Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu criticised the Government on Thursday evening, showing that it announces “late” the relaxation measures to be decided in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, also arguing that Romania ranks last in Europe in terms of the share of aid for economy recovery.
“The Government, Iohannis too, announce the measures very late, three days before. People must prepare. The measures announced for the reopening of outdoor restaurants – there is no rule – how will they work? Those people want to know – what shall we do? (…) Probably the people who are working in the industry have set some rules themselves, but these rules should be, after all, in the form of some official matters, which should become the basic rule which everyone should implement, not [be implemented] more by someone, less by another. (…) This is what bothers me, that it further is a total mess in the economy as well,” Tariceanu said, who was invited at a broadcast at Romania TV private television station.
The ALDE leader also argued that the Government hasn’t presented a plan of measures to relaunch national economy, so that production be increased, and the state revenues be raised in order to cover expenses, including the necessary amounts to increase pensions.
“I don’t see any kind of thinking, I would call Liberal, pre-economic (…), how should I proceed to increase economy, how should I bring people to work, because I’ve seen that the budget deficit on 4 months is almost 2.5 percent, a lot. But I don’t see anything,” Tariceanu said.
In his view, the state doesn’t support sufficiently the business milieu, saying, in the context, that Romania ranks last in Europe in terms of the share of aid granted to the economic sector.
“Abroad, about 20 percent of the GDP is spent, money they inject into economy, so they can revive economy. We rank last in Europe, in terms of the share of aid which the state grants to the economy sector, in order to bring it back to life,” Tariceanu pointed out.
Pension increase by 40pct could be key to economy’s recovery
The Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu maintains that by increasing the pensions by 40pct, from 1 September, the Romanian economy could be relaunched because it would encourage the consumption of goods and services in order to create jobs.
“I know, I’m going to be cornered by the people of the system, by the government’s politicians, by the analysts who take their balances from the forest, by all the nullities who have not created a job and have not paid a wage in their lives, but the reality is the one I tell you: the increase of pensions by 40pct can be one of the keys to our relaunch. (…) I know that any politician who, in this moment, supports the increase of pensions by 40pct, according to the law, is considered a political suicide. Who would have the courage to make such a proposal when almost half a million of our fellow citizens lost their jobs and the same figure have returned from abroad?!” Tariceanu wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
He advocated a “pro market” approach that would not make the growing pensions the greatest catastrophe that could happen to us, but a real opportunity.”
“Social justice will be done for more than one million pensioners who live on less than 800 lei per month. (…) That’s the extra money they’re going to get, they’re going to get back into the economy quickly, because they’re going to buy what the basic necessities. Their money will sustain the fire of the production of goods and will allow the tens of thousands of Romanians who today are in furlough to return to work. There will be at least 2.5 million other Romanians who are now with pensions up to 1,500 lei and who will receive a sum of money that will make their lives better. And they will spend this money on goods of strict necessity and return the money to the economy. The third category is that of those who will be able to save a few tens or hundreds of lei each month. (…) Some of this money can be attracted by government bonds with an attractive interest to finance the real economic recovery,” explained Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.
He noted that more than one million Romanians currently receive technical unemployment benefit.
“It was a necessary social aid in the face of a crisis that froze economies. But these people don’t want to stay home on unemployment benefit. Once because money is scarce and, secondly, because they are active people who do not want to stand with their hands out to the Government. But their jobs depend on the consumption of the goods or services they produce. And, in this cycle, a consistent increase in income for as many people as possible can be the key to success. Why give state aid for staying at home when we can encourage consumption by increasing pensions as we have committed?!” Tariceanu added.
According to the ALDE leader, “if the governors did not assume that the increase in pensions is only a handout they make to pensioners, it would be easier for them to make the right decision”.