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May 10, 2021

Kelemen Hunor: I don’t believe Romania will fail at the presidency of the EU Council. In what concerns the ceremony at the Athenaeum, “there was room for better preparations from a diplomatic protocol standpoint too”

Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) President Kelemen Hunor declares himself, in an interview for RFI, convinced that Romania will live up to its mandate as president of the EU Council. He criticises the way the ceremony at the Athenaeum was organised, a ceremony marking the takeover of the rotating presidency, stating that he received the invitation to the event “very late.”

Kelemen Hunor believes that Bucharest “must be very careful when it comes to the files of the day, must prepare very well the upcoming period, because big things won’t happen during this six-month period.”

“Of course, Brexit is another story, and if Brexit is postponed for a subsequent date, for July or for the end of the year, then of course, it will remain to be seen how we can better manage – together with the Council and the Commission – this huge problem. But I don’t believe Romania will fail, I don’t believe there are things that cannot be handled at this moment,” the UDMR leader stated.

The UDMR leader also commented on the way the ceremony was organised at the Athenaeum, where former MEP Adrian Severin, convicted for passive bribery and influence peddling, and Premier Viorica Dancila’s son were in the same box with Romanian and foreign officials: “We received the invitations very late, 48 hours before [the event]. Until then, we did not know whether we are invited or not, I’m talking about the other leaders. The evening before there were some interventions at the Government too, for us to show up, but I said: if you sent the invitation yesterday, I’m not in the country, what can I do now? (…) There was probably room for better preparations from the standpoint of diplomatic protocol too, that’s all I can say. I believe those who organised and who decided on the seating could have been more careful, but I don’t think Romania doesn’t have the diplomatic protocol capability to organise an event.”


UDMR does not support GEO on fiscal measures, there was no debate and no impact study


UDMR President Kelemen Hunor has stated in an interview for RFI that the Government should not have adopted a Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) on fiscal measures just days before the end of the calendar and fiscal years. He pointed out that UDMR does not support these measures taken overnight and without a debate.

“I didn’t support them last year either, when they were announced via an Emergency Ordinance several days before the calendar and fiscal years ended, and I don’t support them now either, because there was no debate, there was no study on what will happen after the introduction of these fiscal measures,” Kelemen Hunor stated.

He added: “You can’t do it a few days before the end of the year, because companies, society, nobody can be prepared for such a change and it’s not good to do it suddenly, you should give them at least six months, as it is written in our internal legislation, so that everyone would prepare for a fiscal change, and I doubt this debate, or the debate on the GEO when it enters Parliament, will be very smooth. I don’t know whether the Finance Minister has also thought about rejecting the Ordinance halfway through the year, what he will replace it with and how he will manage this. That is why I believe that such brutal measures in the fiscal area, in the tax area, are extremely counterproductive.”

The GEO on fiscal measures stipulates, among other things, a so-called tax on greed enforced upon banks, and a turnover tax of 2 and 3 percent in the telecom sector and energy sector respectively.


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