National Liberal Party (PNL) chair Florin Citu on Thursday evening stated that the Government with PSD (Social Democratic Party) and UDMR (Democratic Union of Hungarians of Romania) is a compromise solution and underscored that the Liberals will oppose any populist measure.
“(…) What is important to know is that all my Liberal colleagues and the Liberal electorate, we in this government as always, as we did last time, we will defend the Liberal principles, we are the ones who will oppose any populist measure. You should know that in the last government I also opposed some populist measures, I even opposed Ludovic Orban, when he was in government, because of some populist measures, during the election year, we also opposed those from USR (Save Romania Union), which had all kinds of populist measures, and we will continue to oppose all kinds of populist measures. (…) This is the role of PNL, to be a guardian and to ensure that the rights of citizens will not be affected – and we know what happened in the PSD government in 2017 -2019 – but the economy will not suffer this time either,” Citu told TVR1 national television broadcaster.
According to him, previous criticisms of PSD were aimed at the measures proposed by the Social Democrats.
He claimed that it was not appropriate to take the floor at the plenary session in which the investiture vote for the Government was given, explaining that the PNL’s opinion was voiced by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca. Citu reiterated that the speech of the PSD leader that aimed at the last two years of government was a political one.
Asked why he preferred a formula with PSD, and not with USR, Citu answered: “It’s not what we preferred. This was the solution that worked”.
He also maintained that USR did not want to come to power.
Citu said that a Government with PSD and UDMR can function and showed that his great disappointment is that PNL does not have the Ministry of Finance.
“A prime minister without the Ministry of Finance will have a hard life,” he said, according to Agerpres.
The Liberal leader said that President Klaus Iohannis told them to find a solution for the government, and not what configuration the government should have.
He also stated that there are no problems in his relationship with the head of state, but that he always had different opinions from him. Citu also stated that he has a very good relationship with Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
Florin Citu admitted that there is a tense situation in the PNL, but claimed that this is the case in all parties. He also said that he does not feel that his position as PNL chair is threatened.
PNRR cannot be renegotiated; today we signed the last document
PNL chair Florin Citu also declared that the renegotiation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is not possible and announced that on Thursday he signed, as interim Minister of European Investments and Projects, the last document.
“It is not possible. Only in 2023 can we make small adjustments, but if we look at the progress on certain chapters and if the progress is not the desired one, then we can discuss, but very little, with the Commission. Any discussion about PNRR, about renegotiation would mean taking everything from scratch and it would mean losing money, just today we signed the last document to receive the 1.8 billion euros and Romania cannot afford taking it from scratch. [This money] I think it will come in the following weeks, they should enter the accounts in Romania,” Citu said on Thursday evening on TVR1 when asked about the Social Democratic Party (PSD) idea of renegotiating PNRR.
He pointed out that the money from PNRR is used for the implementation of the projects, specifying that the money from PNRR does not go towards the increase of pensions.
Citu stated that he is “both happy and calm” that PNL has the Ministry of European Investments and Projects.
“It is about 80 billion euros coming by 2028, which will be channeled to the Ministry of European Investments and Projects and so I am confident that the money will go exactly to the projects for which it was intended and this money will not be wasted,” he said.
On the other hand, the PNL chairman spoke about the budget revision that was made by the new Minister of Finance, arguing that some expenses should not be made at present.
“We have seen the budget revision. We keep the deficit above 7%. We have seen that some amounts are allocated in the Reserve Fund, some other amounts are allocated somehow, we have not seen in detail, we have only seen what has been presented on the decision-making transparency side,” Citu mentioned.