The Government will adopt today Romania’s 2019 national budget, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced on Friday in the beginning of a government meeting.
“Today we are adopting the 2019 draft budget. It has been widely discussed by all the relevant parties, and when building it we counted on the support of three main pillars: health, education, public investment. We also took into account budgetary allocations that will honour Romania’s commitments to external partners, such as 2pct of GDP for defence spending, which ensures Romania’s meeting its commitments in relation to NATO partners, and money needed to organise the events of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union,” Dancila said.
According to the prime minister, the Ministry of European Funds has a record budget of 2.3 billion lei, of which 2,09 billion are earmarked for European projects.
“For the first time, the value of the GDP will exceed 1,000 billion lei, which is additional confirmation of good economic stimulus measures,” said Dancila, who added that the government deficit will remain at 2.55pct of the GDP.
“We have secured financing to cover the increase in public pensions and wages, the payment of social security benefits and allowances and the support of economic stimulus policies, all measures pledged under the governance programme. We continue to increase the pension point by 15pct as from September 1, 2019, from 1.100 to 1,265 lei, and the minimum pension by 10pct, from 640 to 704 lei. We have covered the increase in the differentiated minimum guaranteed monthly wage to 2,080 lei from 1,900 lei last year, and to 2,350 lei for higher education graduates with at least one-year job seniority, and to 3,000 lei for persons employed by companies deriving at least 80pct of their turnover in the construction sector,” added Dancila.
She said healthcare is of utmost concern for the government, and this year’s healthcare funding will stand 6.1 billion over the 2018 allocations.
“We will complete investment in the healthcare facilities’ rehabilitation, expansion and equipment started in the past years, such as the Timisoara Pediatric Hospital, the hospitals in Falticeni, Neamt, Hunedoara and Bistrita. This year, the Ministry of Health has prioritised the improvement of healthcare services for children under the National Mother and Child Healthcare Programme, under which 1,000 incubators will be acquired,” said Dancila.
According to the prime minister, education has been allocated 47pct more funds than in 2018, from 21 billion lei to 30.8 billion lei, with the money going both towards investment and pay increases.
She mentioned that the important programmes to be carried out going forward include the provision of each the 5th-12th grade classroom with interactive electronic boards, worth 0.7 billion lei, for about two million children, as well as a 25-percent increase in the net income of teachers.
Minister of Development needs a new holder, I ask President to stop political games
Dancila on Friday reiterated that the Ministry of Development needs a new holder and asked President Klaus Iohannis to stop playing “political games” on this topic.
“The Ministry of Development needs a holder, especially during this time when we are holding the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe, a dedicated minister, with experience. Which is precisely why I nominated Lia Olguta Vasilescu for this office, for she has a vast experience in local administration and ministerial activity both. Lia Olguta Vasilescu is the minister who successfully managed two of the most complex laws adopted by the current coalition, and I mean now the single pay law and the pensions law. Which is why the arguments brought by our country’s President, for what is actually a blockage of Government’s activity, are unbelievable,” said Dancila, in the opening of the Government meeting.
According to the PM, the head of the state made repeated attempts to block the Government’s activity.
“I proved that I am as open and patient as possible with the President, who only responded with attacks and repeated attempts to block the Government’s activity. It is regrettable that the President of the country wants to impede investments at local level and that he doesn’t care he risks blocking the implementation of such vital projects for the citizens. I believe this must stop. I asked Mr President to stop playing these political games. Romania is more important, Romanians are much more important than an electoral campaign or political games,” said Viorica Dancila.
She claimed that the President is maintaining a conflict that doesn’t help the economy or bring anything good in the Romanians’ lives.
“The citizens don’t need political fights, they need investments and this the Government must be allowed to work for that to happen,” said Dancila.
President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday sent a letter to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila that he rejected the appointment of Lia Olguta Vasilescu as Deputy PM, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, reasoning that she doesn’t have the necessary training for this field.
Romanian Presidency at EU Council obtained consensus on 24 files on topics of impact for citizens
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated that within one month since taking over the rotating Presidency at the EU Council, Romania managed to obtain consensus on 24 files on areas such as agriculture and fishery, environment, transport, communication and information society, labour and workers’ protection, competitiveness and finance.
“Within the month since taking over the mandate, Romania has carried out around 70 trilogues, meetings with the European Parliament, where concrete results have been achieved. We have succeeded in obtaining consensus on 24 files regarding topics of impact for the daily life of the citizens, I am referring to agriculture and fishery, environment, transport, communications and the information society, labour and workers’ protection, competitiveness and finance. Therefore, we are actively involved in all the actions which the rotating Presidency of the EU Council implies. All our actions have the European citizens at the core and I am glad that we have good cooperation with the other European institutions, I’m referring to the European Parliament and the European Commission. We want to keep this pace in the other months to come and finalise as many files as possible,” PM Viorica Dancila said in the beginning of the Government sitting.
In respect to the European agenda, the PM mentioned that “essential discussions on the gas and copyright directives” are scheduled to take place on Friday.
“I am convinced that, at the end of this day, Romania will prove once again that it observes the strategic partnerships which it has and successfully fulfills the role it plays in these six months,” Dancila added.