Statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at the start of the Cabinet meeting

18 December

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Ludovic Orban: I took the decision to assume responsibility for three draft laws: the state budget law, the state social security budget law, and the law to correct Emergency Ordinance 114, which had devastating effects on the Romanian economy. The decision to assume responsibility is a responsible and indispensable decision to attain our fundamental objective to offer until December 31, Romanians and Romania a state budget grounded in economic realities that would offer the possibility for every Romanian, company, local authority to know what to expect for 2020 from the state budget law. It is very important to adopt the state social security budget law so that every parent and grandfather clearly know what they can expect from the budget and the Government for the current year. As the schedule shows it, it is very difficult to complete the state budget, and the state social security budget through a normal debate, in Parliament, within the established deadline. Assuming the responsibility will allow each MP, and parliamentary group to put forward amendments to the draft state budget law and the draft state social security budget law. Ministers, we will have to carefully analyze each amendment, which can generate favourable effects for a field of activity or the overall economy, I announce you I have the openness to take into account and amend the draft laws according to well-intended amendments which can indeed generate beneficial effects.

We are in a critical situation, after three years of legislative, fiscal muddle, after three years when all public systems were ruined, after three years when the budget has reached a serious imbalance. We must give this signal to the Romanian society, to all external partners, to the business environment, to the potential investors that our Cabinet is determined to assume responsibility for correcting all economic imbalances caused by the irresponsible policies of the old government and that it has the capacity to implements this objective and it also has the capacity, through a gradual policy, to correct all imbalances in the economy, to restore the functioning of the great public systems, the health system, the education system, the system of ensuring public order, the justice system and, especially, it has the capacity to relaunch large investment projects that have been blocked in recent years.

Emergency Ordinance 114 is currently under the Chamber of Deputies’ debate. As it is an emergency ordinance targeting all fields of activity, it should pass through each specialized committee from the Chamber of Deputies, and the possibility to effectively correct the provisions of Ordinance 114 and repair the detrimental effects, through debate in the Chamber of Deputies, is equal to almost zero. If we, the Government, do not assume responsibility to correct this emergency ordinance, there is the risk that very many harmful provisions remain in force. Furthermore, there is a risk for other harmful provisions to be added that would accentuate the imbalances. As you could see yesterday and in the last weeks, there was a multitude of draft laws with no economic background, creating additional expenses and reducing public receipts. Two draft laws were passed by the Labour Committee: the draft law on doubling the value of child benefit, and the draft law on reducing VAT, with a negative budgetary impact calculated at more than 18 billions, which would mean that if they take effect, they would lead the budgetary deficit from 3. 6 percent to 5. 7 percent. We cannot accept to ruin Romania only because some politicians who did not take the necessary measures in the three years of government, continue the populist campaign and mock on Romania. I tell it clearly, I do not know what will happen in the plenum of the Chamber of Deputies, and in perspective, I do not give up our commitment to put Romania back on the right track, and to clearly demonstrate that we have the ability to keep balances and to succeed in correcting all serious irregularities caused by PSD governments. Therefore, those who make decisions today should know very clearly that the Government does not accept the PSD populisms, and that the Government will not accept to destroy Romania’s budget, only for the retaliation intention of some politicians who mocked on Romania over the past years. On today’s agenda of the Government, we have the draft laws that we talked about, we also have a draft emergency ordinance for extending the term provided for in Article 3 of Law 362  on amending and supplementing Government Ordinance no. 26 regarding the establishment of the State Inspectorate for Control in Road Transport, draft emergency ordinance for the extension of deadlines to establish measures to ensure transportation incentives for certain categories of persons and several draft Government decisions. Madam Minister, regarding the situation at the Labor Inspection, please.

Violeta Alexandru: Yes, Mr. Prime Minister, we are ready to bring on the Government table a draft Government decision requesting from the Government Reserve Fund the amount of 3,275 thousand lei with which ...

Ludovic Orban: 3.275 million, yes?

Violeta Alexandru: With which we can cover the salary costs for November with the employees of the territorial labour inspectorates, respectively, the corresponding taxes.

Ludovic Orban: I understand. Do you have any other proposals to supplement the agenda?

Florin Cîțu: Yes, on the supplementary list, Mr. Prime Minister.

Ludovic Orban: On the supplementary list. Thank you, media representatives! There will be press statements at the end of the Cabinet meeting.

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