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Wednesday, 15 January

Statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban following his participation in the event dedicated to the National Culture Day, held at the Romanian Athenaeum

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Ludovic Orban: Today is the Romanian Culture Day, and I am very glad to attend this event organized by the Culture Ministry, in honour of the Romanian culture. What we do tomorrow, we will tell you tomorrow.

Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, Daniel Fenechiu stated that you will adopt an emergency ordinance for the two rounds election. He made the statement some minutes ago.

Ludovic Orban: When we make a decision in this respect, we will make it public. Surely, the National Liberal Party’s objective is the democratic election of the mayors by 50 percent plus one of the voters, an election conferring legitimacy and the chance for the local community to elect a person who indeed enjoys the trust of a large majority of the local community. I told you that we are about to analyze this issue, and we will complete this analysis regarding these three possibilities as soon as possible: parliamentary debate, responsibility assumption or emergency ordinance. When we make a decision, we will present it publicly.

Reporter: When are you going to adopt an emergency ordinance to extend the deadline for doubling the child benefit.

Ludovic Orban: Tomorrow. You know very well that last week, after the analysis that we made together with the President of Romania on this subject, we announced this, that the President will promulgate (the law) and that we, although we desire the increasing of the child benefit- the benefit already grew this year following the law initiated by our colleague Sighiartău, indexed by the rate of inflation. Therefore, we desire to increase the child benefit, only that the entry into force of this law came later than the (adoption of) the state budget Law. In the state budget law, we did not include the amounts necessary, which are pretty high – they are over six billion lei - in order to support this measure and, furthermore, we are not even allowed, constitutionally and legally, to generate costs without there being a source in the state budget Law. Therefore, we will postpone the entry into force until the first moment we are able to make a budget rectification, namely after July 1.

Reporter: If special pensions are to be eliminated...

Reporter: /.../ election of mayors in two rounds, an emergency ordinance would be easier to challenge, and assuming responsibility would be a possibility..

Ludovic Orban: Precisely, for this reason, we are conducting a very serious analysis, along time, I took a stand against some emergency ordinances. The emergency ordinance should be used in situations with very solid legal ground and constitutional basis. Obviously, the ordinance too is under analysis. When we make a decision, we will let you know! It will not take too long.

Reporter: /.../

Ludovic Orban: Certainly, after the first six months of the year, we will see how the Romanian economy is evolving. We will certainly increase the child benefit, but we will increase it as much as the budgetary resources allow us to, because, remember that there is a Pension Law, there is a Pay Law that must be put into practice and we are responsible people who do not we allow ourselves to undertake expenditure if there are no more financial resources for it. We will certainly increase child benefit. The amount by which we will increase it, we will decide depending on the evolution of the Romanian economy, as a result of the economic policies promoted by the National Liberal Party, which encourages investments, companies, which wants to restore the business sector and investors’ confidence in Romania, both Romanian and foreign investors’ confidence, and that want to generate the economic policies of the Liberal Government, a favourable investment climate so that we can ensure an economic development based on solid pillars.

Reporter: Will you reach a decision regarding the election of mayors in two rounds? Could it be decided tomorrow?

Ludovic Orban: It is likely.

Reporter: In the event of responsibility assumption, do you assume it for the three draft laws?

Ludovic Orban: Of course, several regulations are under analysis now. We are studying the best way to approve them, as they aim at several areas of activity. Surely, we will decide on the best solution to adopt them.

Reporter: If special pensions are eliminated, then will it be money to increase the child benefit? PSD announced an extraordinary session to eliminate special pensions.

Ludovic Orban: The inventors of the special pensions are these demagogue Social Democrats, who most likely when looking at the polls, saw that almost 90 percent of the population of Romania is against the special pension and after being the inventors and promoters of the special pensions, they now lie to the Romanians that they want to cut the special pensions.

I remind that the draft law under parliamentary debate is the one initiated by the PNL, indicating that the Liberals have consistently not supported special pensions, but only those for military service, that are granted in all NATO countries. Therefore, I am not interested in their demagoguery. As far as we are concerned, surely, if there is an extraordinary parliamentary session, we will ask for the introduction on the agenda of the draft law initiated by the PNL regarding the repeal of several categories of special pensions and we will see what the PSD will do then. As regards the money issue, I told you once again that budget rectifications are not made when it occurs to somebody to do so.

The budget rectifications are made in a certain constitutional, legal framework which is also linked to our accession to the Stability and Growth Pact. Therefore, we must observe some rules regarding the budget rectification and I tell you clearly that we will be extremely prudent and responsible in what regards engaging any cost, because our fundamental objective is to redo all the economic balances, to ensure an economic development not by increasing wages on paper, but by increasing incomes that would lead to the increasing of the purchasing power and which would be truly based on what every civilized country bases its economic growth - investments, competitiveness, increasing productivity, research, applying the results of innovation and research, meaning the basis of any favourable economic dynamic. The rest is a lot of demagoguery in Romania. Everyone gives, but nobody understands that in order to give one must have somewhere to give from and increasing budget resources can be done only on the basis of solid economic growth.

Reporter: Thank you.

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