Statements by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting

10 August 2022

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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Hello. It is four years since the 10 August protest, in which innocent people have fallen victim to unjustified violence. I want to give assurances that the current ruling coalition guarantees the right to free speech and that we will never allow such protests to degenerate into violence. I also guarantee from the Government level that we will make available to the judiciary everything necessary so that the investigation file of what happened can be completed. Thus, those who are guilty of the events that took place four years ago should be accountable to the law.

I also want to point out that the Gendarmerie is a fundamental institution in the architecture of the state and its main purpose is to ensure everything necessary for the safety of the citizen. Those guilty of excess or abuse in the exercise of their functional duties must be held accountable, in accordance with the legal provisions.

In the last few days, in the context of the events in Ukraine, in the area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, there have been a whole series of data and information regarding the danger that an event at this plant could pose. So far I want to reassure the citizens that we do not have data to justify any kind of concern. We are constantly monitoring all the data on the environment, and we are in permanent contact with the European specialized authorities and our partners in Ukraine. I can say that the state institutions have taken measures and are constantly ready to inform the population in due time. We have taken all the measures to protect the population.

Regarding today’s government agenda, we will continue to discuss the budget rectification. Assessments are underway at the level of each Ministry. All data related to budget execution in the first semester has been collected at the Finance Ministry.

We have the perspective of a smooth operation of everything that means public services offered to citizens and payment of social rights, as well as financing programs and state aid schemes aimed at supporting the economy, and also from the figures I had available and talks I had with Minister Câciu, it became very clear for the possibility of supplementing with 1 billion RON the budget for state aid dedicated to important investments in the economy and thus we have the possibility of reaching a budget of 7.4 billion RON, just as we proposed through the Support for Romania program. Steps are still underway so that our decisions can make, in a very short time, the budget rectification transparent.

Certain aspects are linked to the amount we provide through the state budget to offset the rising energy and gas prices.

As we pledged, we will continue to maintain the citizens’ protection measures, we also maintain the measures to protect the public essential services, the unfolding of activity in hospitals, schools, and all state institutions, and we will continue to support activity in the food industry and the SMEs. There are activity sectors with a substantial share of the state budget. I want to mention that we are mid–time to ensure that decision of offsetting the fuel prices. We can say that ever since this decision has been made, the fuel price dropped. Therefore, by late September, we will have the full assessment of the measure taken at the level of the Government, which was very good as we could all see its impact on regulating the fuel price.

We continue to face the problems generated by the pedological drought. There are problems that, here, impact the water supply of citizens in different localities, and regions of the country, and there are also the problems that the drought has generated in agriculture in Romania. We discussed continuing to identify solutions so that we can ensure the expansion of measures to develop the irrigation system from both European and state budget funds, and also compensation measures for farmers affected by this drought. I know, Mr Minister, that these measures have already been implemented through which the subsidy or the unfolding of the "Three times subsidy" Program has already started to become operational. The first contracts have already been signed. Please give us an update on the situation with all steps and measures to be taken next. I agree, Minister Daea with all the activities that you carry out every week.

On Monday, I discussed with Minister Bolos who informed me about the activities you jointly carry out, so that we can have the full picture of the measures we need to take, in a coordinated way, at the level of the Government, in this respect, from both state budget funds and European funds which are of great use in this respect.

Also regarding the drought, today we will approve that government decision by which we secure the necessary funds, to complete the procedure for dredging the Danube and, of course, we secure the navigable channel, without the danger of blocking traffic, taking into account the fact that there is a need to streamline traffic. What I want to emphasize, talking about the European funds, is that we need to ensure the highest possible degree of absorption in the future, through collaboration and coordination with the Ministry of Investments and European Projects. A whole series of programs have already been approved and we must coordinate with all those responsible in the field, so that we can use this money as efficiently as possible, on the one hand. On the other hand, it is important to continue to pay due attention to investments from the budget. Let's not forget that we have undertaken to ensure a consistent budget, the most consistent investment budget from the state budget and each Ministry has the obligation and responsibility to monitor and make sure that investments take place, being the only solution in the current context through which we can ensure the economic and financial balance and, of course, the protection of jobs. It is obvious following the data we have so far, that the measures we have taken, have proven to be effective, and we could see that we had both economic growth and growth in the state budget, the rectification being a positive one. Thank you!

 



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