I didn’t hear of such measure being taken by another European country,” Tariceanu added.
BNS: Introducing restrictions on right to work undeniably violates theses from the European Union Treaty; Minister Teodorovici’s discourse is anti-European, war against his own people
The National Union Bloc (BNS) pointed out on Tuesday that Minister Eugen Teodorovici’s speech, in which he proposed limiting the right to work in the European Union, “is anti-European” and undeniably violates theses from the European Union Treaty. Moreover, union members point out that this proposal is in line with Romanian politicians waging “a war against their own people.”
“Shortly before the takeover of the presidency of the Council of the European Union, Minister Teodorovici, a minister designated by a Social Democratic party, tables a proposal for the finance ministers of EU member states that completely runs counter to the fundamental principles that lay at the basis of the European project. We consider that Minister Teodorovici’s speech is anti-European, with no connection with the present and future of this ample political project,” BNS representatives pointed out on Tuesday in a press release.
According to them, “introducing restrictions on EU citizens exercising the right to work undeniably violates theses from the European Union Treaty.”
“The free movement of workers is a fundamental principle under Article 45 of the European Union Treaty, on whose basis EU citizens have the right to seek employment in another EU country, to work in that country, without the need for a work permit, and to benefit from the same treatment like the citizens of that country in what concerns access to the labour market, labour conditions and all the other social and fiscal advantages,” BNS representatives point out.
Vlad Voiculescu: One no longer knows how to comment on the nonsense; right to work, offered by EU countries only after many years, after long negotiations and humiliations endured by millions of Romanians
Former Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, referring to the proposal to limit the right to work in the European Union, that “one no longer knows how to comment on the nonsense and meanness coming out of their mouths.” He recalls the humiliations he experienced working abroad at a time when Romanians did not have this right, stating that the right to work was given to Romanians by EU countries only after many years, after long negotiations and after humiliations endured by millions of Romanians.
“For four years, as a student, in order to make ends meet, I took only the jobs that my colleagues from Austria, Hungary, Poland or even Turkey were turning down, because I, as Romanian, did not have the right to work. For two more years after that, I worked in Austria for half the pay I should have received. Because I, a Romanian, did not have the right to work. For years on end, millions of Romanians, driven away from the country by the poverty and misery in which thieving and stupid politicians had reduced them to, worked in the grey economy, without health insurance and other rights, only because they were coming from a country led by the same thieving and stupid politicians. The right to work was offered by EU countries to Romanians only after many years, after long negotiations and after humiliations endured by millions of Romanians,” the former Health Minister wrote on Tuesday on Facebook.
He went on to say that “one no longer knows how to comment the nonsense and meanness coming out of their mouths anymore.”
“What fit grabbed hold of Mr Orlando Teodorovici now? To propose the reinstitution of restrictions. A Romanian minister, paid by Romanians, wants the reinstitution of restrictions for Romanians. One no longer knows how to comment the nonsense and meanness coming out of their mouths or out of Parliament. How long will this people bear them? ‘No sword cuts off a bowed head’? The bowed head will never find the road. The bowed head never deserves respect and will never get respect. The bowed head no longer needs to be cut off… a hook is put through the nose,” Voiculescu wrote.
Eugen Tomac: Diaspora offended again by the Manele Government; another blockhead from Victoria Palace attacks a living part of the body of the Romanian nation
PMP President Eugen Tomac stated on Tuesday that Minister Eugen Teodorovici’s proposal to limit the right to work in the European Union offends the diaspora and “attacks a living part of the body of the Romanian nation.”
“The diaspora offended again by the Manele Government. On a week when we should talk about unity and the positive parts of Romania, another blockhead from the Victoria Palace attacks a living part of the body of the Romanian nation. Eugen Teodorovici is saying, no more no less, than limiting the right to work of the 4.5 million Romanians who left for a better life abroad,” PMP President Eugen Tomac wrote on Tuesday on Facebook.
He referred to the video in which Senator Niculae Badalau (PSD) is seen attending a party in which a song with an offensive message for the diaspora was being sung.
“With this statement, the Finance Minister only serves to confirm that the song sung by the Economy Minister, Godfather Badalau, which had offensive verses about the Romanian diaspora, is a veritable philosophy for the Dragnea-Dancila Government,” Tomac added.