Statements by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting

05 September

Viorica Dăncilă: Good afternoon! The Romanian Government will not accept that Romanians’ rights to pensions, salaries, healthcare are jeopardized by the political fight. I have tried lately to make President Iohannis understand the fact that the budget revision should be approved, in order not to affect the proper functioning of the economy. I would have liked this particularly important project for Romanians to be the object, the result of a consensus between two important state institutions, Presidency and Government. Any complex situation has at least one solution, and the solution chosen by the Government is to go further with the adoption of the budget revision. We met our obligation to request CSAT an opinion, we are fulfilling our responsibility to ensure continuity in funding. People need investment, medicines, pensions and salaries paid on time, the farmers affected by the swine fever virus need financial aid, and farmers need the subsidies on time, to start the agricultural works.

 To a certain extent, I can understand the president's dissatisfaction with the diminution of funds he has not spent, and I assure him once again that no state institution will run out of money for operation. Therefore, we received with surprise the statement made yesterday by President, and I consider that in order to remove any doubt in connection with the reasons why the CSAT meeting was suspended, it is necessary for the minutes of this meeting to be declassified.

We have taken several measures to financially support all of those who have suffered from the African swine fever, and to combat the virus's spread. In addition to the amounts stipulated in the budget revision to compensate the pig breeders,  over 160 million lei, the Public Finance Ministry transferred to ANSVSA 40 million lei. Therefore, over 200 million lei are available primarily to compensate the ones who incurred losses following the evolution of the African swine fever, but also to purchase disinfectants, lab kits and other stuff necessary to the Sanitary Veterinary and for Food Safety National Authority (ANSVSA).

The improvement of the medical services is a priority for the Government. We earmarked national funds, as I said, but we found also complementary financing solutions from European funds. Seven regional projects were submitted, with a nonrefundable value of 390 million lei for the purchase of several types of ambulances and equipment necessary to them.

Thus, we wish that all the citizens benefit from medical services and equipment capable to enhance the response capacity to emergency situations, in the case of the multiple victims accidents, included. The funds are covered by the 2014-2020 Regional Operational Programme. We are preparing in advance for the next multiannual financial framework 2021- 2027, the negotiation of which will take place during Romanian Presidency to the Council of the EU. In this context, it is very important for Romania the negotiation of the legislative package on the implementation of the European funds related to the next financial framework 2021- 2027, document launched by Commission in May this year, and in which the post -2020 cohesion policy allocation proposal in case of Romania is over 27.2 billion euros, by 8 percent higher than the allocation for the programming period 2014 -2020. Maintaining this opportunity depends to a large extent of the coherence of the position and the national position papers that we will present at the negotiations, and in this respect, we are adopting a memorandum today. We  deemed it necessary to actively involve the line ministries, so that the approach would be complex and in line with Romania's development priorities, in line with the National Reform Program. The National Strategy and Prognosis Commission together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate the development of strategic documents so that the approach is integrated and unitary.

I established at the Government level to keep this highly appreciated measure, by both the public sector employees, as well as by those in the tourism sector. I mean we intend to keep in 2019 the holiday vouchers worth 1,450 lei. We have made this decision considering both the economic benefits, as well as the social ones. Over 1.2 million Romanians benefit this year from holiday vouchers and are encouraged to spend their vacation in the country.

For the tourism sector, this measure has had the expected results, if we look at the 15 percent rise in the number of accommodation units for which the Tourism Ministry's ranking was requested, as compared to the same period of last year. Furthermore, during the first semester of this year, the number of tourists increased by 4.1 percent, as compared to last year, according to data provided by the National Institute of Statistics. I will pay tomorrow a working visit to Spain, where I will have a meeting with my Spanish counterpart, and I will be received by the King of Spain. I will be accompanied by several colleagues, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister for the Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, as well as Minister of European Funds. On the occasion of this visit, we will discuss aspects related to the cooperation between Romania and Spain, deepening bilateral relations in the economic field, in the field of defence, public administration, European funds absorption. Other topic of interest is, as I have mentioned, deepening cooperation at European level, in the perspective of the Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU. At the close of the Cabinet meeting, the Government Spokesperson will detail the normative acts adopted on today’s meeting.

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