Fresh News

Wednesday, 27 June

Speech by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila at the joint sitting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate

President of the Senate,

Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies,

Dear members of Parliament,

Distinguished guests,

 

 I read carefully the text of the censure motion tabled by Opposition and I declare myself disappointed.

I hoped that despite current political adversity between us, and beyond the political game, there will be a constructive approach to criticism for the benefit of the citizen.

I hoped we would be warned, corrected, even pulled at the sleeve regarding certain measures which might seem questionable from your perspective.

I did not expect the whole motion to be a sequence of fabrications; a presentation of seemingly other reality, made in bad faith.

I understand the role of the Opposition and its obligation to criticize the Government. This is part of the essential mechanism of democracy. But the way in which today, without rational arguments, the Opposition undermines the Government's entire effort on the basis of unreasonable and unrealistic accusations, makes me believe that this motion is nothing more than a political game.

You mystify reality to serve your own political interests.

You present the bad as being good and the good as bad. In your speech there is no room left for nuances. Everything is black and white. Everything the power does is bad, and everything you do is good. These are the premise and the conclusion of the motion, which betrays an incredible arrogance with respect to the doubtful performance you had when you were in office. You refuse to admit even the most obvious good things that have happened during this government.

For you, raising Romanians' incomes is a populist measure that will bring chaos into the economy. For you, raising the minimum wage in Romania is an anti-social and anti-economic measure, as some of your representatives say in an open letter. For you, Romania's exceptional economic growth last year resulted from the government’s incapacity and incompetence.

In your view, the decline in the governmental debt is in fact an increase in debt.

Whatever the Government would have achieved, whatever it would achieve, no matter how well the things would run for you, it is impossible for you to get out of this paradigm of catastrophe, disaster, and circus.

When you cannot combat substantially any longer the good measures of the Government, you attack in a primitive manner, starting from the rudimentary urges to hit the opponents, to the obscene gestures made in the Romanian Parliament. When you could no longer deny the benefit of wages and pensions rises, you took issue with the physical appearance, hairdo or clothing of your political opponents. When you could no longer deny the economic performance of this government, which was also acknowledged by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, you started making offensive comments regarding the training of your opponents. When you could no longer contradict the positive economic results confirmed by INS and Eurostat, you started lying and distorting the performance of our government.

I regret to say this: but, it is way too much arrogance in your speech. I am sorry to notice that you remained prisoners to conflicting policy without realizing that the Romanians are fed up with scandal and hate the quarrels and divisiveness existing in the Romanian politics. But I have faith in the power of truth. I have faith in the intelligence of this people, who has repeatedly proved that they don’t fall for manipulations and that they are able to discern truth from lies.

When this term comes to end in 2020, the Romanians will draw the line and, with their specific wisdom, will rightly grasp the essence of things when they will turn out to vote.

The equation will be as simple as possible:

You cut, we have raised pensions and wages.

You closed down schools and hospitals, we re-opened them and built new ones;

You heightened, we have lowered and even scrapped taxes.

You had the highest unemployment rate during your term, we- the lowest;

You dismantled we created hundreds of thousands jobs;

You generated one of the steepest decreases, we -one of the biggest economic growth in the European Union.

This is in brief the radiography of the government that any Romanian of good faith will do in Romania.

But beyond arrogance and hypocrisy, it remains the legitimate question that anyone can ask: If this motion passes, what would happen with this country? How will live its citizens? Will it be better or worse for them?!

Beyond the attacks targeting the Government, you ought to present the Romanians the alternative that you want to offer.

 Many of us know it perfectly well! It’s the same alternative that you once before served the Romanian citizens.

It is the alternative of cuts and austerity. The program of the National Liberal Party (PNL) insists on cutting the minimum national wage to one thousand lei, that is even 25 percent more than the cut operated by the former PDL government.

Moreover, the PNL economists strongly claim that raising the minimum wage is an anti-economic and antisocial measure. And this while the minimum wage in Romania is still among the lowest in the European Union, despite the successive increases during our rule.

Is this your alternative? Is this what you want to offer Romanians? Again chaos and scandal? Again salary and pension cuts? Again redundancies? Again cuts in social benefits? Again, closing down schools and hospitals or their privatization so that healthcare and education become a luxury accessible only for the well-off?

More serious than this grim perspective you offer, I find it dishonorable the way in which you try to disinform  Romanians.

There are many, many lies, distortions or mystifications in the text of this motion. Wherever you put your finger on the text, you encounter a lie or a manipulation.

It would take me too much time to deal with each of them. I will only stop at the most serious and widespread not only in the motion, but also in the propaganda press or in the social networks used as a front by those who strive to bring down the legitimate political power resulting from free and fair elections.

Therefore, I present to you ten examples of such lies and manipulations that appear in the motion.

The first misinformation is the worst: the insinuation that there is no longer money to pay pensions, accompanied by the so-called nationalization of the Pension Pillar II.

I can understand up to a point that the opposition’s purpose is to challenge what the power is doing.

I can understand the political schemes you are doing in this respect.

 But I draw your attention to the fact that for pensioners, it is not a game for you to say that there is no more money for paying pensions until the end of the year. For a pensioner, whose health or even life depends on their monthly pension, it is not a game when you are lying to them there is no pension money anymore. It is an irresponsible lie and please stop lying to the pensioners. You embarrassed yourself when you foretold that there would be no more pension money after November.

How long do you want to persist in this lie? In a few days, the increase of the pension point by 10 percent, from 1.000 to 1.100 lei will take effect as of July 1, 2018. On the same date, the minimum pension rises from 520 to 640 lei. A 23 percent increase.

How “resistant” are you when it comes to the increase in retirees’ incomes. Aren’t they your parents and grandparents who worked a lifetime , especially for their children and grandchildren?

The rumors you are fueling with respect to the Pension Pillar II are similarly irresponsible.

The issue of nationalizing Pension Pillar II has never been raised nor could it be raised because the funds accumulated there belong to Romanians, and the right to property is guaranteed by the Constitution.

What we want is for each Romanian to have the freedom to decide where to keep their pension money and I find it difficult to understand how it is possible for a party claiming to be liberal to militate for the lack of choice, the imposition by the state of the place where the money should be kept.

The issue of dismantling or nationalizing the Pillar II has never been raised, and it would not have been technically possible. But, indeed, we want the private administrators of the Pillar II funds to be in a real competitive environment, to prompt them to get the best returns and to charge as little as possible their customers. This is the interest of the citizens and that is what we want to do in reforming the pension system.

The second disinformation pertains to the so-called negative developments in the Romanian economy.

As regards the economy, you made groundless statements, hoping that an indefinitely repeated lie finally comes to be believed. Such a distortion of truth is also to be found in the text of the motion: the insinuation that revenues would have fallen as compared to economic growth.

Dear lawmakers of the Opposition, it is incredible! Take a look at the recent history of Romania! The first year after the Revolution in which revenues fell, while the economy was growing, was year 2016. At that time, although Romania recorded a 4.8 percent economic growth, budget revenues fell by 9.8 percent compared to 2015.

You are ironically speaking about the fact that the Romanian economy is the "Tiger of Europe". I admit that in this tenure, Romania has become the economic tiger of the European Union. We achieved a GDP growth by 55 billion euros.

Romania has registered the highest economic growth over the last 10 years, the highest growth in Europe, at a rate of 2.8 percent higher than the European average. That means we have reduced the gaps between us and Europe. That means we are on the right track. Eurostat even confirmed this week that the GDP per capita, at the purchasing power parity, increased from 58 to 63 percent of the EU average, being the highest increase among EU 28 countries.

The third disinformation: 5.4 percent inflation and the ROBOR evolution that you refer to, during the motion.

You know well or perhaps you do not know, that this 5.4 percent inflation compared to the similar period in the previous year is a purely statistical inflation.

It does not reflect the real impact of the price increase that the population felt, compared to the inflation reported to the previous month which effectively shows the continuous price evolution and the real impact on the citizens’ pockets.

It was indeed an increase in prices at the end of last year, but please keep in mind that Romania had one of the lowest inflation rates in the EU, in 2017.

You know or you ought to know that the main factors were linked to the international oil price, the food crisis at European level or energy prices in the context of the market liberalization agreed long ago with our EU partners. It is not just us who say this, also BNR and Eurostat said it.

Following last year, prices almost entirely dropped, with average increases of less than 1% from month to month and even lower prices for basic food: oil, sugar or eggs, and the list may continue, in addition to other basic products such as flour, bread or milk where prices have stagnated. Why do you lie to people telling them every month that prices rose by 5.4 percent?

You know it's not so! Even though prices would drop steadily from month to month, as compared to last year, inflation would remain at a seemingly higher level than last year. In fact, compared to December 2017, prices so far have risen by only 2.4%, that is, less than half of what you have loudly reported.

Moreover, the average inflation in the last 12 months, calculated according to Eurostat methodology, was 2.6% in Romania, and this inflation could be felt in most European countries. In May 2018 compared to May 2017, inflation grew by nearly 60 percent in Italy, Hungary, by nearly 40 percent in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, by nearly 85 percent in Poland and doubled in Denmark, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania , Slovakia, England.

I outline one more thing that you all know very well: it is not the Government that is responsible for the inflation trend. You know that this is under the care and responsibility of the National Bank of Romania, which, in fact, officially admitted that the inflation we are discussing was not generated by governmental policies.

How can you refer to ROBOR? Precisely you from PDL! Let the figures speak.

Currently, the ROBOR interest is little over 3 percent, by a lot smaller compared to 2009, when it was almost three times bigger, namely 10.65 percent.

In your term of office, in mid -2010, ROBOR was 7.27 percent, and 6.17 percent by the end of the year and 6.05 percent at the end of 2011.

Therefore, in any way we look at PNL or PDL government, irrespective whether we look from the left or the right, from up or down, ROBOR was twice or three times bigger than at present.

The fourth disinformation pertains to the so-called economic stagnation which would have occurred in the first trimester of this year.

I think that everybody in this room have at least elementary knowledge of mathematics and we can at least agree that 4. 2percent is not zero.

If INS and Eurostat mention a 4. 2 percent economic growth, almost twice higher than the EU average and the fifth highest among Member States, then, it is impossible to speak about economic stagnation.

I assume you referred to the previous trimester. Therefore, do we refer to the fourth trimester of 2017, when we had the highest GDP quarterly growth over the past 10 years? Are you referring to that?!

In this case, it is normal to seem odd for you that this Government managed to keep the same high level – it is odd for you, a party accustomed to falls and cuts, with the way down.

The 5th misinformation is simply a lie: you said that the purchasing power of the Romanians would have  been eroded. Nothing more false!

In fact, it is entirely the other way around. Before you start writing any censure motion texts, I highly recommend that you document yourself better in order to avoid falling into ridicule . Read carefully the official data of INS and Eurostat. Data is public!

Analyze the reports of the IMF, the World Bank or the European Commission, which state that the purchasing power of the Romanians was not only eroded but it even increased significantly this year and last year.

In 2017, the net earnings in real terms, that is, in free translation for the Opposition, the earnings which remained after the payment of taxes and the elimination of the inflation effect, therefore, in simpler terms, it is about the purchasing power which rose on average by 12.7 percent in the overall economy, namely by 22.5 percent in the public sector and by 10.2 percent in the private sector.

Therefore, the purchasing power increased for everybody: not only the state sector employees are living better following the PSD –ALDE government, but also the private sector employees.

The same in March 2018, the net income in real terms grew by 10 percent in the overall economy, namely by 16 percent in the public sector, and by 8.1 percent in the private sector.

Therefore, it was not an erosion, but an increase in the purchasing power. But this confusion is not the most serious issue.

In my view, it would be more serious a collapse in the purchasing power which would occur if you came to power and you would do what you intend, namely cut the minimum salary up to 1,000 lei after we made efforts to reduce the gaps regarding the minimum salary between us and the EU states.

I appreciate your sincerity as regards this measure of cutting the minimum salary but I am terrified at the impact of this measure on millions of Romanians! This is why I am asking you: do you really mean it when you say that you want to cut the salaries again?! Haven’t you learnt anything from the disaster you generated in 2010, when you cut pensions and wages?

Haven’t you understood that austerity is a wrong policy which generates mistrust, instability and economic crisis?!

Sixth disinformation: criticism on budget execution, namely the fact that incomes would not rise as they should, and that spending increased instead.

Allow me to very briefly present the reality regarding the budget execution in the first four months of 2018.

Despite your claims that incomes would have dropped, as it happened during the Ciolos government, I am telling you that on the contrary, incomes have risen both compared to the past and to what we stipulated in the budget.

Morever, incomes have been rising at a bigger pace than the economic growth, which represents a sign that the fiscal system in Romania is recovering.

I remind you that, in 2016, during Ciolos government, incomes declined almost more than the economic growth rate!

In 2017, when we come to office, we had to repair what others had done, and then, we had a growth almost twice higher than the GDP growth, even if you know well we had the highest economic growth in the EU.

Moreover, in the first quarter of 2018, revenues growth strengthened compared to the same period last year. 

The economic reality in which we are currently living and which you cannot understand shows that a coherent and wise fiscal policy can bring you revenues even if you cut taxes while at the same time you rise salaries, pensions and public investments.

The rising trend in total revenues of the general consolidated budget continued in April too, and the growth pace from January –April 2018 accelerated, reaching 11.8 percent in nominal terms and 6.6 percent in real terms compared to the same period in the previous year.

The highest growth of budgetary revenues was registered at social contributions where there is a 33. 6 percent advance compared to last year, even in the context of a lower tax on contributions as of January 1, 2018.

And this time, reality beats propaganda that attacks the transfer of contributions from employer to employee. It turns out that this measure has brought more money to health and pensions for all Romanians.

At this chapter of budget execution, other direction of manipulation and disinformation is linked to the budget deficit evolution that this motion refers to, insinuating that we are always on the verge of the abyss and that we are running the risk of collapsing at any moment 

In fact, in the first four months of this year, the deficit was 0.65% of GDP, or about 6 billion lei.

If the Opposition MPs had looked more closely at the budget execution, they probably would not have dared to refer to deficit in the motion.

Why am I saying this? Almost all the deficit value is to be found in investments which doubled compared to the same period last year, reaching up to 5.9 billion lei.

Frankly, I do not understand you. It is not good when we grow on consumption as there are no investments. When there are investments, it is not good either as there is bigger expenditure. I give you a new piece of news: you cannot invest without spending. Therefore, it is simple: larger investment means higher spending.

Seventh disinformation: a gross one, pertaining to government debt.

With all due respect, it is rudimentary to talk about raising the nominal value of public debt without taking into account the increase in gross domestic product, that is, everything that Romania produces. Even a freshman at ASE cannot take you seriously if you make such judgements.

You ought to know that the size of a debt is a relative notion. For example, a debt of 100 lei is it big or small? I think it's big for someone who earns 1,000 lei per month, but it's small for someone earning  10,000 lei per month.

That's why it's absurd to analyze government debt just by its value. Any serious economist looks at its share in GDP. But I can understand why you did not refer to this indicator.

You know very well that public debt has really declined as a share in GDP, from 37.4% left by the Ciolos Cabinet to 35% this year, by 2.4 percentage points less.

A lesson of economy which you must keep in mind from now on!

I am not saying this ironically. I am saying it because I know what you did when you were in office. I remind you that you tripled the public debt from 12.4 percent of GDP in 2008 to 34 percent of GDP in 2011. This is what you did and I am asking you again: is it you who are talking about the increase in debt, you who tripled the debt whereas we decreased it?

The eighth desinformation is linked to transport infrastructure developments.

You are talking too much in the motion about blockages in the construction of highways.

I could also criticize those who backed the Ciolos Cabinet or  Boc Cabinets because they did not amend the public procurement law that generated so many bottlenecks in all investment projects unfolded in Romania. If I entered such a dispute, we would only put the blame on each other, which would be completely irrelevant for the citizens who voted us.

I will tell you what we did to unblock these things. We amended the Public Procurement Law so that appeals are not longer abusively used to prevent projects from unfolding. We amended the Expropriation Law to ensure the working front for roads and motorways builders.

We have removed much of the administrative barriers that kept infrastructure projects blocked. 90% of the budgets of the companies under the authority and coordination of the Ministry of Transport have been approved.

I'm not saying that for now on, everything will run smoothly and Romania will be crossed by plenty of roads and highways. I'm just saying that this Cabinet that I am leading, has eliminated several major problems that have been lagging behind for decades and which blocked the development of Romanian infrastructure.

We were criticized as it was also alleged that Government of Romania had terminated the agreement with the World Bank for the Comarnic-Braşov project. But you  deliberately failed to say that in the World Bank version, the deadline was 2030! I ask you very seriously: Do you want to tell this to Romanians i.e that we will complete the Comarnic-Brasov highway in 2030, given that the new Public Private Partnership Law allows us to already start the works in the next two years?

I assure you at the same time that there is nothing to make a fool of us in front of the international financial institutions as you imply. I inform all the Romanian citizens that we have no contractual divergence or of any other kind with the World Bank.

It was an exploratory discussion that we analyzed, and we finally made the decision to opt for the quicker variant, even if it is about a complex project.

I have noticed some other time too the concern regarding the European funds absorption for large infrastructure projects. I let you know the fact that currently, there is no risk of disengagement of European funds in this field.

For transport infrastructure, there are ongoing projects or in bidding procedure, in total amount of 11 billion euros, therefore, twice as much compared to available funds at this chapter for 2014 -2020. To date, the Transport Ministry absorbed EUR 850 million.

The European Commission has just approved the financing worth 240 million euros for the highway Campia Turzii –Ogra –Targu Mures.

The overcontraction by 300 percent for the transport axes of POIM(Large Infrastructure Operational Programme) 2014 -2020 was also approved, exactly in order to direct a larger share of Romania’s European funds to this sector.

It is not in my nature to make pledges that cannot be honored. I will not compete with you in pledges on kilometers to be completed by the end of this mandate. I have just told you what we did to speed up these investments and the number of kilometers inaugurated will be counted at the end of this term, when we can make comparison with previous tenures, but also with what we pledged in the programme for government.

The ninth disinformation about the programme for government, refers to investment in healthcare and education.

I have seen many false statements about education and healthcare. You alleged for instance that we blocked investments in schools and we let the educational units without funds for operation.

Following the same line, you claimed we built nothing in Romania!

I think you either are in a serious ignorance of the realities in Romania, or you know them, but you deny them in the style that characterizes you, as you denied countless other evidence.

In 2018, the contracting in PNDL II of 2.130 schools was completed, with a total amount of 3.1 billion lei.

Investment have already been initiated.

Furthermore, the modernization and endowment works for 233 educational units, in amount of 381 million lei have been completed.

This is the reality, distinguished Members of Parliament!

Equally erroneous is the statement that we do not make any longer investment in universities. I inform you that we already completed the contracts for the construction of the first five student hostels of the 30 we intend to build until 2020, the remaining ones are in procurement procedure, or about to complete the technical documentation.

Equally hazardous is your criticism as regards the healthcare.

On the one hand, we have the lies on wages in this sector. I will not enter in details, but I can state today that nobody in healthcare has wages smaller than in February 2018, and that doctors benefited of the largest increases in the budgetary sector.

As regards the construction of regional hospitals, I remind you that three of the eight hospitals will be built also from European funds. For these 3, land plots have been already allocated, and delays have been recovered so that in the fourth trimester of 2018, we can submit the financing requests for their construction.

Equally false are your statements that there is a reduced access to compensated medicines because we decreased too much their price! Here is other argument of PNL criticizing the policy of reducing the prices of medicines. I remind you that the list of compensated and free medicines was updated by this Government.

In March 2018, 16 new molecules were introduced and in May another 19 were added for diseases with costly treatments: HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes, degenerative diseases, transplants, oncological diseases.

The 10th disinformation: the judiciary reforms.

We are unfortunately witnessing the amplest campaign of disinformation and manipulation of public opinion after  the Revolution.

There are many lies circulating in the public space and which clearly count on the emotional triggers that could catalyse a hostile, outraged and radicalised social reaction to the effort of the parliamentary majority to transpose into the criminal legislation the decisions of the Constitutional Court, of the European Court of Human Rights and last but not least, the provisions of Directive 343/2016 on the presumption of innocence.

There is mention in the motion about the so-called amputation of the investigation tools of the criminal investigation bodies that will no longer be able to apprehend corrupt offenders, criminals and rapists.

But reality and truth do not matter – only applying labels matters to you, it is what you are doing today!

You invented situations in which, the victim of sexual assault, will be allegedly obliged to testify in the presence of the aggressor. You willingly omit that the adopted form of the Criminal Procedure Code secures the status of vulnerable witness for the victim of sexual aggression who thus benefits from specific protection methods, including hearing in the absence of the author of the aggression.

Even if the debate on the Criminal Codes was held only in Parliament, the Opposition does not miss the opportunity of including the subject in the censure of motion against the Government. It is odd to be held accountable for what is happening here in Parliament. It does not bother me. I am also the executive president of PSD and I entirely uphold the effort of my colleagues MPs to reform the judiciary system and to align the criminal codes to the constitutional provisions and European provisions for the removal of any abuse.

Also with respect to the judiciary, I have seen a comment that made me check if indeed the motion is signed by USR representatives too.

I refer to the repproach that the Government does not make massive investments to improve prison conditions. I'm surprised given that on TV, the USR representatives are talking about offenders as if they should all be sentenced to death. Here, however, in the motion, they reproached us that we do not provide the best prison conditions.

I also assure the USR and all those interested that the Romanian Government has increased the funds for the prison system institutions. At the same time, however, the Government cannot do miracles overnight.

Romania cannot afford building thousands of new places in prisons, while we still have a shortage of funding for the medical system.

We cannot afford raising too much the funds for the prisoners' food, when there are still deficiencies in paying food in hospitals. We cannot afford earmarking too much to rehabilitate or modernize prisons  while we have schools or hospitals that require urgent renovation.

These are broadly the Government's responses to objections in the censure motion.

Certainly, this censure motion does not seek to establish the truth, but to create a false reality.

It is a motion that calls for the change of the current government, with an obscure, unclear government alternative that would resort to cuts in pensions and wages, followed by tax increases, just as we have seen at previous governments. Do you remember, gentlemen, the 24% VAT ?!

Given all of these things, there is only variant of answer on your part: vote, clearly, against the censure motion!

I would like to thank you and wish you the best thoughts in this year devoted to Greater Union anniversary!

May God help us all and the whole country!

Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă’s remark at the joint sitting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate

 

I thought you learnt that in order to come to power, you need the votes of the Romanians, and not screams and the "who screams the loudest" contest. I will try to answer punctually.

Mr. Barna, USR, you talked about European values. I remind you that when I presented the first programme for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a programme followed by all the Member States, you were screaming on Parliament's halls. All people of good faith have understood how much attention you extend to the European Union. What is your Romania, Mr Barna? The one in which you hit an old man, the one in which you push a member of the Chamber of Deputies, or the one in which you excite violence and hatred? You ought to know that Romanians do not love those who excite hatred, Romanians love those who generate added value and consensus.

Mr. Basescu, we are not in the Trio with Austria, but in the Trio with Finland and Croatia, so please, inform yourself. Moreover, the Romanian President represents Romania at the European Council. Should I understand that you do not trust Mr. Iohannis?

Mr. Iulian Dumitrescu, to say that Romania is a "nag" is too much! I think that whereby this statement, you offended many Romanians and I think you should apologize to Romanians who have been watching us from home and want to see positive things. I want to assure you that there are honest people in Teleorman too, people who love their county and country and who would never make such statements about their country. I agree with you on one issue: there are limits in politics. But you completely crossed them all.

Mr Predoiu, / ... / we all saw how many classes you had in addition, considering the way you governed, after the "plus" you brought when you were in office.

Mrs. Turcan, I do not want to offend you, nor do I want to make judgements, because I have never offended a woman and I will not do it now either, but I give you credit. Your studies in Moscow do not recommend you as specialist in the European Union's economy.

Romania cannot be governed with jokes, ladies and gentlemen, but with firm and concrete actions, and I hold the firm belief that we are changing Romania for the better every day.

Thank you.



 Răspundem cetăţenilor

qa

Una dintre întrebările frecvente este cea privind salarizarea diverselor categorii de personal. Astfel, Andrei din Bucureşti a vrut să ştie cum sunt calculate salariile...

More-->
Barbu CatargiuApostol  ArsacheNicolae KretzulescuMihail Kogalniceanu

Prime Ministers in history

The gallery of former Prime Ministers of Romania throughout history