President Klaus Iohannis on Friday says he will refer the 2019 budget draft bill to the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR).
“There are, unfortunately, unconstitutionality aspects in this budget as well. The budget of national disgrace not only endangers the Romanian economy, but also it also contains clear unconstitutionality aspects. Romania’s obligations towards the European Union, where it belongs, are not met; it violates some fundamental rights; the role of the Fiscal Council has been ignored, while the principle of decentralisation and the principle of subsidiarity are undermined. For all of this, I will refer today to the CCR the 2019 national budget, the budget of the national disgrace,” Iohannis told journalists at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He specified that he would also refer to the CCR a law on the approval of the ceilings of some indicators specified in the 2019 fiscal and budgetary framework.
Iohannis called the budget “unrealistic, overvalued and delayed.”
“With this budget, the PSD [Social Democratic Party, main at rule] is trying to paper over the multiple failures of its government so far. They have called it the investment budget and that’s the first big lie therein,” Iohannis said.
He added that, under the law PSD had to put forth the budget on November 15, 2018.
“I tell you why they are late: they do not want to conduct investment because they have no money, so they delayed the budget by three months,” said Iohannis.
He also criticised statements about regional hospitals.
“Asked a few days ago about regional hospitals, the much discussed hospitals, the promised regional hospitals, the PSD minister responded in a stupefying manner. The PSD minister said they have money for design. Just so you know: three years into governance they only have money for design work! There is no way they want to complete the hospitals. They do not want to make public investments; they just promise and do nothing. But when it comes to them, they have the money. PSD took great care appropriating huge amounts to fund political parties: it will take out 150 million out of the 270 million proposed for party funding,” Iohannis said.
He argued that this amount is more than 20 times the amount for election year 2016. “PSD has put aside 20 times more money for itself,” added Iohannis.
According to him, “local administration is a sure victim of this budget.”
“Romania’s local communities receive a billion lei less than last year. How can city halls work without this money? How to conduct their investment? Obviously they cannot do that. The city halls will have to abandon important local investment projects to cope with this budget,” said Iohannis.
Later on in the day, the Presidential Administration reported that Iohannis filed with the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) a constitutionality objection over the 2019 national budget bill.
Objection by President Iohannis on 2019 state budget to be discussed by Constitutional Court on 6 March
Romania’s Constitutional Court (CCR) will discuss on 6 March the President Klaus Iohannis’ referral on the 2019 state budget bill, sources with the CCR announced.
“By its passage and normative contents, the aforementioned bill violates Article 1(5), Article 11(1) and (2), Article 47, Article 50, Article 120 (1), 135 (2) (f) and 148 (2) and (4) of the Constitution,” Iohannis said in his court filing, mentioning that Parliament had forwarded the bill to him for promulgation on February 20.
In the document sent to the CCR, the president says among other things, that the state budget bill was passed with the violation of the role and duties of the Fiscal Council, that was to issue an opinion on all of the amendments admitted the long of the parliamentary debates.
The president adds that the duty of the Fiscal Council to issue an opinion in reference to the statement of conformity signed by the prime minister and the minister of finance, was not observed, either.
He also invokes the adoption of this bill with the violation of the principles and regulations on the fiscal-budgetary responsibility.
According to Iohannis, the file of the legislative path of the 2019 state budget bill lacks a declaration of responsibility of the prime minister and the public finance minister, as required by the legislation.
President Iohannis specifies that the piece of legislation was passed in violation of the provisions of the fundamental law, according to which “following accession, the provisions of the EU constitutive treaties, as well as the other community mandatory regulations have priority over the domestic laws’ contrary dispositions, with the observance of the membership act’s provisions.”
Moreover, the president stresses that the report on the macroeconomic situation on 2019 and its 2020 – 2022 projection was lodged by the gov’t, according to its legal obligation, and yet it is grounded on a situation ignoring the developments at the world and the European economy’s level.
“ PSD is incompetent and incapable of running Romania”
The head of state also declared on Friday that the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is incompetent and incapable of running Romania.
“One thing is clear: the PSD governance has failed. In hospitals, [there are] problems over problems, education is under-financed, Romania’s economy is unsettled, especially after the OUG [Government Emergency Ordinance] No.114, issued in great secrecy at the end of last year, the highways are out of the question, the entire PSD governance represented an assault over justice and the rule of law in Romania, with the clear objective of getting their hands on justice, politicise justice so they can solve their criminal cases. Actually, the PSD isn’t governing for the Romanians and Romania, but for Dragnea. The PSD is incompetent and incapable of running Romania,” Iohannis stated at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
PSD: While children do not receive allocated amounts, Iohannis impassibly continues electoral campaign
The Social Democrats accuse President Klaus Iohannis of blocking the increase in child allowances, stipulated in the 2019 budget bill.
“President Iohannis ‘Spanner-in-the-works’ has just blocked the increase in child allowances provided in the 2019 budget bill voted by PSD [the Social Democratic Party, major at rule, ed.n.], ALDE [the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, minor at ule, ed.n.], UDMR [the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania, ed.n.] and minorities. Although the Government adopted an emergency ordinance to allow the use of additional amounts provided for in the budget for the increase of the allowances, this provision can only enter into force on the first day of the month following the entry into force of the budget law, so even if the government has prepared the money for the children, they cannot be granted because of the president’s blockade,” PSD conveyed in a Facebook post.
As far as PSD is concerned, the president is pursuing his electoral campaign.
“While the children do not receive their money, Iohannis impassibly continues the electoral campaign,” the Social Democrats say.
Senate President Tariceanu: Unfortunately, the President chose to do politics by caviling the Government, through attempts to permanently block its activity, without realising how much damage causes to the country and the society
The President chose to do politics by caviling the Government and attempting to permanently block its activity, Senate President and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the President chose this method to do politics by caviling the Government, through attempts to permanently block the Government activity, without realising how much damage causes to the country and the society. (…) The President’s gesture is totally inopportune and unjustified,” Tariceanu stated in Oradea, when referring to President Iohannis’s statements regarding the national budget.
In respect to the remark regarding the funding of parties, made by the head of state, Tariceanu labeled it as “demagogy and populism.”
“Over the past years, Romania was confronted with a corruption component related to the political parties which resorted to the funding or sponsorship formulas, to call them so, of which, some of them could have been considered outside the law. And, for this reason, there were numerous investigations and lawsuits related to the political parties and some people were convicted. I believe that the solution which other democratic states of the European Union is also practicing, that of funding the political parties, which, after all, are some democratic and useful institutions to the society, represents a very good solution, precisely for this channels not to exist, which bring corruption, influence peddling, groups of influence that promote certain interests which are not always related to those of the society. And I believe that this solution should be welcomed, not criticised, in order to clean up the political life and political parties of corruption. If he is consistent and truly concerned with fighting corruption, he should take into account these considerations which underpin the law,” the ALDE leader said.
PSD’s Pana: Iohannis not only blocks Gov’t, also does politics, which he is not allowed to
Social Democratic Party (PSD) Vice President, Deputy Doina Pana said on Friday in Bistrita that President Iohannis’ speech when he announced that he had referred the state budget bill to the Constitutional Court was a disinformation, manipulation and anti-PSD one, given that the president is not allowed to do politics, according to the Constitution.
As far as the PSD deputy is concerned, “Romania no longer has a president according to the Constitution” because “he not only blocks in any way he can the government, but also does politics. The entire speech around the budget today was disinformation, manipulation and a very, very clear political message. His entire speech on the budget was anti-PSD, something that a president is not allowed to do.”
Pana accuses Klaus Iohannis of the fact that he is currently delaying the budget, which is why the announced investments cannot be made and the children’s allowances cannot be raised as of March 1, given that CCR was also referred to in relation to the capping law, which increased the deficit.
“So he is the one who is causing the delay, the one who only blocks the Government, throws a spanner in the works, puts the brakes on,” said PSD vice president.
Doina Pana added that PSD decided, as a result of the “noxious politics done by the president” and “obsessively repeated lies” by the opposition parties, that ministers would have “massive” presence in the media, to present the good things done by the current Government.