Statements by Prime Minister Mihai Tudose and members of the Cabinet at the start of the Cabinet meeting

10 January

Mihai Tudose: Good afernoon! A Happy New Year to those I am meeting for the first time this year, it is our first Cabinet meeting this year. May it be a fruitful year, as it will certainly not be a quiet one.

I begin by making a much expected announcement,answering the 420 questions sent by various channels about the situation in the Romanian Police. I had a discussion with Mr. Bogdan Despescu. He presented me the report which I understand it was hardly ready this morning. I found out that the nominee declined his intention to occupy the position and I asked Mr. Despescu to present me within a week the measures he took to remedy the situation. It is worth noting that the offender was nevertheless apprehended in two days. It's a very good note for the Police. Regarding why other measures have not been taken and why things were running that way, I repeat Mr. Despescu will present his conclusions within a week.

I will ask Mr. Marius Nica to detail - to you and the colleagues - the measures on European funds, the first of this year.

Marius Nica: Thank you, Prime Minister! With the support of my Cabinet colleagues, I have today published on site the funding available to public and private beneficiaries – for January, February and March. The amount we are launching is EUR 3.1 billion and is mainly oriented towards health services in terms of rehabilitation, upgrading and equipping of ambulances, investment in research, development, communications and the use of new technologies, investment in urban regeneration - and here we refer to large cities and small towns - a national call for funding social services, rehabilitation, playgrounds, abandoned buildings, pedestrian areas, parking lots, as well as quality social services and reduction of the number of people at risk and social exclusion through the Human Capital Operational Program. This objective is part of the government's assumed strategy for 2018 to launch  all of the 23 billion euros available to be spent by 2023. I thank once again my Cabinet colleagues.

Mihai Tudose: And I thank you! Congratulations! Basically, the competition with Minister Daea, on who is attracting more European funds, has started. You are in danger, Minister!

Petre Daea: Prime Minister, neither me nor my colleague or the government are in danger, we are on the right track and I say to you that to date, we have paid subsidies for farmers worth 1.5 billion, and as of January 5, we already had 664 million in the country's treasury from the European Union.

Mihai Tudose: It was the first operation of the state in 9 years. 600 million, congratulations.

Petre Daea: Exactly, thank you.

Mihai Tudose: The World Bank has revised its estimate of the closure of 2017, leading to an increase of over 6, of 6.4%; Madam Secretary of State, we will soon have ourselves the official data. But knowing the pessimism they have always shown, we appreciate their percentage, 6.4% increase in 2017, and they also improved the forecast for 2018, which is not a bad thing. And if it is all about it, Mrs Pescaru, on today's agenda, you have a decision on the First House program with funds allocation. Can you please present it briefly?

Daniela Pescaru: Yes, Prime Minister,  we have indeed a draft decision for amending the Government Decision 717/2009. Whereby this draft decision, we submit to Government’s approval the ceiling of guarantees which can be issued for this First Home programme, in amount of 2 billion lei, for 2018. We also propose some technical measures to lead to cutting through red tape and reducing the waiting time fordonors and beneficiaries to obtain the agreements. Other measure proposed through the draft decision is reduction of the maximum interest margin from 2. 5 percent to 2 percent for both dwelling construction and purchase. These would be the main measures to a large extent.

Mihai Tudose: Thank you! Also, a good piece of news, important one, in the programme for Government, Mr. Secretary of State Randunica, for the young people with disabilities, the disadvantaged ones? Please.

Adrian Randunica: The "Real chances for young people" section in the programme for government refers to the implementation of program "Youth Guarantee", the number of young potential beneficiaries - 400,000, aged between 16 and 24 years. The funding source – Human Capital Operational Programme, implementation: 2017-2020. Among the measures proposed are the „ bridge” type programs, public sector jobs which can be temporarily offered to disadvantaged young people in order to acquire transferable skills in the private sector jobs. Considering the previously mentioned aspects, as well as the fact that the integration of the disadvantaged young people into the labor market fundamentally depends on the existence of some jobs adjusted to their needs, the Ministry of Labor and Social Justice proposes the present draft law that aims at involving local public authorities in the integration of disadvantaged young people into labor market, assigning exclusively a number of local public sector jobs to disadvantaged young people, for a determined period of 24 month, thus facilitating the accumulation of experience, and comepetence in order that it is later capitalized on private sector jobs. Thank you.

Mihai Tudose: Congratulations, good luck! Thanks to media colleagues. 

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