Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced on Friday that she proposes the parliamentary parties to sign the National Pact for Romanians’ welfare, mentioning that it should be the political guarantee to further increase the standard of living in the next period.
“We have all seen in the last period countless proposals of pacts and agreements. The parties and the candidates are talking to each other about how to play the political game, they fight, negotiate and fail lamentably in front of Romanians. Because none of these initiatives has an impact and finality for the people. None was conceived in the interest of Romanians, no such agreement had materialised in a measure meant to do good to society, bring an increase in the standard of living or some form of progress in the daily life. Today, I propose, before you, the only pact for the citizens, the only agreement which the political forces of Romania deserve to make: that of Romanians’ welfare,” Dancila wrote on her Facebook page.
She argued that “Romania has the second largest economic growth in Europe” and “the wages and pensions increased at an unprecedented rate.”
Dancila added that the minim wage in economy, doctors’ and teachers’ wages, as well as the salaries in constructions have increased, and, as of 1 September, the pension point increased by 15 percent and the guaranteed minimum pension also increased.
“Taking into account the history and the practice of the right-wing governments to cut the Romanians’ incomes and taking into account the increasingly frequent statements of some political leaders announcing that they will impose again austerity and social regression measures, I propose the political parties to sign the National Pact for Romanians’ welfare, which should be the political guarantee to further increase the Romanians’ standard of living in the next period. I want for the people to receive a minimum written assurance from the entire political class that their salaries and pensions won’t be cut, just as it happened in the 2010-2012 governance,” Viorica Dancila wrote.
The PM added that she is the first to sign this pact, “having the belief that Romania must honor its basic obligation toward the citizens, to ensure their welfare and a decent living.”
“I assume this thing before you and I expect from all those who come and ask for votes to prove the same courage of assumption, so that, regardless of who get to govern, the support measures be continued and the Romanians never be sacrificed,” the PM concluded.
PSD Spokesman Valeriu Steriu presented on Friday evening the text of Viorica Dancila’s proposed pact, pointing out that she expects the political parties “to be by the side of each and every Romanian” and sign the document. The Social Democrats propose that pensions and salaries should not be cut, the timetable of their hiking be observed, and various Fiscal Code provisions should not be modified.
Reactions to pact proposed by Dancila
Iohannis: The idea of pact is good if it comes after validation
President Klaus Iohannis stated on Saturday in Venus seaside resort that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s intention to propose the parliamentary parties a national pact for Romanians’ welfare is an electoral action, the idea of pact being good if it comes after a validation.
“You see, we are now basically in an electoral campaign, even if, we formally are in the pre-electoral campaign and all the competitors are trying to present attractive approaches and matters for the electorate. So far, nothing wrong. However, we have to understand that what is being done now with this pact, and others have tried to come up with all sort of pact documents, are electoral actions. We read them and move on. But the idea of a cross-party agreement, the idea of a pact is good if it comes after a validation, and I have come before the nation twice with such a document,” Iohannis said, when answering a question regarding the Prime Minister’s initiative.
The head of state gave as example the pact on Defence and the one on Justice.
“The first time, immediately after I was elected by 6 million Romanians in November 2014, I came up with a pact that has proven to be extremely beneficial to Romania, you remember that pact on Defence, under which we established to earmark 2 percent of the GDP for Defence. A pact that brought us great visibility and took us into the spotlight in the European Union and, obviously, in NATO. I also came after the referendum of 26 May with such a pact, for the European course [of Romania], being validated by 6.5 million Romanians who voted Yes for the referendum I proposed. Thus, after a validation by vote, a cross-party agreement can be beneficial, and after we win the elections, we will probably come before the Romanians with such agreements that are necessary to move toward a normal Romania,” the head of state said at the meeting of the National Liberal Youth (TNL) Summer School, en event unfolding between 12 and 15 September in Venus seaside resort.
Ponta: We sign and back the pact
Pro Romania leader Victor Ponta has announced that he will ask his colleagues to sign and back the National Pact proposed by Viorica Dancila, and that he is taking the proposal seriously even though the document looks like it was sent from ‘Liviu Dragnea – Party Leader’s Cabinet.’ He also underscores that the Romanians’ pensions and salaries are at grave risk of not being paid “precisely because of the unprofessional and corrupt policies promoted by Viorica Dancila, Liviu Dragnea and their team.”
“In my capacity as leader of Pro Romania, I want to confirm that I have received Mrs Viorica Dancila’s proposal to sign the ‘National Pact for the Welfare of Romanians.’ Even though the email looks as if it was sent from ‘Liviu Dragnea – Party Leader’s Cabinet,’ I took the proposal very seriously, because the topic is very serious! I want to announce that I will propose that my colleagues and I sign and back this National Pact,” Ponta announced, presenting the reasons for this decision.
He argues that Pro Romania was established by several people who were, in 2012, members of the Government that restored the pensions and salaries that Basescu and the PDL cut in 2010, and it is absolutely normal to continue to support, with all consistency, the principle of safeguarding the population’s incomes.
“At President Klaus Iohannis’s initiative, I signed the National Political Accord to guarantee Romania’s European path, because the principles of that Accord were correct and constantly backed by Pro Romania / we are ready to sign the National Pact to guarantee the Romanians’ salaries and pensions, because this principle is also correct and in line with the policies promoted by Pro Romania / the fact that two initiators have electoral interests linked to the presidential elections is secondary for us (and for most citizens)! At any rate, we back Mircea Diaconu, and I’m convinced that he is in favour of safeguarding the population’s incomes,” Victor Ponta adds.
However, he states that Pro Romania is aware that the Romanians’ salaries and pensions are at grave risk of not being paid, precisely because of the unprofessional and corrupt policies promoted by Viorica Dancila, Liviu Dragnea and their team.
“Unlike other parties, Pro Romania has already come up with an alternative to the cutting of salaries and pensions – the radical restructuring of Public Administration (lowering the number of counties, administrative divisions, national agencies and decentralised structures, parliamentarians (200 House and 100 Senate members) etc. – there are realist and efficient solutions!”, Ponta claims.
Ciolos: Cheap electioneering strategy invented by Ion Iliescu
PLUS leader Dacian Ciolos points out that if it comes to power his party will not cut pensions and salaries, labelling Viorica Dancila’s pact for the “welfare” of Romanians as a cheap electioneering strategy invented by Ion Iliescu. He considers that people must know that “the PSD have pawned our children’s future.”
“PLUS will not cut the Romanians’ salaries and pensions if it comes to power. I declare this as firmly as possible, in order to put an end to the lie that Viorica Dancila keeps repeating in the public space. The PSD has made a habit out of winning votes by inducing various fears, the fear of foreigners who want to take over our country, or the fear of the Opposition that wants to cut salaries and pensions. That’s the only thing that Liviu Dragnea and Viorica Dancila’s party knows: to frighten the people into believing that if the “mean Opposition” comes to power they will take from them what the PSD has given them with such “generosity.” A cheap electioneering strategy invented by Ion Iliescu and his colleagues in the 1990s. After so many years, the people have seen for themselves that this is just empty talk. The only thing that the PSD have done while governing the country has been to raise pensions and public sector salaries by measly amounts and to fill the bank accounts of the party clientele with huge sums. And these hikes were not based on some savant strategy that would help the Romanian economy develop, but on foreign loans that have indebted future generations. People must know: the PSD has pawned our children’s future,” Ciolos wrote.
He considers that the PSD is the party that hikes salaries and pensions at the expense of other people’s incomes.
“We want to pay these salaries and pensions by developing the economy and allowing the Romanians who want to do fair work to do it in their country, not abroad. Ironically, precisely when Viorica Dancila was proposing a pact for the “welfare” of Romanians and was warning the Opposition to undersign that they will not cut salaries and pensions, the National Bank was issuing a communique informing us that Romania’s external debt has risen by more than eight billion euro in the first seven months this year, especially because of the loans that the Finance Ministry contracted by issuing Eurobonds,” the PLUS leader claims, adding: “We don’t need to sign a pact with the PSD, we know exactly what we have to do to pay the pensions and salaries of the Romanian citizens, not with borrowed money but with money made in Romania.”
Barna: Only if Dancila and the PSD sign the pact on snap elections and resign
USR President Dan Barna has responded to PSD leader Viorica Dancila’s proposed pact “for the welfare of Romanians” by claiming that such a pact can be discussed only if the PSD leave office and sign the pact on holding snap elections, a pact proposed by USR-PLUS.
“Esteemed Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, we took note of the proposal you have publicly extended regarding the signing of a pact for the welfare of Romanians. I write to tell you that the USR-PLUS Alliance undertakes to refrain from cutting pensions and salaries and to generate welfare for Romanians. We consider that the premises of being able to discuss such a pact will be created only if you and the PSD sign the pact on snap elections and tender your resignation as Prime Minister of Romania,” reads the response that Dan Barna published on USR’s Facebook page on Saturday.
Dan Barna asks Viorica Dancila and the PSD to show “responsibility and concern about Romania’s present situation,” pointing out that the USR has a pact with the citizens.
“You and the Social Democratic Party should show responsibility and concern about Romania’s present situation. If you are truly concerned about the welfare of Romanians, then you have the duty to put an end to the current political crisis via your and the entire Government’s resignation. The USR-PLUS Alliance plans to govern by observing all laws of the country. The welfare of Romanians must rise, not fall. However, the welfare of Romanians can only be attained by first of all eliminating the injustices from the system and removing the political forces that created them. This is our commitment. Our pact is with the citizens!”, Dan Barna wrote.
Traian Basescu: It’s the biggest forgery I’ve seen on paper
Traian Basescu stated that, if he were still party leader, he would not sign the pact proposed by Viorica Dancila because that would mean “climbing up in the PSD Government’s boat.” He pointed out that the pact is the biggest forgery he has seen.
“Categorically, if I were party leader, I wouldn’t sign such a pact, firstly because it would represent climbing into the PSD Government’s boat based on some policies that we have accused of being wrong. I’m telling you for sure, I’ve seen in this pact that the concern of the PSD, who are calling for the signing of this pact, is the welfare of Romanians,” Traian Basescu said in a phone interview with RomaniaTV on Saturday.
The ex-President added that welfare for Romanians does not mean the hiking of pensions or salaries but the hiking of living standards.
“Don’t get angry with me, but it’s the biggest forgery I’ve seen put on paper, recently. Hiking pensions and salaries does not mean raising the welfare. The hiking of living standards [does]. It doesn’t mean hospitals in which you pick up nosocomial [infections] and end up at the cemetery, [it means] proper schools. Living standards means having highways, a clean environment, and only then a salary. Having a high salary is for naught if you go to hospital and die, having a high pension is for naught if you leave hospital with a cross leading the way. Pensions had to be hiked, but they had to be hiked prudently,” Basescu concluded.