RSS - Guvernul României Guvernul Românieiro-ROParticiparea premierului Florin Cîțu la ședința Centrului Național de Conducere și Coordonare a IntervențieiȘtiri din 11.04.2021 18:25:00ții de presă susținute de premierul Florin Cîțu Știri din 09.04.2021 12:30:00 de control al Prim-ministrului a sesizat Ministerul Public „in rem” privind accesul în Registrul Electronic Național de VaccinăriȘtiri din 09.04.2021 11:53:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și de secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 08.04.2021 16:10:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Consiliului Investitorilor StrăiniȘtiri din 08.04.2021 13:18:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu prilejul Sărbătorii etniei romilor din România și a Zilei internaționale a romilorȘtiri din 08.04.2021 10:37:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîţu, ministrul muncii, Raluca Turcan, și ministrul transporturilor, Cătălin Drulă, la finalul ședinței de guvern din 7 aprilieȘtiri din 07.04.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon. At todays government meeting, there have been several things discussed. First of all, I asked the relevant ministries to present their points of view on the Ministry of Labours memorandum regarding the pay law. We must come up as soon as possible with a pay law. I have publicly expressed my opinion; I will wait and see what form the Ministry of Labour will finally put forth after discussing with those ministries, but, as I said before, I do not think that in that form we will see bonuses anymore; if they still exist, they will be only for a very, very small category, very special cases. Today, I told Ministries to come up with points of view in order to approve this memorandum next week. At the same time, there are nine Ministries that did not send the measures to be assessed and they will come up with them next week. We had a very good discussion about PNRR; a memorandum mandating the Ministry of European Investment and Projects to negotiate the current form of PNRR was approved today, and of course, the steps for moving forward were discussed. I asked the Ministers to get directly involved in the negotiations, to help the Minister of European investment and projects to make sure that the important projects for Romania will be included in the final form PNRR. I presented the decision of the Prime Minister, to be published today in the Official Journal establishing the Interministerial Committee for Romanias return to normalcy on June 1, 2021. This is the first step, as we announced. We should have at end-May 5 million people vaccinated, and at the end-July, according to the schedule of receiving the doses of vaccines in the next period, we will have 10 million vaccinated, 70pct of the adults and we can talk in these two stages of reopening the economy. I want to start this discussion already, this is what I told my colleagues from the Government, to prepare, to make sure that we have the best measures. The IMF, which is a critic of all developing economies, has come with very good news for Romania, which shows that it is confident in the measures that this Government is taking and in the programme for government, economic growth of 6% estimated for this year, much more than what the Government estimated, the Statistics Commission or the international institutions estimated. This committee will start immediately after it is approved. We discussed a bit about staff costs, for the budgetary execution on the first two months, and what we have in March shows an increase in the staff costs. I asked the Finance Minister to present on next meeting a report based on budget execution, of the staff costs until the end of the year, for all credit chief accountants, because we have a limit of 110 billion lei in the budget that we will not overrun. It seems to me that so far, the execution shows a greater increase than estimated of the budgetary spending with staff costs and I want you to know here these higher staff costs are coming from because you know very well that the legislation in force would not have allowed it. These were the discussions we have had today in the Cabinet meeting. My colleagues are here, the Labor Minister will present a draft law as well as the Transport Minister. Reporter. Yesterday, the Secretary of State in the Health Ministry said that a 2-week quarantine can make wonders in our country. My question is if, currently, the Government is considering other restrictions, if you take this quarantine into account? Florin Ciţu: Before answering you, I wanted to make a call in this introductory part, as I made a call to local authorities, locally elected, presidents of county councils, even to the church, I would like to make a call to the private sector and entrepreneurs: to support the vaccination campaign. In the discussion of HORECA, I was very clear and they agreed with those in this sector, to help at the vaccination of all HORECA sector employees. A joint effort is needed, I also call on the private sector at this moment, it is necessary the involvement of each one, and this joint effort now in order to re-open the economy as of June 1st. Regarding your question, I had a discussion with the Secretary of State and she will give you a theoretical example. You know very well that all discussions about quarantine stipulated a two-week quarantine, that was the discussion about the virus: you have to stay indoors 14 days in order to get cured of the virus. It was a theoretical discussion, there was no proposal in this respect. We do not consider a national quarantine. I opposed it from the very first moment, I said that a generalized lockdown in Romania will not work, there will not be such a thing here. We are inclined to relax the economy, on one condition: we should all get vaccinated. It is important to understand that June 1st relaxation will happen only if we get vaccinated, otherwise, we have no chance. Reporter: While you were talking about the church, BOR asked that traffic be allowed throughout Easter Vigil. Are you thinking of relaxing your measures that night? Florin Ciţu: Tomorrow, we will take the decision, Government decision on extending the state of alert. In the previous decision, you know very well that it was until 2:00 am, in the Easter Vigil. Well see tomorrow whether or not something changes. At this time we have not made a decision, we will make the decision tomorrow. Reporter: You were talking about an increase in staff costs. Does this mean that in the next period the state employees could also expect redundancies? Florin Ciţu: No, it does not mean so. I would like to understand how it happened, thats all! We have to fall within a budget expenditure of 110 billion lei this year. I want to see how it happened, if it was as a result of some normative acts that allowed some temporary expenses, I dont know, whether we paid extra for vaccination centres or for a hospital additional expenses, etc. I want to know exactly what happened, then well make a decision. Reporter: What measures will you take to reduce expenses? Florin Ciţu: I answered the question. Thank you very much! Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, last week, the Romanian Parliament adopted a statement on combating anti-Semitism. Can you present us more details about the case of Maia Morgenstern, which revolted the entire society in the country and abroad, was widely covered in media around the world. Can you give us more details about this case? Florin Ciţu: In the first moment when I received that information, I talked to the Minister of Internal Affairs, who further took measures and you know very well that the guilty person was identified in less than 24 hours, so after that, of course, that justice will take its course. Reporter: What happens to the draft law on the closure of restaurants that do not comply with the decisions of the Ministry of Interior and why it is delayed, given that this measure has been talked about for a long time? Florin Ciţu: Yes, the draft law had all the approvals, but at CES today, although the practice allowed it to be discussed in plenum, the draft law was delayed and does not have the CES opinion. CES as we got accustomed to other times, either comes with proposals to increase salaries or to increase expenditure. I told you that reform is necessary with CES too, and we go further with this. The PNRR includes some money for reform in this sector. It seems an odd obstruction, but we do not stop here, we will come up with this draft law. We will have a Cabinet meeting tomorrow too, so, if not tomorrow, then, the draft law will be surely debated next week. Reporter: I understand that it arrived late at CES, that they didnt have time to debate it. Florin Ciţu: No. I repeat, it arrived at CES, it could have been directly discussed in plenum, they did not want to do it, but we will have it next week. Reporter: I wanted to ask you if you are still considering changing those rules regarding the burial of people who have died of coronavirus. We understand that this draft law has been blocked at the Ministry of Health for three weeks. Whats its situation? Florin Ciţu: As you have mentioned, it is blocked at the Ministry of Health, I will ask what is happening with that draft law. Tomorrow is the extension of the alert state and if things change until tomorrow, we can make a decision. I am waiting for the opinion of the specialists from the Ministry of Health. Reporter: But have you discussed this with the Minister? Florin Ciţu: We have always discussed, not only about this topic, there are several things we discuss and this inter-ministerial committee has exactly this role, to introduce draft laws on relaxation measures in the inter-ministerial committee, and this is one of them, and then to put it on the discussion agenda as soon as possible. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, I would like to ask you something about the transfer of the Judicial Police to prosecutor's offices. As you know, there are live public discussions and discussions within the coalition. The measure is included in the programme for government, authorized voices in the judiciary are pleading for this transfer, arguing the fact that policemen waste a lot of time with administrative activities to the detriment of criminal prosecution. On the other hand, Interior Minister Lucian Bode do not see this idea as feasible, and in their turn, some police trade unions threaten with protests, stating: All Romanian Police is standing by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, nobody else should interfere in the Police's activity. At the same time, I assume you know that they are publicly discussing the struggle over the control of files, interceptions etc. I would like to ask you how do you see this issue, will they follow the programme for government, will they follow a formula of compromise? Florin Ciţu: You are talking about a small part of what is happening with the justice law. Yesterday, the ruling coalition took the decision of establishing a working group to look at all justice laws and put them in accord with the Venice Commission and the programme for government. Let us wait for the conclusion of this working group and afterwards, we can talk. Thank you. Reporter: You said that June 1 is only possible if we have a successful vaccination campaign. However, what can people expect from June 1? What will the relaxations look like, concretely, what will open? Florin Ciţu: First of all, we should think that all the measures we took, we took them in a certain order, the simplest, from immediate measures, then they were more and more harsh measures. They will be in reverse order, we will begin to relax from the moment they were introduced. For example, the simplest thing would be to relax the measures that we took now, lately, a week ago and that we have been talking about. That would be the easiest way to get back to normal. If we have, for example, all the people vaccinated in the HORECA sector, we can talk maybe about the HORECA sector that no longer depends on the incidence rate or otherwise depends on the incidence rate, not being the same as the others ... There are several options. But, there are two horizons: June 1, in which we have 5 million vaccinated, that means almost 35% of people, and the end of July, when we have 10 million people, that means 70% and then we can talk about an even greater relaxation of restrictions. Thank you very much! Reporter: Did you receive any clarifications regarding what went wrong with the quarantine in Timisoara? We know that after three weeks they had a higher incidence than before. Florin Ciţu: But now they are at a 5% incidence rate, quarantine works. Reporter: The total quarantine, as they had it, did not work. Florin Ciţu: It didnt work in the short term, because it was a quarantine in which, we know very well, not all the rules were followed. After the quarantine was extended, we now see that it worked, and Timiș County is an example in this respect. We see that everywhere - and I think there are no cases, maybe an exception or two - everywhere where quarantine was introduced, especially in smaller areas, where all the rules could be followed, it worked in the Timiș county too. Thank you very much! (...) 2021-04-07 15:45:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu ocazia Zilei Mondiale a SănătățiiȘtiri din 07.04.2021 10:05:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și de secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 06.04.2021 14:52:00Întrevederea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Organizației Patronale a Hotelurilor și Restaurantelor din RomâniaȘtiri din 06.04.2021 13:23:00ță de presă susținută de premierul Florin CîțuȘtiri din 05.04.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon. Christ is risen to all who celebrate Holy Easter. Today, I want to present to you several data of interest for Romanians. It is very important to understand this period we are going through, the measures we have taken, but especially I think it is very important to understand what we intend to do, and today, I will explain to you some of the measures I will take to make sure we are heading to the right direction over the next period. I structured today's presentation this way: I will talk a little at the beginning about the vaccination campaign, a little about the current epidemiological situation, I requested from the moment I made the decision, an analysis from supermarkets regarding people's movement, I am interested in every hour, I wanted an analysis taking into account the context as well, as we are during Easter, and we know very well that during holidays, all shops are overcrowded. This is why conducting this analysis is lasting more, but we will have this analysis, to understand a bit the implications of the measures we have taken lately. Today, I will announce the establishment of an interministerial committee, through Prime Minister's decision, under the Prime Minister's coordination, that would ensure Romania's return to normality from June 1. We will start, that was the first milestone for us to think of the return to normality, I will explain what I refer to. First of all, regarding the vaccination campaign, I said last week too, there are two very important months for us, April and May. In these two months, we will have 8.3 million doses of vaccine entering Romania and they are very important, as, by the end of the month, May would mean in the most pessimistic scenario, to have almost five million vaccinated people, and in the most optimistic one, 6.3 million vaccinated people. Five million vaccinated people is an important figure for us, as they represent almost 35 percent of the adult population who should be vaccinated, and it is high time, at the end of May, to talk about the economic recovery. This is why it is very important that all - I call on all politicians, the ruling coalition, the elected mayors, the local councillors, presidents of county councils, they should all go and endorse the campaign, present the vaccination campaign, for Romanians to have updated information regarding the vaccination campaign. Furthermore, it is necessary, I said it at the meeting with the religious denominations, and I was given assurances, and I wanted to make it public here, the Church's involvement in this vaccination campaign is needed, especially in rural areas. All Romanians in rural areas need to have this information available, to receive the vaccine. I made sure that we have the necessary vaccine doses, but as things are today, we will have the necessary doses to vaccinate 10 million Romanians by the end of July. Our pace is faster than scheduled, but it is important for everybody to desire to get vaccinated. We have first to schedule a vaccination appointment on the platform, we will be able to talk about 10 million vaccinated persons. We have the doses, they are already appointments, and we can speak about 10 million vaccinated persons by the end of July, which represent 70 percent of the adult population and then we can clearly speak about a full re-opening of the economy. Therefore, we did our best, we made progress, we brought closer these data. In February, we were talking about the end of September, we have now the doses scheduled for the end of July, but we need to schedule a vaccination appointment, we need to get vaccinated. I will detail a bit later about the vaccination campaign. As things are evolving, we are heading in the right direction. I talked to CNCAV today, in mid-April, we can vaccinate 100,000 persons per day. This is why we need everybody's involvement in this vaccination campaign. Unfortunately, 767,883 persons are on the waiting list of the vaccination platform. 442,000 persons of them have been notified, and 64 percent of them, 282,000 have been scheduled. Therefore, we need to register on the platform, in order to receive the vaccine. Vaccination is the only solution to get through this period, to return to normality, and we wanted to make sure that we will have the necessary vaccine doses. The second thing, the epidemiological situation. And here things have stabilized. I took some measures, after consulting with the mayors, with the presidents of the county councils, with the religious denominations - and you saw that it is possible to celebrate Easter during this period as well. We have already had examples of two religious denominations that managed to do this. Im sure it will remain so in the next period. I took these measures after discussing with several decision-makers and it is clear that we already have results, in the sense that I look, for example, at the daily evolution of cases and if I look at a moving average, we have a plateau which lasts for almost a week. Likewise, the same, if I look at the daily evolution of the percentages of confirmed cases; in Bucharest, we have again a stabilization, even a decrease in recent days; very important Ilfov - there, a plateau has been reached; in Timişoara, there is a decrease in positive cases- so, a decrease in Timiş County, the measures were effective there as well. And in terms of the cumulative incidence of cases at the county level for 14 days per thousand inhabitants, Bucharest reached a maximum a few days ago and since then, the number of positive cases has been slightly decreasing. I tell you these things to keep asking you to be patient. The measures we have taken work, generate results and, as you can see, we look at the data every day. We have these results, which clearly show that the epidemiological situation has reached a plateau, we expect an improvement, but the situation cannot improve without further keeping the measures we have now. At the same time, we are accelerating the vaccination campaign. I said from the first moment that this is the only way we can solve the situation. And Im glad that you had that press conference at the Ministry of Health yesterday because I had those discussions with the doctors before making the decision. The situation in hospitals has been, is and remains a pressure on the health system at the moment. We can only help by following the measures in place and by vaccination. And, the last point I want to present today is this inter-ministerial committee. It is very good that it is needed and I kept saying from the beginning that we need to show the Romanians the moment when we plan to return to normality. June 1 is the first step I see. I repeat, it does not mean a one hundred percent opening, but it is the first step and it requires preparations. That is why we have this inter-ministerial committee in which all ministries are involved because the whole economy must be involved and we must see how it evolves after June 1st. Tomorrow, I will have a meeting with the HORA Association, to see what solutions we find, but everything depends on how the vaccination campaign works. If we want to return to normal and we have set this target for June 1 - because we can vaccinate at least 5,000,000 people by then - we must get vaccinated. It is a necessary condition to be able to move on. We need to have this number of people vaccinated. No other measure helps us reopen the economy. The only solution is the vaccination campaign, to have a successful vaccination campaign. Thats why I told you from the first moment, the months of April and May are still important. We have 8,000,000 doses of vaccine, we need to benefit from this. This inter-ministerial committee will include all ministries. I am thinking of including them as guests, not as members, the associations, and the employers; we will have discussions with them. We have time to prepare for the reopening. I made it clear that when you schedule when you have discussions before, there are good results. It has been seen with the feast of Easter so far, it is possible. You have seen that even on weekends we no longer have crowds on the slopes or in clubs, things are solved when scheduled. Be confident that we will get through this period. It is the same message that President Klaus Iohannis is sending, I am sending it as prime minister, the whole Cabinet is sending it: vaccination is the only solution. Thank you! Reporter: Good afternoon! Mr Prime Minister, from June 1, what relaxation measures can we expect? Florin Cițu: More precisely, we will see after this committee meets, but I hope to be as many relaxation measures as possible. I am confident. As I have said, the scenario with 5 million vaccinated is a pessimistic - realistic scenario. They can be 6.3 million vaccinated persons. But it very much depends on the discussions with the respective industries. The summer season starts, I would like us to have a better vacation and safer than last year, and we will make sure through these measures we will take and I am sure that the tourism industry will especially comply with these measures this year. Reporter: Will the green certificate we are talking about at the European level will be applied domestically in Romania too? Florin Cițu: No, no way. The green certificate will not be applied in Romania. Romanians will go on holidays without...This is why we have this inter-ministerial committee to make sure there are rules we will observe, but without the green certificate. Reporter: I wanted to ask you about the saliva-based tests, as we know the Education Minister was talking about the saliva-based tests which would be used in schools but the Health Minister says that they are not included in the INSP methodology, and this test is not so conclusive. What is your opinion? Florin Cițu: I proposed the return to school after that test is performed. The non - invasive tests were my proposal. I made that proposal after I discussed it with several specialists who very clearly told me that there is no difference. The issue is that these tests are not yet included in the INSP methodology, and I think it depends on INSP to include them in the methodology. They are used everywhere in the world. Reporter: I have seen lately enough ample protests. Protesters asked somehow the lifting of restrictions. Have these protests underpinned your decision to start relaxing somehow the measures and how do you see these protests? A message for protesters. Florin Cițu: No way. We do not relax measures. I said we prepare the return to normality as of June 1. How that normality will look like, when we have 10 million, 15 million vaccinated persons, we will see then. I want us to take this decision as we did with the religious denominations and you could see that this could be done. We will make a decision for the rest of the economy. As data say, the measures we have taken lately, had a positive impact on stemming the spread of the virus in Romania. Reporter: And a message for protesters? Florin Ciţu: To comply with the legislation in force. Reporter: What is the immunization rate now, at the national level and if in the future or have you already started to take into account the natural immunization rate of those who have already contracted the disease, in view of the new measures? Florin Ciţu: It is calculated every time. Those who have had the disease know very well, and we take them into account, they have to wait a while before they can be vaccinated. But we are following these milestones: five million vaccinated means 35% of the population, as we have seen in other countries, those measures have gradually been lifted and I think we are best going 35, 70 and then 100% immunized population. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, how long can we see the pilot programs currently taking place in Western Europe? Are they talking about concerts based on the vaccination certificate, PCR tests or quick tests at the entrance to this event? Florin Ciţu: You are talking about a single pilot program in Western Europe. Reporter: The United Kingdom announced today that it will carry out several programs. Florin Ciţu: I have just given you a date, June 1st until which we will have preparations, and after that date, we can discuss several things. We are in a difficult period. April and May are months in which we should get vaccinated, but at the same time, we should maintain a stable situation in healthcare. June 1st is that milestone for us, in which we think of coming up with certain measures that would lead us to normality. Reporter: You said earlier that the green certificate will not be applied domestically, in Romania, stating that we can travel. Can there be a set of criteria whereby if you have a vaccine, negative COVID test, you can attend private events? For instance: festivals, weddings, football matches, etc. Is the private sector likely to introduce such conditions with the Government's approval? Florin Ciţu: The inter-ministerial committee is tasked with preparing all these rules for a return to normality, after this period of vaccination, and we will see what the rules are. We will agree on them with economic operators and then we will comply with them. Reporter; Therefore, you do not rule them out considering that Adina Valean said that it can be introduced in each country. Florin Ciţu: Each country can choose its own methods to reopen the economy. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, the store chains suggest that you keep the stores open until 7:00 pm or even until 8:00 pm, precisely because there are crowded during the weekends, the holidays are coming and it is crowded. In this context, I ask you: will you change this closing time? Florin Ciţu: I have constant discussions with store chains, I also discussed before making this decision. The time was not discussed, we were only asked for a little time to prepare, but we did not discuss the time. 6:00 pm, they said, thats the decision, we understand. We asked the stores to comply with certain rules inside, how many people enter and so on. I have a constant discussion with retailers, I had it last year during the pandemic, I also had it during the emergency period, and I talk to them every day. They understand very well the situation that Romania is going through and they were with us last year when we went through the state of emergency (...) So, we talk to them. At this point, things stay the way they are because they work. Reporter: The - Observator team presented in the last two weeks the situation at the hospital in Timișoara, where eight people hospitalized in the large burn section have already died this year due to nosocomial infections. So far, the Minister of Health, Vlad Voiculescu, has not sent the Control Body, he is still waiting for some data from there. The question is if you had any discussion with Vlad Voiculescu on this topic and if you have a project through which, however, these nosocomial infections and this problem that has existed in Romania for several years, will be solved. Florin Ciţu: We have a project. The project is new hospitals. It is the only solution to get rid of these infections. And that is why the PNRR includes 2.5 billion euros for the construction of new hospitals. We will also have the construction of new hospitals on a budgetary effort. We also have three regional hospitals. Therefore, it is the only solution to get rid of these nosocomial infections. Reporter: About the situation in Timisoara ... Florin Ciţu: In Timișoara, I talked to the minister. He said he would send the Control Body at some point. But it is his decision. Reporter: Is there an option to send the Control Body to Timisoara? Florin Ciţu: Thank you! Reporter: Given that a significant percentage of HoReCas businesses have closed altogether, Greece is investing more than 330 million euros in the coming weeks to help those who have closed their businesses completely, to reopen in order to relaunch tourism, have you prepared any help other than the one you have offered so far for the businesses that have closed or those that have gone bankrupt in the meantime? Florin Ciţu: I will have discussions, I told you, with HORA tomorrow. So far, there have been several measures in Romania that have been instrumental: the kurzarbeit law is in force, the furlough measure is in force, the industry was exempt from the payment of the specific tax, for another three months, it is already a year and something since it is exempt from specific tax. We will discuss other measures as well. PNRR has funds for the private sector that those from HORECA can benefit from. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, please tell us specifically what studies did you rely on, when you decided that closing shops at 6:00 pm, is a measure that will prevent the spread of coronavirus? Have you seen the huge queues lately? Florin Ciţu: I could see the situation of the economy in Romania if we did nothing. I have seen the evolution of cases and the number of positive cases increased from 2,000 persons per day, 3,000, to 6,000 in just a couple of days. The specialists studies tell us that mobility is the factor spreading the virus the most, and the first measure that almost all EU countries took, was to reduce the opening hours for shops, etc. At the same time, you could see that after we took this measure, we have a plateau, even a decrease in the rate of positive cases of persons with COVID. It means that these measures had an impact. At the same time, regarding queues, I asked and I am waiting for this analysis to see how much we owe this decrease to the measures we took. We will be waiting, we will have analyses, we will return with them of course. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, before the pandemic, restaurants and other HORECA units operated in a clear regime, we have two areas: one for smokers, the other - for non-smokers. As the epidemiological situation allows, with the relaxation measures as of June 1, is it possible that these restaurants, HORECA units operate with the same regime as units, distinct areas for vaccinated persons or who did tests and for the persons who are not vaccinated? Florin Ciţu: I am ready to hear the solutions from Horeca as well. We will see them, and we will discuss. That is the role of this committee, to put several solutions on the table, we will see.. Reporter: I understand that you discussed it on Friday, this is why I asked you. Florin Ciţu: It has not been discussed. On Friday, we had the discussion and it will be an inter-ministerial committee that will eventually make a decision. We will see how they will work. The HORECA industry is operating within the economy, we have to make a decision for the entire economy to work. We will see what the conclusions of this committee will be as fast as possible. Reporter: I return a little to the issue of private events, I refer to family events: people delayed events for this year, should they delay them for 2022 too? I want you to tell them clearly, should they schedule them for this summer or should they postpone them for next year? Florin Ciţu: I announced today that after June 1st, we are talking about the return to normality. Of course, it is the first step, we will have at that moment only 35 percent of the population vaccinated, we cannot return to the situation prior to the pandemic. But it will be the first step. As we are thinking of solutions for the HORECA Industry or for the rest of the economy, of course, we are thinking for these private events, and we are ready to listen to solutions, how we can open them, but we will open them only when we make sure that these events will follow certain rules, as it is the case of HORECA, events, concerts. I agree that we discuss with everybody to see our next steps following June 1. We have two months to get prepared and I am sure that we will find the solution for all economic operators in the economy, irrespective of whether they are authorized natural person, etc. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, I have a question, you said that all the ministries will join this inter-ministerial committee. I would like to know how it is organized, and who will lead it? Florin Cițu: It is under the coordination of the prime minister. Reporter: And how will it meet? Will there be weekly meetings? How to proceed? How did you think? Florin Cițu: You should know that this is not the first time this has happened. Reporter: Im convinced. Florin Cițu: The Inter-ministerial committees or the decisions we have taken so far following consultations. Of course, its very simple there: each ministry will also have to have discussions on that sector, see what the needs are in that sector, discuss with the associations in that sector and then bring these solutions to the inter-ministerial committee, where we will discuss them. Because we can have a solution in the HoReCa sector, lets say ... Reporter: But they could not be discussed during the meeting? Florin Cițu: For example, the Ministry of Economy has a discussion with the HoReCa sector and comes up with certain measures. But, the inter-ministerial committee will include also representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, employers, and associations, and each one will come with additions. Thank you. 2021-04-05 12:06:00 Prim-ministrului României, Florin Cîțu, cu ocazia sărbătoririi Zilei NATO în RomâniaȘtiri din 04.04.2021 April 4, 2021, Romania celebrates NATO Day, which it has traditionally celebrated for 17 years, on the first Sunday of April. For more than 70 years, the North Atlantic Alliance has demonstrated its ability to meet the most difficult security challenges, through its continuous adaptation, effective action and, especially, the solidarity and unity of its allies. The aforementioned have been visible including in the current context of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Atlantic Alliance and its members offering support that was extended to partners as well. For Romania, NATO has been and continues to be the main guarantor and fundamental pillar of national defence and security. Romania has an active and significant contribution to Allied missions and operations, as well as a distinct and active role in shaping NATO policies and decisions, including with respect to the measures to strengthen deterrence and defence. At the same time, Romania acts coherently to increase cooperation with the Alliances partners. All these are proofs of Romanias firm and substantial commitment within NATO and contribute to shaping the profile of our country as a strong and reliable ally. The Romanian Government will continue to act in such a way as to maintain a significant contribution of our country to the consolidation of NATO, to collective defence efforts, including by further allocating 2% of GDP for defence, and to the promotion of common strategic values and objectives. Many Happy Returns, NATO! Many Happy Returns to Romania in NATO! 2021-04-04 10:02:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu ocazia Paștelui CatolicȘtiri din 03.04.2021 18:12:00 marchează Ziua Internațională de Conștientizare a AutismuluiȘtiri din 02.04.2021 14:18:00 Dan Barna a primit-o pe Excelența Sa doamna Isabel Rauscher, ambasadoarea Republicii AustriaȘtiri din 01.04.2021 19:18:00ția a VIII-a a Programului Oficial de Internship al Guvernului Știri din 01.04.2021 19:00:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la evenimentul de marcare a Centenarului Institutului Național de Cercetare-Dezvoltare Medico-Militară „Cantacuzino”Știri din 01.04.2021[Check against delivery] Mr President of Romania, Ministers Commander, Director General, Ladies and gentlemen, Today, we celebrate 100 years since the establishment of the Cantacuzino Institute, an elite Romanian institution, which has distinguished itself as a successful brand in the world of research. Remarkable scientific discoveries at the international level and tireless research of passionate specialists have been the Cantacuzino Institutes mainstay during extremely difficult times. I do not necessarily refer to the period prior to 1989, but also to what happened afterwards, when underfunding, frequent managerial changes and political interference have pushed this leading research institution on the verge of collapse. It is a lesson we must not forget! The special efforts in recent years have saved the Cantacuzino Institute and made possible the continuation of researches and relaunch of the manufacturing of organic products, the business card which made it famous. Last year, despite the pandemic difficulties, the institutes specialists managed to put the equipment back into operation, check the entire technological flow and produce the first non-commercial doses of trivalent influenza vaccine. There are very good premises that a safe and beneficial product for Romanians will be manufactured on a large scale at Cantacuzino Institute. The Cantacuzino Institute has played a vital role in the joint effort to protect the health of citizens since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was and continues to be at the forefront of the fight against the novel coronavirus through the tests performed, also through valuable studies on the transmission of COVID-19 infection. For the first time in Romania, it did virus genome sequencing. Ladies and gentlemen, I have great respect for the history of the Cantacuzino Institute and I believe in its future and that of Romanian research. As Prime Minister, I will continue to fully support the institutes projects and initiatives. But beyond providing the necessary resources, I believe that the most important support that the Government can grant to the Cantacuzino specialists is to let them do their job. Not to hinder them with political decisions, and not to forget the lesson of the past! The Cantacuzino Institute will remain at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, both in terms of what it is currently doing, but also in terms of its capacity and expertise within the European mechanism of increasing the COVID-19 vaccine production capacity. I pass on my congratulations to the specialists for their remarkable achievements, for the continuation of tradition in Romanian research! I wish a lot of success to those who protect Romanias health through their work and researches! Happy anniversary to the Cantacuzino Institute and as many successful projects as possible! 2021-04-01 12:36:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, ministrul transporturilor și infrastructurii, Cătălin Drulă, și ministrul sănătății, Vlad Voiculescu, la finalul ședinței de guvern din 31 martieȘtiri din 31.03.2021 against delivery] Florin Cițu: Good afternoon! Last week, in the Cabinet meeting, we approved a set of measures and I said back then that these measures are designed to help us overcome this difficult period, reduce the spread of the coronavirus. I think it is important to explain a bit, I have told you back then, but perhaps, I have not been very clear - how I reached these measures, what procedure we followed. In February, in January, I remember that I kept receiving questions from you, from journalists or the persons I met, regarding the difference or what is happening in Romania compared to what is happening in Europe. In Europe, we saw increasingly restrictive measures, and Romania remained with relaxed measures. And as each time, I told you that I looked at several indicators. But they were the indicators we all looked at the number of positive cases confirmed every day, and I also looked at other indicators, number of persons admitted at ICU, number of persons calling the emergency services about the coronavirus, number of daily deaths. I said then that no measure was justified at that moment. Romania has a good strategy. Unfortunately, starting late February, the number of COVID cases started to slightly increase, as well as the number of persons confirmed positive daily, the number of persons admitted to the ICU, started to grow, as well as the persons who died because of coronavirus, the number of 112 calls about coronavirus. Considering all these indicators, I made the decision to have consultations with the prefects of all counties, the Association of Municipalities and Towns, the Association of County Councils, to find solutions for the next period. I wanted first to have a discussion with these people as they are local leaders, people enjoying the highest confidence, persons that people trust. I told them from the very first moment, as I have told them for one year: we do not want to close the economy, we wanted to find solutions, solutions for each locality. I came up with this variant, together, I discussed with these people, about having solutions about to be implemented, measures to appear when there is a certain incidence, for instance, there is a way of calculating it. I wanted a unitary solution for all Romania, for things to be applied for each locality, as each locality has its characteristics, this was the first objective of discussions. The second objective of the discussions was to make sure that together with religious denominations, we find a solution regarding the Easter celebration this year. You know very well that we had this discussion, and we found a solution this year too, with the measures we will implement, which should be observed, we can celebrate the Catholic and Orthodox Easter or the Passover. Therefore, we found solutions for all these. In the third meeting I have had, we all look at data, but I wanted to have the meeting and an honest discussion with the specialists. I also met with epidemiologists, with ICU specialists, I had a meeting at the Internal Affairs Ministry, exactly on the current situation, I wanted to understand what is happening, the differences compared to the other waves. For instance, we had more than 6,000 cases, in December, when the situation was difficult, we had 4,000 cases. Did we so easily reach 1,400 cases? I found out some things which are different compared to what happened last year in Romania. First of all, that is most worrisome, the persons who reach the ICU, are in a much more difficult situation, and more serious than last year. The fact that we can test ourselves home, we have these tests, and we are staying home, it is true and when they see that they tested positive, many persons do not take their medication, they do not call the family doctor, and they reach in a much more serious situation in intensive care. That is a big difference to what we had last year. We should listen very much to what doctors advise us, as the situation in the medical system, the pressure on the medical system specialists is very big. It is pointless now to enter discussions about why we had only 1,400 beds in Romania, 1,500. We will have 1,600. I asked 1,600, so, there will be 1,600. It is a healthcare system that was built so in the last 30 years and which we cannot change either in 2-3 months or in one year. We allocate additional resources - today, we allocated again and the Health Minister will explain to you where, but you cannot change things overnight. This is why these measures are necessary, and I asked solutions from specialists to see how we can slow down the virus spread, a period that can allow us to speed up the vaccination campaign. We all know that the only solution to get out of the pandemic is vaccination. No other measure helps us stem the pandemic. We are aware of it. All we are doing is to slow down the spread of the disease, to be able to vaccinate ourselves. We can get rid of the pandemic through vaccination. There were a lot of talks, it is true. Specialists came up with tougher measures. We came up with a variant and I said then too, I am telling it right now: I made a decision because we needed to consider also that Romania and Romanian citizens are for one year in this difficult situation and I understand that we are all reluctant to new measures we believe to come against our freedoms. But there are measures which help us - help us in the short term, now, this month, next month, we can speed up the vaccination campaign. You will see later that things will change. I wanted you to know all these as it has not been an easy decision. We can discuss the decision. In Bucharest, so far, we discuss only a day in which these measures have been enforced - only on Sunday. This week, the incidence rate is below 7.5, only during the weekend, these measures will be applied again, not during the week. At the same time, I want to remind you that last year's rules are still in place, rules whereby we can delay the work schedule, therefore, people can reach job place at different hours - it was a measure we approved last year to avoid crowded transport, teleworking is in place, for the private and the public sector. Last year, the Finance Ministry operated with 30 percent of personnel for a long time and it operated well. All civil servants and Ministers should use telework for the respective Ministries and where possible, in the private sector, we should use telework in this period. All these measures are in place. I repeat, it was a decision I have taken considering all these elements and the fact that what we have had to date, does not stop the spread of the coronavirus. Romania has today over 6,000 cases daily, in December, we had 4,000 cases. It was clear that we had to take measures, we had to come up with extra measures. We came up with extra measures which are today among the most relaxed in the EU, in fact, not among the most relaxed, but the most relaxed. Romania still keeps the most relaxed measures in the EU, today, if we have a big picture of them. Beyond these measures and rules, I came up with measures that support the economic environment. I am very much aware, and I am backing the idea that I do not want us to close the economy. We need healthy people in order to have a strong economy, but we also need a strong economy to have healthy people. Therefore, things go hand in hand. We came up with those measures whereby we prolonged a set of incentives in 2022 for the HoReCa sector, and the other economic sectors, measures which were operational last year too and will be this year as well. I want to tell you that the preliminary figures for March clearly show an increase in budget revenues of more than 10% and a lower budget deficit than last year, in the same month. The economy works, people do their job, the measures we have taken, bear results. We just have to be more patient in March and April. If we follow the measures in these two months and we will accelerate the vaccination campaign, you will see that, as it was last year and despite all the criticism, I said that we will have an economy that will recover and it has recovered, we had the highest economic growth, we will also have jobs and resources to cover all the needs we will have this year. Here I wanted to come and explain a little these measures, I think they were not very well explained, I will take a question from each journalist. Thank you. (...) 2021-03-31 15:57:00ță susținută de președintele Comitetului de Vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2, Valeriu Gheorghiță, și de secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 30.03.2021 15:41:00ții de presă susținute de premierul Florin CîţuȘtiri din 29.03.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good morning! You know very well that, last week, we took some decisions designed to help us get through this pandemic, slow down the spread of the virus among the population. These measures are unique in Europe because they depend on the degree of incidence. Throughout Europe, such measures are being taken for the entire country, as a whole, while in Romania, they are being taken depending on the incidence precisely because we know that there is already fatigue in society after a year of fighting this pandemic. But we have not overcome it yet so that we still need to make an effort to get through this period together. We have taken these measures to slow down the spread of the virus and also to be able to speed up the vaccination campaign. As I stated, in April, we will have an extra 4. 5 million doses of vaccine, we will increase the number of vaccinated persons to 100,000 and the capacity to vaccinate 100,000 daily, and compared to the initial plan, if this vaccine delivery schedule is maintained, we will be able to talk about vaccinating 10 million citizens in August, instead of September. Therefore, we have advanced things by a month, but everything depends on us. Lets go get vaccinated. At the same time, I have seen in the public space and especially at PSD, the political opposition, slightly confusing messages. On the one hand, a few months ago, they told us that we are too relaxed and that Romania is the only country in the EU with relaxed measures, and now, they are complaining that we imposed restrictions. I am ready to listen to the opinion of specialists from PSD, the specialists have no political colour. Fighting for Romanians' health has no political colour, but better than conveying confusing political messages in this period, it is time we sit at the table with specialists and see what are the best solutions for Romanians, for Romanians' health. I will answer questions. Reporter: Will you keep these restrictions despite street protests? Florin Ciţu: I have said each time, you know very well that I am Liberal, Romanians are free to protest as long as they do not infringe the legislation in force. Reporter: How will you prompt them to take into account the measures we adopted? Florin Ciţu: We have the right to have an opinion in Romania, even if we have different opinions. For me, it is very important to continue with the vaccination campaign, it is very important to find the best measures to help Romanians. The hospitals are very crowded, at this point, thats why we have taken these measures. I focus on this at present. People must observe the law. We must all observe the law. Reporter: Those who protested last night have already infringed the legislation, will they be sanctioned given that new protests have been announced? Florin Ciţu: I understand Romanians, that, after one year of pandemic, they got tired. We are all tired. We have been fighting the pandemic for a year and we have made every effort in this respect. We have ordered more doses of vaccine than we need just to make sure that, if necessary, we will have it next year too. And if we dont need it, then we will be able to export, because we need to help the population around Romania. It is not enough to vaccinate only the citizens of Romania if we want to get rid of the pandemic. We will make all the efforts and I am ready to sit at the table with anyone who comes up with solutions to help Romanians in this difficult period. Thank you! 2021-03-29 12:35:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, miniștrii Lucian Bode, Vlad Voiculescu, Sorin Cîmpeanu și secretarii de stat Raed Arafat și Andreea Moldovan, la finalul ședinței de guvern din 25 martieȘtiri din 25.03.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Good evening! As you know, this week, we had several meetings - with the prefects, with the Association of Municipalities, Association of County Councils, with Bucharests districts mayors and the mayor general. Today, we had a meeting with representatives of all the religious denominations in Romania. Today, in the Cabinets meeting, we made some decisions which will help in the next period to reduce the pandemic, and these decisions were approved by a Governments decision. Secretary of State Raed Arafat will present them in detail. In the same meeting, today, we adopted some measures, which in fact, continue some decisions we made last year to back the business sector. I would like to especially mention that the exemption to the payment of the specific tax for HORECA is extended by another 90 days. Previously, it was extended until December. We extend this incentive for another 90 days. Further on - extending deadlines with tax incentives for taxpayers, restructuring tax debts, can be demanded until January 31, 2022. This measure was initiated in 2019, and the debtor's obligation to file a request for restructuring in a maximum of 6 months since notification has been introduced, to avoid foreclosure. The taxpayers' possibility to benefit from VAT reimbursement with subsequent control until January 31, 2022, was extended. This is the measure we have introduced last year, for the first time, in the emergency period, a measure that worked very well and we extend it until early next year. It is a measure that will help companies to receive cash - flow as soon as possible, and have access to money they take over from VAT as soon as possible, with subsequent control. Extending the possibility for taxpayers to benefit from the wiping out of accessories caused by debts on condition of the payment of the main debt until January 31, 2022, and extending the possibilities for taxpayers to benefit from the simplified payment rescheduling until September 30, 2021. And these are also fiscal measures that we have taken today, which add to the other decisions we have taken, in support of entrepreneurs during this period. I would like to announce one more thing. By Government's decision, we allocated the necessary amounts for the payment of meal vouchers for the miners who were on hunger strike in Suceava; we solved this problem too. This weekend, we will send another 50,400 doses of vaccine to the Republic of Moldova. You know very well, we committed to sending 200,000 doses, we are sending another 50,400 this weekend, therefore, things are moving forward. At the same time, I would like to let you know some information about the vaccination campaign because we have a schedule of vaccine doses that we have today, which we can detail. Things can change, but so far you know that when we draw the line, it has changed for the better because we expected to have 2.4 million doses by the end of March and at present, we have 2.6 million doses. In April we will receive 4.5 million doses, in May, 4.97 million, almost 5 million doses, in June, 6.8 million, in July, 7.4 million, in August 8.1 and in September, 8.4 million. In total, by the end of September, we should have 25.7 million doses of vaccine in Romania, compared to what we initially estimated, 20.5 million doses, so, we have by 5 million doses more. And I also looked at the vaccination platform. The number of people on the waiting list is only 771,663. I say only because, as things stand and we will have a vaccination capacity of 100,000 people a day, in the first week of April, this waiting list will be exhausted very quickly. That is why I say that it is very important to keep the message for vaccination clear, because I hope we do not end up having extra doses and not vaccinating any longer, so, everyone must understand that if we want to get out of this period faster, we must get vaccinated. I told you how many doses are coming. If we look at the waiting list, it is clear that we will be left with some extra doses. I could see it publicly and even this CNSU decision modifies a calculation formula. The Minister will explain more details to you here if you want it. I asked for information from CNCCI and INSP to see an alternative calculation for the two formulas and I could read the conclusion, which was also to be expected - the calculation method, there is only a delay of 3-5 days in finding that the incidence rate exceeds a certain threshold. By the new formula, calculation, selection of the calculation interval of the 14 days, the delay in observing that a threshold has been exceeded, is three days. So, the idea is that the two formulas have no real significant implications, only that we are talking about a three-day delay, so it was nothing significant. But for accuracy, it may be a good idea to use them. In the end, this is the decision, but I wanted to reassure people, that it did not have any real implications that last year, other formulas were used, this year, there are other formulas. Developments depend on whether we have more information, we can also update the formulas currently in use. And last but not least, I would like to say just one more thing before my colleagues address you. The measures we take today will surely lead to public debates. I repeat and I have said it every time - Romania has today among the most relaxed measures in the European Union. Furthermore, my goal is to keep the economy open and only if we comply with these measures, there is no need to take other measures. The measures we are taking today are aimed at reducing the effects of the pandemic and giving us the opportunity to speed up the vaccination campaign so that we can return to normal as soon as possible. And I would submit a proposal to the Minister of Health, - and we will discuss it again afterwards because it was the discussion about schools - what to do with the children who are now going on holidays. And here is the Minister of Education, so together I would like you to look at this aspect, to look for resources and I help you find the resources so that the students can be tested when they return to school, with these non-invasive tests, lets test as many of them as possible after this holiday period. And I will help you find the resources, but I think it is a good solution in order to keep the pandemic under control. This was the information I wanted to present to you. I invite Mr Raed Arafat to present the CNSU decision in detail, and later, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of Internal Affairs will present you the legislative documents that have been approved today. Minister of Health, hope you also discuss the emergency ordinance as it is important, and we took measures that help the health system. I am ready to answer any of your questions next time, after the Cabinet meeting. Thank you. Raed Arafat: Good evening! Last week we had a meeting at the level of the technical-scientific group, which is the advisory group for the National Committee for Emergency Situations, where the current situation was discussed. Several measures have been proposed which were discussed today in the National Committee for Emergency Situations, resulting in the decision we have before us, Decision 20 of 2021. The measures that have been adopted are the following: firstly, regarding the time interval in which travel is allowed. Where the incidence will be over 4 per thousand in the last 14 days, during the weekend, namely on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, travel will be allowed only until 8:00 pm and not until 10:00 pm as it is now, and for economic operators, the activity should be allowed until 6:00 pm. The return on this measure during the weekend is made when the incidence falls below 3.5 per thousand. The second measure is: if the incidence exceeds 7.5 per thousand. Then travel will be allowed until 8:00 pm throughout the week, and economic operators will operate until 6:00 pm, also throughout the week, and the return on this measure will be when the incidence falls below seven per 1 thousand. At the same time, the Ministry of Health and the line ministries are authorized by this decision to issue or modify existing orders, so that it is very clear to economic operators, such as shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets, what will be the number of people who will be allowed inside and how compliance with this measure will be controlled. This is expected to be clarified, as I said, at the ministerial level. For the night of March 27-28, Saturday and Sunday, the measure will be extended until 10:00 pm, for people who will participate and travel to participate in religious services officiated for the Passover holiday. This is for the 27th, Saturday, and 28th, Sunday, when travel is allowed until 10:00 pm, instead of 8:00 pm, only for people who meet the exceptions that are provided in the government decision or who attend the Passover feast. For the night of April 3 to April 4, the movement of people outside the home or household will be allowed between 08:00 pm and 02:00 am for travel and attendance of religious services that are occasioned by the celebration of Catholic Easter. It was also discussed the period of Orthodox Easter, May 1 - May 2, when hours of attendance of religious service are established, and there will be no limitations, but this will not appear in the government decision, because the current Decision is valid until April 14, and the regulation for the Orthodox Easter will appear in the next Government Decision, extending the State of Alert. Also, the activity of the economic operators carried out in closed spaces in the field of sports/fitness halls in the localities where the cumulative incidence of the cases in the past 14 days is higher than 4 per 1,000 inhabitants will be suspended and resumed when the incidence falls under 3.5 per 1,000 inhabitants. Also within the CNSU Decision, was approved the list of countries or areas or territories that are at high epidemiological risk, which we call the countries under the yellow code. The novelty here is that Great Britain is no longer on this list, it will be possible to travel without quarantine from Great Britain to Romania. These measures, as the Prime Minister also said, are meant to reduce mobility and contact, in order to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These measures are becoming mandatory and are no longer discussed or debated in committees. This means that when an incidence is reached, the measure automatically enters on the basis of that incidence. When the incidence falls below the figure we mentioned, the measure rises instantly and this will simplify things for the localities and areas that fall under these incidences. There is also the aspect regarding the calculation of the incidence, I will let Minister Voiculescu explain it because it was proposed by the Ministry of Health. If you have questions... (...) 2021-03-25 21:11:00Întâlnirea prim-ministrului României, Florin Cîțu, cu delegația Consiliului de afaceri americano–român (AMRO)Știri din 25.03.2021 Minister Florin Cițu had today a meeting with the American-Romanian Business Council (AMRO) delegation representing important U.S. companies present in the Romanian economy. The meeting occasioned an open dialogue with the participating businesspeople on the Executive's public policy program, as well as on the prospects of consolidating their investment presence in Romania. Prime Minister Florin Cițu emphasized the special importance Romania attaches to its Strategic Partnership with the United States and reiterated our country's long - term commitment towards developing bilateral strategic projects with the American partners. On this occasion, significant business development opportunities in Romania were reviewed, including those derived from the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, a special emphasis being put on the opportunities in the digital and medical sectors. The Government will continue to promote measures for the development of the free market economy, capable of supporting value-added generating activities and jobs in the economy. The President of the AMRO, Eric Stewart as well as the representatives of the member companies thanked for the constant openness and availability for dialogue on the part of the Romanian Prime Minister and other members of the Executive as well as for the measures taken to ensure a friendly business climate for investors. In the same context, the American business sectors support for Romania's candidacy to OECD was reaffirmed. 2021-03-25 16:46:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții cultelor religioase din România și cu cei ai Secretariatului de Stat pentru CulteȘtiri din 25.03.2021 14:42:00Întâlnirea vicepremierului Dan Barna cu Reprezentantul UNICEF în România, Pieter BultȘtiri din 24.03.2021 Prime Minister Dan Barna met today with the UNICEF Representative in Romania, Pieter Bult. The two officials discussed the way Romania can use UNICEF international experience and its models in Romania for substantial reforms for children, financed from European funds and the state budget. The meeting took place on the day the European Commission launched the European Union Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the European Child Guarantee in order to ensure that the most vulnerable children in the European Union have access to healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. The Child Guarantee is also extremely relevant for Romania, where UNICEF and central and local authorities have developed and tested a similar innovative solution, which can be scaled up once with the implementation of the minimum package of services for children and families, which was adopted last year. The two officials also discussed the opportunity to use digital instruments to provide real-time data on the situation of children, so that the public policies can be adapted to the needs as soon as possible. In this context, the topic of integrated community centres that can provide online and offline services to children and their families was also addressed. The meeting was also attended by Secretary of State Elena Tudose and Eduard Petrescu, UNICEF Romania Coordinator for policy and planning. 2021-03-24 17:19:00 Florin Cîțu a participat, alături de președintele României, Klaus Iohannis, și mai mulți membri ai Guvernului, la campania de împădurire pe terenuri nisipoase și degradate din sudul RomânieiȘtiri din 24.03.2021 Minister Florin Cițus participation in the afforestation campaign of degraded and sandy lands in the southern part of Romania [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: We are in an area where, as the President and the Minister said, the desertification process started, and even Dăbuleni is a landmark place in this regard. Today, Romania has about 29-30 percent afforestation rate, compared to the EU average of 38 percent. This is the challenge for this Government. We will allocate resources through PNRR(National Recovery and Resilience Plan), maybe also budgetary resources if needed, but the challenge for this Government, for Mr Minister, for the other Ministers, is to bring the afforestation rate of the Romanian territory from 29-30 percent to above the European average of 38 percent. That is why we are here today, to start this campaign, and my presence here is to show that I am backing this campaign and we will allocate the necessary resources. 2021-03-24 13:09:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Uniunii Naționale a Consiliilor Județene din RomâniaȘtiri din 23.03.2021 21:11:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Asociației Municipiilor din RomâniaȘtiri din 23.03.2021 20:59:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 23.03.2021 15:28:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la ședința de evaluare a activității Ministerului Afacerilor Interne pentru anul 2020Știri din 23.03.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Cițu at the presentation of the 2020 stocktaking report of the Ministry of Internal Affairs [Check against delivery] President of the Senate, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Minister, Senators, Former Ministers, Ladies and gentlemen, It was a difficult year, a special year, a year which we had to cope with. There are here people who were part of the former Cabinet and know how difficult the year was. But, if we look today at results, we realize that we managed to avoid a much more difficult situation. Last year was difficult, and unfortunately, this year does not bode well either. I encourage you to arm yourselves with enough energy and determination for us to overcome the pandemic challenge together. At the same time, just like last year, you have your current crime-fighting mission to fulfil and I tell you that we must not neglect this fight in any way. Even if we must battle the pandemic, crime-fighting remains your current activity. I know that many times, what remains imprinted in the public memory of an institutions activity are those episodes when things didnt go as they should, and less so the successful missions, and this is because when things go well, it is considered that thats the way it should be, because we did our job well. This is why I would like to congratulate today those who are doing their job very well, with responsibility and dedication. Today is their day, and we congratulate them on this occasion! At the same time, I am asking the Ministry of Internal Affairs, just as I asked the other institutions and authorities, to move to reform. I am not doing this because it sounds good, but because it is our present duty to meet the expectations of every man in this country who contributes through his work to the functioning of the state. In exchange, every citizen must get quality public service, and we must make sure that this happens. I am confident that Minister Lucian Bode has the right approach and will find the best way to highlight the deserving, those dedicated to their mission, and will screen out those who do not do honour to this uniform. What we need in the next period is the maximum engagement of all those with responsibilities in enforcing the law and in verifying compliance with the health protection measures. We have rules in place that, if everyone were to comply with them, would make further restrictions unnecessary. And this is your role, to make sure that current rules are followed. Make your presence much more felt. The law is one for everyone and every person who complies with the rules saves another persons life. Each of those who do not comply with rules, puts somebody else's life, their family or the life of their loved ones at risk, this should be known by all coronavirus rule - breakers, and please flat - out tell them while applying the required sanctions. I require you to show firmness and common sense, because these two attitudes together make law enforcement effective, in other words: professionalism. The Internal Affairs Ministry's staff played a vital role last year and will continue to play it in protecting Romanians' healthcare and in combating the COVID -19 pandemic. I would mention the establishment of the National Centre for Coordinating and Leading the Interventions, which became operational within the Ministry on March 18, 2020, when the state of emergency was declared in Romania. It is a solid confirmation of the quick intervention and coordination capacity of this Ministry. I would like to thank all MAI workers who fulfilled their mission with responsibility, applied the law with firmness and with respect for the rights of the citizens! During a health crisis, the citizen's safety means first of all protecting the health of the citizens. I urge all the personnel of the Internal Affairs Ministry to remain the guardians of public health, to check compliance with protection measures, to enforce the law strictly and defend the citizens fundamental freedoms and rights. As Prime Minister, I firmly support the activity of the Internal Affairs Ministry's personnel. The budgetary resources allocated and funding priority projects proposed by the Minister are the concrete expression of the Romanian Government's support. I have high expectations from you over the next period. I wish you all good health and successful missions! Thank you! 2021-03-23 13:30:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la ședința în sistem on-line cu prefecțiiȘtiri din 22.03.2021 19:52:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu primarul general al Capitalei, Nicușor Dan, și cu primarii de sector din BucureștiȘtiri din 22.03.2021 19:51:00ţii de presă susținute de premierul Florin Cîţu la ParlamentȘtiri din 22.03.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: We have both seen images of what happened during the past weekend, in clubs and mountain resorts, and I want to say that I am sad to see that there is a minority that disobeys the rules in force. Of course, those implications are for the overall population. This is why I decided that today, at 1:00 pm, I will have a meeting with the Mayor General of Bucharest, and the mayors of the districts to discuss the situation in Bucharest. At 4:00 p.m., I will have an online discussion with the prefects, and tomorrow I will discuss with the Association of Romanias County Councils and Municipalities. It is time for solutions to come from the local authorities. Each municipality has its own specifics. I expect that in addition to discussions on the budget, each time to sustain those localities and counties from the state budget, to come with solutions for the difficult situation Romania is going through. Last year, I asked your confidence knowing that we will go through a difficult situation and that we will safeguard the economy as we did together. It is high time that we do it today. You see there is a minority, as not all clubs and restaurants infringe rules, there are only a few, and I am telling you that where the law is disobeyed, I will be uncompromising. No one is above the law. Unfortunately, there are also lawmakers who incite disobedience of the law. I think that there is a moral issue with these people. They are MPs, they are making laws for Romania, but at the same time, they do not obey the legislation in force. I have no problem with protests, I am Liberal, and the protests are all right, I realize that there are people who want to protest against me, let them do it in compliance with the law, let them wear a mask. It is all that I have asked. Reporter: How do you see the fact that not all protesters who did not wear masks have immunity? Florin Ciţu: I asked Mr Bode to present a report on what happened over the weekend. No one is above the law. Reporter: What is the situation of the intensive care beds? Do we have enough staff, is the number of beds supplemented at this moment? Florin Ciţu: Beds have been supplemented. Yesterday, I discussed at CNCCI some solutions for the next period. We do not reinvent anything. We faced the same situation last year, and beds from non - COVID areas are transferred to COVID areas, and I found the solution each time, I transferred resident doctors and last year, it was a very good situation too. We will further manage that. But I repeat not only there could we find solutions, but we should also find solutions for laws in force, measures to be obeyed. I understand there are specifics for each county, each municipality, but then, I am waiting for solutions from local authorities. Reporter: Health Ministry said that it could be a discussion linked to the restrictions in Bucharest, perhaps quarantine in Bucharest. Can we expect such a decision? You said many times that quarantining Bucharest is out of the question. Have you changed your opinion this time? Florin Ciţu: I remind you what I told you last year. I tell you my personal opinion: I wanted us to keep the economy open because only this way, we can cover the cost of the pandemic, we need an open economy, and we found solutions last year to keep the economy open. Personally, I do not want us to reach a quarantine situation. I listen to the specialists' opinions, I did so when it was about the latest decisions. We will make the decision afterwards. Opinions from the Health Ministry are important and we will take them into account, we will make the decision after we listen to all opinions. This is why, I am waiting for discussions with prefects, discussions with the district mayors, etc. Reporter: Regarding quarantining Timisoara, please explain to us how a decision was made locally, and there was another opinion in Bucharest. What will you further do? What if other cities make the same decision to remain open? Florin Ciţu: This is why I asked tomorrow for a meeting with the County Councils Association, the Association of Municipalities. I am waiting for solutions to see how we can eventually avoid quarantine, but with other measures. I, therefore, understand there are specifics for each area, but solutions should come from local authorities. Therefore, we are waiting for solutions from them. Reporter: To avoid quarantine, is there any likelihood to calculate differently that infection rate, for instance not to take the hotspots into account, the number of positive cases from hotspots? Florin Ciţu: No. That formula was taken, that decision has already been made. It was a proposal from specialists, we do not return to that decision. Reporter: There is talk of changing the quarantine criteria. Can we see, following their change, several quarantined localities? Florin Ciţu: I did not see after the outbreak criterion was introduced in the formula, I did not see a very big increase. Growth comes from elsewhere. I remind you that we have a vaccination campaign that highlighted the elderly, so where the outbreaks were, doctors are 80% vaccinated. So, we are in a much better situation than last year. We can no longer have outbreaks in hospitals, we can no longer have outbreaks in senior homes. So these things have already been eliminated. I repeat I listen to any opinion from specialists and, after that, we can make a decision. As I did with AstraZeneca, I listened to the opinions and made a decision, which turned out to be a good one for Romania, not to interrupt the vaccination campaign, so I will listen this time too to these opinions coming from the Ministry of Health. Reporter: Why wasnt Mrs Şoşoacă fined for protesting? Florin Ciţu: She was fined. She has received a lot of fines. Reporter: /.../ to be closed during weekends. How do you see these statements as contradictory to yours? Florin Ciţu: There are many proposals that are coming, but, in the end, we have to make the decision based on information. Lets see all the proposals. You say only a part of the proposals that come from the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health focuses on the health of Romanians, there are important opinions that we must take into account, but there are other opinions that we also need to consider, and, therefore, I am waiting for the discussion with the mayors of Bucharest districts today. Reporter: Did any mayor ask to talk to you about this situation? Florin Ciţu: No, it is me who asked for it. So, I told you, today, at 1:00 pm, I discuss with the mayors, at 4:00 pm with the prefects, tomorrow with the Association of County Councils and the Association of Municipalities. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, can students who are in quarantined areas leave those localities to go to school in an area that is not quarantined? Florin Cițu: Yes, I understand there are 200 students nationwide in this situation, so there is no problem for them to be an exception. Reporter: Every weekend, the clubs in Bucharest are full. Florin Ciţu: I said, I had an amendment that the MPs did not want to table. Mr Bode said very clearly today that if it does not have Parliament's support, we have prepared an emergency ordinance by which we will suspend the activity of those clubs that do not comply with the legislation in force. Economic activities are not just about clubs. Reporter: Will you ask today, at the coalition meeting, to eliminate or modify that amendment by which the CSM obtains that veto right in the case of magistrates investigated, detained or sent to court? Florin Ciţu: I say what I have said every time: I want the law to pass through the Parliament as close as possible to the variant we approved in Government. This requires the whole package of justice laws, not just this package. You will see that the whole package will make sense. Reporter: Returning to the legislature, Mr Prime Minister, I also asked Mr Orban, last year, 72 people were killed as a result of domestic violence, 10,000 women were assaulted. A draft law on electronic bracelets that has among the initiators, Mr Predoiu, is in Parliament. Maybe if it had been adopted, there would have been fewer deaths. Mr Orban said it was among the priorities, but as it was a new legislative project, the Government should give its opinion on the new projects. I would like to ask you if you included it among the legislative priorities, would you ensure its financing, because it is not only about voting, but also about the money necessary to establish that system, and how do you see the fact that one of the other initiators, Mr Cătălin Predoiu, did he actually request to withdraw his signature from the draft law? Florin Ciţu: Last week I asked for the acceleration of its approval. I know that it is at the Ministry of Justice, of course, if additional resources are needed, we will make them available. Reporter: Allow me, please, also on restrictions, the prefect of the Capital said that students from localities around Bucharest, quarantined localities, can come to Bucharest to attend school. Vlad Voiculescu says that this cannot happen, what is your opinion? Florin Ciţu: No, its about those who have an exam, that is, there are exams this week and then its about them, they are exceptions. There are 200 people nationwide. Reporter: Are we just talking about exams, national assessments? Florin Ciţu: Yes. Reporter: What about the rest of the courses? Cant they attend the rest of the courses? Florin Ciţu: At this moment, I have not received this information, I only received information regarding those who have national evaluations, they represent exceptions. Reporter: Please detail. Did you talk about the change of legislation and toughening fines or about closing clubs? Florin Ciţu: Yes, I have said it. You know very well the amendment: those who do not comply with rules, the proposal aimed at their activity suspension, first with two weeks, and afterwards, with more. Reporter: Have the coalition MPs given you any argument for which they did not want to endorse this amendment? Florin Cițu: There is no argument at this moment. We will return to the amendment. Reporter: I still have one more question on restrictions. Two young people from Bistrita - Nasaud, I do not know if you received the letter, said they sent to authorities, Prime Minister, Dan Barna, mayors of Bistrita - Nasaud and several authorities in Bucharest, a letter about those scheduling their weddings, and who keep postponing them in this pandemic year. How do you see this situation and what is the message, if you received one, did you answer them? Florin Ciţu: There are several such proposals or situations, there are event organizers this summer, organizers of all sort of events outdoors, but let us focus on the situation today here. If we do not manage this situation together, we cannot discuss summer concerts. We must all observe rules and restrictions at present, they are among the most relaxed in the EU, and if we observe, we do not have any problem. I ask only this: to comply with these minimum rules that Romania has. Reporter: Do you recommend the postponement of weddings? Florin Ciţu: Let us focus on the situation now, and solve the present situation. If we do not resolve this situation, we cannot discuss anything related to summer. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, does the police avoid applying fines? We are talking about insufficient beds at ICU, a complicated situation. On the other hand, there are people taking to the streets, without observing social distancing, they are protesting, and afterwards, yelling that there are no more ICU beds. How do you solve this problem? Florin Ciţu: You very well said: this hypocrisy must stop, but unfortunately, it has been widely promoted. My duty is to tell all that nobody is above law, to ask the Internal Affairs Ministry to carry out its responsibilities and at the same time, to continue the vaccination campaign. As we could see everywhere in the world, where the vaccination campaign fully continued and was rapidly conducted, the number of positive cases declined. We could see in Romania too that there are no more hotspots in the hospital. Therefore, we attained a very good result: there are no more COVID-19 hotspots in senior centres. Thank you. 2021-03-22 11:12:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la ședința Centrului Național de Conducere și Coordonare a IntervențieiȘtiri din 21.03.2021 17:53:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu prilejul Zilei Internaționale a PădurilorȘtiri din 21.03.2021 11:46:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, vicepremierul Dan Barna și ministrul investițiilor și proiectelor europene, Cristian Ghinea, la finalul ședinței de guvern din 19 martieȘtiri din 19.03.2021 [Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Good afternoon! In today's Cabinet meeting, a more special meeting, the second important of this year, first of all, I approved the Government Decision whereby the ceiling for the - New Home is granted, an important programme. It is the last year of this program, 2017 - 2021, with a ceiling of 1.5 billion lei. I am sure that very many Romanians were waiting for the continuation of this program and today, it was approved in the Cabinet meeting. The second issue discussed today in the Cabinet meeting is the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. I want to say that, after Romania's budget, it was the second test of this coalition, which very clearly shows that it is a united, strong coalition and set to carry out its work over the next years, considering that PNRR should be implemented until 2026, it seems we should be here, after 2024 too, in order to make sure that it is implemented. I want to thank the colleagues I have worked with, Minister Ghinea, it is a very good job, also Vice Prime Minister Barna and all Ministers colleagues and colleagues of the ruling coalition, PNL Chairperson Ludovic Orban, we have worked all together. Today, we have for public debate, a National Recovery and Resilience Plan which represents today's Romania priorities. We allocate important resources for road and railway infrastructure, but we want to build highways too through this program. Of course, the gas network, we want to also build new hospitals, we clearly stipulated it in this program, and of course, we want to take social measures. Therefore, we attach importance to all priorities, a reform that Romania needed, and reforms cost and we have this funding, a chance we cannot miss. Minister will present the details. I just wanted to tell you that today, we enter public debate, everybody will see the schedule. Next week, through a memorandum, we will adopt the mandate through which this programme for the government will be negotiated. One question, please, as I would like to give Minister the chance to present you in detail the schedule and afterwards, you can ask questions about it. Reporter: Prime Minister, in Craiova, a patient with coronavirus lost his life while waiting for an ICU bed. It is the second case. There are further persons who are waiting. What is happening there? How will you unlock the situation and do you have a plan to supplement beds at the national level? Florin Cițu: I am sure there is a plan, it will be presented. I had a discussion some minutes ago with the Health Minister and Mr Raed Arafat. We will have a few meetings this weekend to assess the situation and we will see exactly the elements which can be added over the next period. I expect the Health Ministry to tell us something about what is happening in Craiova, I do not know exactly the situation, but I repeat that we need to carry out checks in all hospitals, on a daily basis, to see the situation of beds exactly, and of course, the Health Ministry will present the plan for this period, in the next days. Reporter: But there are tens of patients waiting for an ICU bed, and who cannot wait. Do you have a crisis cell? Florin Cițu: I would like to check this information, as last year, I was in a time, .....there were two waves, you know very well, and many of the information has not been checked. But I repeat the Health Ministry is dealing at this moment with supplementing the ICU beds. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, you said that the PNRR has been debated today, in the first reading, and it will be approved next week by the Government you are leading. Florin Ciţu: I would like to check this information because I also experienced in the previous year... there were two waves, you know very well, and a lot of the information went unchecked. But, I repeat, the Ministry of Health is certainly in charge of supplementing the ICU beds at this moment. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, you said that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan was debated today, in the first reading, and will be approved next week by the Cabinet you are leading. Will you submit this Plan to the Parliament to be debated by the reunited plenary of the two Chambers, as requested by the Social Democratic Party? Florin Ciţu: The plan was presented in the Romanian Parliament, in the committees, and it will be presented, I understand from the Minister, again, in the Romanian Parliament, so, it is also presented in the Romanian Parliament. But the approval, the debate is taking place in the Romanian Government. Reporter: You said that you spoke earlier with the Minister of Health, Vlad Voiculescu. In this context, I ask you if the British strain in Romania becomes a problem, in the context in which a private clinic did 94 tests at random - this is not the first time this has happened - and 88 out of 94 tests are with the British strain. Florin Ciţu: We should focus on the things that solve the problems and I focus a lot on the vaccination campaign. We know very well that, at this moment, the only way to get out of this situation and return to normal is a successful vaccination campaign. So, we focus on continuing the vaccination campaign. I had earlier a discussion with the Minister of Defense and I was told that, from 5 April, they could supplement by 10% the places or the number of people who can be vaccinated in military centres. You know very well that from the third stage, they are open to all people, just as we decided from the first moment when we approved these military centres. So we will do everything possible to speed up the process. We also know that we will receive more doses of vaccine in April than scheduled, so the solution to exit as soon as possible this situation is a successful vaccination campaign and, of course, to follow the rules. As I always say: the mask is mandatory in public spaces, we should be much more careful with social distancing. Reporter: But do you have any clues that this British strain, which we know is spreading much faster, is becoming a major strain among COVID cases? Florin Ciţu: I dont have this information at this moment, but we will have some discussions in this respect. Reporter: How do you see that amendment tabled to the law abolishing the SIIJ, by which prosecutors and judges can be investigated only with the approval of the SCM? It doesnt practically give them super immunity, but is it also a reason for unconstitutionality? Florin Ciţu: I have always said that I want the draft law to come out of the Romanian Parliament as close as possible to the form I have adopted in the Government. I continue to discuss with my colleagues, the draft law goes to the Senate and we will try there to have a change that will bring it as close as possible to the form that we approved in the Cabinet meeting. I remain of the opinion that that is the best form for Romania today. Reporter: But dont you think that this added amendment is a reason for unconstitutionality? Florin Ciţu: I leave it to the specialists to rule on unconstitutionality. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, today we have registered the most people admitted at ICU, over 1,300. I would like to ask you if, in the discussion with Mr Raed Arafat and Mr Voiculescu, they informed you about the fact that there are no more ICU beds in Bucharest and when this issue could be solved. What if we are already at the edge of the health system, at least in the COVID area? Florin Ciţu: At this moment, all the staff of the Ministry of Health, those from DSU and so on must fulfil their objectives that I said last week. 1,600 beds are needed. From the discussion I had with Mr Arafat, it emerged that the number of beds will be supplemented, 10-12 in the next few days in Bucharest, so there are short-term solutions; long-term solutions are now being sought in order to have the 1,600 beds, the target we asked the Ministry of Health last week. Im sure well attain that goal soon. Reporter: But did you also give a deadline or did they tell you when they could ...? Florin Ciţu: This is urgent. You dont even have to give a deadline. Things need to happen very urgently because you see that we need ICU beds. Reporter: Therefore, in the coming days, 10-12 ICU beds only in Bucharest. Can you tell us where they will be ...? Florin Ciţu: No. Mr Arafat has all the information and will certainly make it public. Reporter: You said you wanted to remain until 2026 to implement this plan which is thought until then. Florin Ciţu: It is necessary. Reporter: On the other hand, PSD announced for next week, other simple motion against Agriculture Minister Adrian Oros. It is about the allocation of European funds, they reproach him several things, including legislative projects, and they announced that they will also submit a motion of censure in this session. The question is: given that you are talking about schools in underprivileged communities or hospitals, things that need to be done in collaboration with some local PSD administration, how do you see this communication with censure motions almost every week and the further implementation of PNRR? Florin Cițu: I remember that last year I was part of a Cabinet that governed Romania in a difficult period, with a majority Parliament led by PSD that tried to hinder us every day and we managed to cope with it, and not only that, but we managed to govern Romania well last year. This year we will ignore them. Reporter: Given that today we have a record number of positive cases at ICU, over 1,300 cases, and that the number of positive cases is still very high, are you considering introducing new restrictions, tightening the measures to be applied nationwide and if you have heard of the possibility of Bucharest being quarantined? Florin Cițu: I also like to look at the data a lot and I would like to remind you that the figures we see today were in November and December last year, but today we have a few more restrictions. You know very well that we changed the nighttime curfew, from 11.00 pm to 10.00 pm. At the same time, the number of people who went to ICU is smaller than we could have perceived from the previous wave. Then we went from 600 to 1200 cases, now from 950 to 1300 cases, therefore, things are a little different. And today we have one more thing we didnt have a few months ago: a vaccination campaign. We have the vaccine! So these things need to be taken into account before making a decision on what to do with the restrictions. I say that, at this moment, we need to evaluate the situation, to see how things are going, but my priority is to speed up the vaccination campaign, with all the possibilities we have, because it is the only solution to overcome the pandemic as soon as possible. Anything else is only temporary and you can solve the problem in the short term. The vaccination campaign and the vaccine is the only long-term solution. Reporter: Therefore, you do not consider taking other restrictive measures. Florin Cițu: For the time being, no. (...) 2021-03-19 15:55:00Întrevederea viceprim-ministrului Dan Barna cu Roelof S. Van Ees, ambasadorul extraordinar și plenipotențiar al Regatului Țărilor de JosȘtiri din 19.03.2021 Prime Minister Dan Barna met on Thursday, March 18, with H.E. Mr Roelof S. Van Ees, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Romania. I told my interlocutor that we want an even closer political and economic collaboration between our countries than at present. We also seek together those areas where we can coordinate ourselves with reference to European topics, stated Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna. During the discussions, the topic of the Cooperation Mechanism for Romania and Bulgaria was also addressed. Pending the European Commissions report on Romanias progress, we are counting on a positive approach from the Dutch side for the CVM to be lifted and replaced by the rule of law mechanism applicable throughout the European Union, stated the Vice Prime Minister. 2021-03-19 12:08:00Întrevederea viceprim-ministrului Dan Barna cu Søren Jensen, ambasadorul Regatului DanemarceiȘtiri din 18.03.2021 Prime Minister Dan Barna met with H.E. Mr Søren Jensen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Romania. During the discussions, the Romanian party voiced its interest in the Danish expertise in the field of the energy transition, health infrastructure and digitalization. The issue of the important Romanian community in Denmark, comprising a significant number of students, was also addressed. We are interested in intensifying the bilateral political dialogue and the relationship between our economies. To reach there, we need to see more trade exchanges, an increase in the Romanian exports to Denmark, and more Danish investments in Romania, stated Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna. 2021-03-18 17:04:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, ministrul Muncii, Raluca Turcan, și ministrul Transporturilor, Cătălin Drulă, la finalul şedinţei de guvern din 17 martieȘtiri din 17.03.2021 17:33:00 Dan Barna: “Închiderea MCV depinde doar de România”Știri din 17.03.2021, Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna discussed with the Vice President of the European Commission, Věra Jourova. The discussion focused mainly on the future Rule of Law Report on Romania and Romania's progress towards ending the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. Ending the CVM is a goal shared by both parties, and I have noticed an open attitude on the part of the European Commission. Yet attaining this goal depends only on Romania. The priority efforts for our agenda are correcting the justice laws, dismantling the Section for the Investigation of Offences in the Judiciary (SIIJ), and bringing the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code into accordance with the Constitutional Court's rulings. After 13 years in which Romania has been subject to exceptional monitoring by the European Commission, with major setbacks in 2018 and 2019, I am confident that our intensified efforts over the next period will lead to normal and predictable functioning of the rule of law in Romania. Mrs Jourova and the Commission's message was very clear: expectations of Romania are firmness and results, and we commit to deliver on this, stated Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna. 2021-03-17 14:33:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 16.03.2021 16:18:00 premierului Florin Cîțu în județul Dolj, alături de ministrul Dezvoltării, Lucrărilor Publice și Administrației, Cseke Attila, și de ministrul Apărării Naționale, Nicolae CiucăȘtiri din 16.03.2021 statements by Prime Minister Florin Cițu at Dolj Prefecture [Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Good afternoon. Thank you very much for the invitation! Mr Prefect, Minister, this is an important day and I like to attend such events, especially because its a project that will be ready in 2023. And then I have to make a public pledge. Now I have come to sign the contract, I will come in 2023 too when it is completed. These are the projects I want us to carry out, projects that we can complete on time, quickly, so that they do not extend over three, five, seven terms. I was surprised to see what this high school looks like and it is clear that it is not a recent problem, it is something lasting. I am unpleasantly surprised that, so far, no resources have been found to solve this problem, especially since it is an important high school and a high school with tradition. But thats why we are here today and that is the guarantee, I have come here to sign the contract, we will start this project, I will be here when it completes in 2023. If it works as it works at the Military High School, it will be ready earlier. Now I dont know if the minister has a different system, but at least by 2023, it must be ready. That was the main element of my visit here today. At the same time, I visited the Military High School, an impressive building. Then I visited the Military Hospital, again, an impressive building. Another message I want to convey is that, although we are still in a difficult situation, we are in a pandemic, exactly a year ago, we were in a state of emergency, we went through this period of days only because we have managed, with the existing resources, to invest them correctly. The challenge for every dignitary, during this period, also for decision-makers globally, is to stay with the economy open and keep people healthy. That was the first concern. If you keep the economy open, you can pay for healthcare and other expenses. If you have healthy people, you can also have a strong and open economy. That is actually the challenge, and we have been trying to keep that balance for a year. I did not know from the first moment, I felt that if we invest or continue investing we will have resources to be able to pay and to invest in health. That is why I am happy that even today we have an investment project, which is linked to health. We invest, we produce so that we can have more money to pay for health. Unfortunately, this is the period we are going through. Again, because I know a lot of people look at us, its very important to follow all the rules. We have to keep the mask even outdoors, we have to keep our distance. Every day we have a new city surpassing that threshold of three per thousand, and if we want to keep the economy open, its up to us. We relaxed the measures a little in the first part of the year and then we said clearly that if we want to stay that way, we have to keep these measures. Unfortunately, not everyone understood this, and today we see developments in the direction we need to introduce new restrictions, we have already announced them, you know them. I am not in favour of introducing harsh restrictions. I want, I repeat, as it was last year, we want to keep our economy open. But it is up to us to do this because only then will we be able not to lose jobs after this period. The vaccination campaign is going well and Im glad to see that for the doses we have so far - we really have no control here - from our point of view, when an offer from the European Commission to supplement doses, came up, we accepted it every time. In January, I supplemented with 8 million Pfizer doses, it was a decision that not many people backed then, but today, it seems that it is a very good decision, to supplement the doses. All EU countries took those doses. Therefore, we are further trying to offer all the doses we have, so that all vaccination appointments are made, there is no vaccination vacancy. This is why I was upset last week when I saw there were 20,000 vacancies in Timisoara, and they demanded vaccine. We cannot have such gaps. We need everyone to get vaccinated, and people should have vaccination appointments so that there are no more vaccination vacancies. The objective further remains - and we looked at when the vaccine doses come - to vaccinate 10.4 million Romanians by the end of September, which means 70% of the active population. And it would mean that we can say that we are moving to the other stage of the pandemic. There are clues that it might be earlier, but I wouldnt want to think about it right now. So, regarding the vaccination, things are going well, they went very well, they will go well. On the other hand, I went to the CNCCI meeting on Sunday, and the information I have had then was not very good. The number of intensive care beds had been declining since the beginning of the year, although I said very clearly that I did not want this to happen. But some hospital managers have decided to reduce the number of ICU beds. There were about 100 beds from the information we have had then. This is why I demanded very clearly and urgently that the number of beds increases to 1,600 to make sure that we will not face any further issues. Resources are missing. All Ministries, especially the Health Ministry have the necessary resources to increase the number of beds. Therefore, in addition to the positive event we have today here, we should remember that we still manage a complicated situation. We have a vaccination campaign that helps us exit this crisis and we still have a pandemic that we need to manage, and we are already in the third wave, and I will call on all doctors and all hospital staff, healthcare staff to be careful. I remind them that we went through a much more difficult period last year, alongside Mr Minister, and we have been through tough times last year, we will get through it this time too. Resources are there, but we need only to focus on them. I stop here. I will take some questions and afterwards, I will let Minister Cseke explain to you exactly about CNI projects. I add one more thing: Minister has in the budget an important sum provided this year, we have started with a bigger budget than last year for the Development Ministry, but furthermore, has significant commitment projects. (...) 2021-03-16 13:19:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu ocazia Zilei Maghiarilor de Pretutindeni – 15 martieȘtiri din 15.03.2021 09:15:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la ședința Centrului Național de Conducere și Coordonare a IntervențieiȘtiri din 14.03.2021 17:08:00ție de presă susținută de premierul Florin Cîțu, la Palatul VictoriaȘtiri din 12.03.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good morning! There are some things that need to be clarified. I have seen a lot of information in the media, and I say we need to pay much attention to it. First of all, the European Medicines Agency which gave a recommendation to the European Commission to authorize all types of vaccine from Romania holds the same opinion: the vaccination campaign should continue with all types of the vaccine while monitoring the possible adverse reactions. At the European level, 5 million persons have already been vaccinated with this type of vaccine, and we have, of course, a country - Great Britain - that vaccinates all population, and I can't fathom any government taking an irresponsible action in this respect. Therefore, we should have faith in experts, those who authorized, recommended the authorization of those types of vaccine, that they will further do their job. At the same time, I would like to be very clear, I said from the first day: I would have taken any vaccine, I would have got vaccinated with any of the types of vaccine. I got vaccinated with what was then available. But if there is a likelihood, if we have to get vaccinated again, of course, I would take any vaccine that will be available at that time. I trust the experts and especially the European Medicines Agency's experts. At the same time, in Romania, for a year now, there has been a campaign against these actions taken by the Government to stop the pandemic. There is a campaign against wearing a mask in public, there is a campaign against distancing measures and there is a campaign against vaccination. In my opinion, these actions are similar to the actions of some terrorists, because to thwart this activity of the Government, which aims to improve the health of all Romanians, is an action that seeks to undermine the authority of the state, without data. I repeat, we always need to pay heed to specialists, thats where the information comes from. Last but not least, I could see yesterday evening that some televisions claimed that the decision taken by Romania to suspend the remaining batch of AstraZeneca shots would have been my decision. It was not my decision but a decision taken by a group of specialists and like you, I am waiting for the scientific substantiation of the decision made last evening. Further on, you need to understand that trust - and this is why I am very upset this time on this campaign against the action - trust is very hard to win and we trust this campaign, and it ran and it is running very well, but if we are not careful, trust is incredibly easy to lose. We have to look at those who authorized all these vaccines and they are telling us today that there is no evidence to fear vaccines and we should continue the way we have done so far. Thank you! I will not take questions today, but regarding the safety of the vaccination campaign, by 3:00 pm, CNCAV (the National Coordinating Committee for COVID-19 Vaccination Activities) will have a question and answer session on its Facebook page. There you can ask the specialists' advice and please, inform yourself each time from specialists, this way, you can get the best information. Thank you! 2021-03-12 10:53:00 verificărilor Corpului de Control al Prim-ministrului privind circumstanțele în care a avut loc incendiul la Institutul Național de Boli Infecțioase „Prof. Dr. Matei Balș”Știri din 10.03.2021 19:20:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, la finalul şedinţei de guvern din 10 martieȘtiri din 10.03.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon! In today's Cabinet meeting, the IMM Invest has been approved, its extension for 2021 which includes the Agro Invest Program intended for farmers. Last year, when we implemented IMM Invest, we faced several issues, and we have felt the need to establish a special programme for farmers, a program with a one billion lei ceiling. I understand that the amount has already been requested and if it is a successful programme, as the IMM Invest was, we will take care to supplement the amount. At the same time, the draft emergency ordinance for the SMEs Factor was also approved, the same, one billion lei ceiling, two emergency ordinances long-awaited by the business sector, last year, they backed the economy, and the good results we have had last year in the economy, with the largest economic growth, in the fourth trimester in the EU, while jobs have been kept. These were the results of those programs we implemented last year which we extend. In today's Cabinet meeting, the draft law ratifying the agreements between the Romanian Government and the US Government on cooperation in connection with the Cernavoda nuclear and energy projects has been approved. This draft law is going to the Romanian Parliament in an emergency procedure. Prefects appointments have also been approved. Bucharest has a prefect, he will be sworn in tomorrow. The extension of the state of alert has also been approved. My colleagues stated that you have already seen the details, through the CNSU Decision. It is an important amendment regarding night travel, it is reduced from 23:00 pm to 22:00 pm, this restriction is being introduced. For the rest, measures remain the same. This is the most important measure from my point of view. Reporter: Good afternoon, Mr Prime Minister. I would like us to understand what is indeed the real issue with the publication of those lists from the Health Ministry. Florin Ciţu: I said this in the morning. From my point of view, there is no issue. 100 percent transparency. The data has been published, nobody got it from anywhere. The only issue pertains to interpretation, it should not be misinterpreted. I have seen several public interpretations, some biased and I think that here those who have published have the duty to explain them, whether what is heard is true or not, but, from my point of view, one hundred percent transparency is needed. I expect to see if there are other documents as well, as I said earlier, all published. Reporter: When formulating the vaccination strategy, did you take into account that there are also categories of special workers whose data will not have to be made public? Florin Ciţu: Of course. This is a strategy for any country in the world. I repeat I am not in a position to analyze whether or not they were. After all, the vaccination strategy in Romania is a success. We remain in the top of the European Union. I have said that I support one hundred percent transparency. The data interpretation is done by each one. Next, we continue this vaccination campaign. In March, 2.6 million doses of vaccines. At least three million in April. I believe that Romania has demonstrated to the European Union that it can have a successful vaccination campaign. Thanks. Reporter: The key question, Mr Prime Minister, is whether you were consulted by the Minister of Health before he published this data? Florin Ciţu: I wasnt, and now I heard from the press about the presentation of the data, but I dont think thats a problem. The data is public. I repeat, at every press conference on Tuesday, you know very well, this was my first wish from the very first moment to communicate weekly about the vaccination campaign. Every week, the number of vaccinated people, the number of vaccinated militaries, the number from other structures were presented. So, every week we tried to be as transparent as possible. Any approach in the direction of transparency, which observes the legislation in force, enjoys my full support. Reporter: And please, if you can clarify to us, in this context, if you were asked in the discussion you had with president Klaus Iohannis, to dismiss the minister of health. Florin Ciţu: No. By no means, no. Reporter: Or among the members of the National Liberal Party. Florin Ciţu: No. There have not been discussions. We dont talk about that. I said that the evaluation is based on the results. Each ministry has clear objectives in the programme for the government. Based on the implementation of these objectives, ministers are evaluated. Of course, also based on reactions to crisis situations, but mainly based on the implementation of the programme for the government. Reporter: In this context, the colleagues from Recorder obtained from official sources, here is the complete statistics about the vaccine doses until March 5. Their data show that more than 7,000 people were vaccinated earlier than they were entitled to, according to the rules of the National Strategy, and many of them skipped the line and were immunized in these special centres of law enforcement agencies. It seems that they are relatives of some employees from MAI, MApN, SRI. I ask you specifically, is there a parallel vaccination campaign and who has an interest in hiding such data? Florin Ciţu: You see, you have to ask the Ministry of Health if it has this information. I do not know. It means that the respective data says more than we are told, if we know who they are - we are talking about people, I understand that you already know the people who have been vaccinated. I was told that the respective data does not contain information about people, so it does not contain confidential information. So either it is speculation or that information says more and you have to ask an explanation from the Ministry of Health, those who published this information. Reporter: Good afternoon! You said today that you will see the report of the Prime Ministers Control Body on the Balş fire. I wanted to ask you if you saw it, what does it contain, and if you are considering a criminal complaint following it? Florin Ciţu: I have here a report note through the verifications performed at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. There are several things, things that some of you already knew, that it operated without fire safety clearance. There were non-conformities, I will give you some examples: the walls of the escape routes were not fire resistant; the fire detection, signalling and alarm installation were not fully covered; no optical and/or acoustic alarm devices were provided inside. Ill give you some examples. There are several things that my colleagues from the Control Body have pointed out. A notification is made to the National Anticorruption Directorate and it is about providing services in the field of emergency interventions with a generalized company - DGSU. It was not organized to be able to ensure the mandatory requirements in a hospital unit with a number of 640 beds. This is an important point. Electrical devices or ignition sources and which do not fall into the category of medical devices could be found in the institute's pavilions. There are several things. I repeat that these are for you. I could see, if we can make them public, for you to see them all, but I wanted to be very clear, I wanted to show that there is no problem at all. I waited for the Health Ministry to come up with their own reports, but it did not come up, this is why we came up with this report. I know that there is a greater interest to see what happened there and how we can correct or especially prevent such situations in the future. I hope to learn from these mistakes so that these do not exist any longer in the future. I expect measures as well. I know from the former Health Minister that there is a plan of measures, I got it. We are all waiting to see how many of these measures have been implemented and how many not. Reporter: One of the Health Minister's advisors posted today a message saying that Health Ministry does not have access anymore for two days, to that platform where deferred data has been published, I refer to I wanted to ask you if you know why the Health Ministry does not have access to that platform and if Minister Voiculescu talked to you about this topic, on today's Cabinet meeting. Florin Ciţu: No, I do not know whether or not it has access. You realize, I did not know it could publish. I have not seen this information in the media. Reporter: Dan Barna showed his public support for Vlad Voiculescu. Did you discuss with him if the analysis of the Control body will reveal the fact that no correct steps have been taken for an eventual withdrawal? Florin Cițu: We have not discussed such a thing and I do not understand where this avalanche of support comes from, I have a very good relationship with Vlad Voiculescu, we discussed the vaccination campaign, it is very important. At the same time, I told him that we need to focus on the pandemic, not only on the vaccination campaign, which is running very well, but I also want to focus on the pandemic. I have heard, for example, and I want to check if it is true that in Timisoara the number of intensive care beds has been reduced, which would be very serious. I would like to know this too, whether it is true or not, and I think we all want to know these things. We must not forget, we are still in a pandemic, we must respect all the rules and that is why we have introduced a new restriction in this Government decision on extending the state of alert. I said a few months ago, when I heard all kinds of discussions, to eliminate COVID hospitals or reduce the number of intensive care beds, I said that it is not the time, I do not agree and I will not agree with it. If something like this happened in Timisoara, I would like to know and therefore, I would like to ask this question publicly. Reporter: And a second question - you said, I think even today you have repeated it on several other occasions, that in terms of the accumulation of the pension with the salary, in no field would you agree to apply this. On the other hand, employees in the education system say that such a measure and the non-granting of that hourly payment for teachers would lead to a crisis of the educational staff. And that there are not many young people who would like to work in this field, given their salaries. Do you see any area as an exception? Florin Cițu: Until I see the draft law, I dont see any field except. At the same time, it is interesting how every time we want to improve things and we want to make them very clear, I also remember salary bonuses here, exceptions appear and so there were exceptions to the Unitary Pay Law which was said to have a single objective, that to reorganize the pay system taking into account the highest pay, the president's salary, followed by all the other salaries, afterwards, appeared the exceptions which were contrary to that principle. Exceptions will appear, if we allow one to appear, each one will find a justification. Before seeing the draft law in full, I do not agree with any exception. I do not think that the public administration cannot go further in the absence of the cumulation of salaries with pensions. It is an exaggeration from my point of view but I wait for these things to be further justified, to see if they can sustain each other. Reporter: Good afternoon! I would like to ask you what were the reasons underlying the change in the interval for night restrictions, why 10:00 pm? How do you see the pandemic development in our country considering that we have a new virus strain and that at the last restrictions, those from 11 pm to 5 am, it took a month until there was a decline in the number of cases? Florin Cițu: First of all, we looked at how all the other countries are doing and one of the first measures taken by all countries was to reduce night travel. It is a measure that worked, of course, if you look at Romania, we prepared a survey of this measure, to see how it looks in other countries - Romania is among the most permissive developed countries where you can travel after 6.00 pm. It is a measure which was used in other countries and is successful in Romania too, we were successful when we implemented it. We will see how it evolves. I say that the difference to last time when we imposed this measure is given by the vaccine doses. We started a successful vaccination campaign, in March, almost 1 million Romanians will get vaccinated, in April, this figure approaches almost 2 million people, so, in addition to what we have now. Therefore, the vaccination campaign which runs in parallel with these measures will help a lot. I said when the measures relaxed a bit during wintertime that it depends on us for those conditions to stay in place. Unfortunately, not everyone has listened to these recommendations, and today, we are facing this fact, we should introduce this restriction, a minor one, given the European context of the pandemic and what is happening in other countries. Reporter: I would resume the platform topic. We understand that this issue persists for two days. It is a platform of the Government, you are Prime Minister, and you tell us that you found it out from the media. Florin Cițu: I found it out from the media that this data is being published. Reporter: Has anyone raised this issue? Florin Cițu: No, nobody told me that somebody cannot use it. I myself have downloaded and studied the data, yesterday and the day before, and it worked when I accessed the data basis, I looked at this data. So, it worked. Reporter: Are you going to contact the Health Ministry? Florin Cițu: I think it is a technical matter, you realise that I am not a specialist, I do not realize whether or not it works. Technical things may happen, you remember that you had problems with IMM Invest for a month. Therefore, infrastructure, the Government's digital infrastructure is not among the most performing one, this is why lots of money has been allocated in the program for the digital transformation of public administration, PNRR - very large amounts for the digital transformation. I do not know what has happened, but I tell you, as we had issues with IMM Invest, it would not surprise me to have very large access and thus face a problem, but when I accessed it, it worked. Reporter: When can we see the New Home project? Florin Cițu: I am waiting for the respective Ministry to come up with the norms. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister: currently, the law allows the families of those working in defence and the national security system to be vaccinated? Florin Cițu: No. Reporter: It is a Government Decision providing this./.../ Florin Cițu: If that person is over 65 years and has chronic diseases, and so on. Reporter: That decision does not provide what do they understand by the military's family? Florin Cițu: I am telling you. So far, I have not been informed. I know only one case when the respective person tried this and was laid off. Therefore, I do not deny there have been cases and you watched them on TV too, it was a mayor who tried to skip the vaccine line and so on. There have been cases, but when I asked, and there was an entire discussion about fines, about skipping the vaccine line, when I inquired the Health Ministry, the CNCAV if there is such a thing, they did not have information, there have been about 100 and something cases that have been presented to me on time. Reporter: The Decision of January 20, I strictly referred to it, pertained to those categories: families of those working in the national security and defence system. Florin Cițu: I know it is a decision, it is signed by the Health Ministry and me. Reporter: Are you currently having statistics, how many such persons would have been fit for vaccination? Florin Cițu: I did not ask for statistics. Reporter: Did you not have it when drawing up the Vaccination Strategy, in order to know how many vaccines you need for every stage? Florin Cițu: We know who they are, to a great extent, the persons who are chronically ill, we do not have how to keep a record of those persons. They are coming and bring evidence they enrolled in the system, and they are ill. Reporter: How do they solve this conflict? Florin Cițu: I asked two questions. Thanks. There is no conflict, no issue, data are there, we analyze them. Data interpretation should be very clear, it should not lead to erroneous interpretations, those who are responsible for the data basis and the information, should come up and make those clarifications. Reporter: There were voices in the Parliament stating that if the problem is not settled at the Government level, then the Health Minister could be summoned in Parliament to give explanations. What will be the Government's position? Florin Cițu: I was summoned to Parliament to offer explanations, we all have to go to Parliament. Parliament is the legislative forum, and we are all summoned to Parliament to give explanations. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, can you give us examples of countries with such restrictions: night curfew starting 10:00 pm? Florin Cițu: France, 6:00 pm. And there are some others, we need to look at, I received the list last evening. I will post them on my Facebook page. But there are several countries. You should know that Romania is among the most permissive countries. Thank you very much! 2021-03-10 15:09:00ţii de presă susținute de premierul Florin Cîţu la ParlamentȘtiri din 10.03.2021 13:06:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului Național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 09.03.2021 14:08:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu ocazia Zilei Deținuților Politici Anticomuniști din perioada 1944-1989Știri din 09.03.2021 10:11:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la dezbaterea organizată de Consiliul Județean Vrancea cu reprezentanții structurilor asociative ale UAT-urilorȘtiri din 06.03.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Cițu at the debate organized by the Vrancea County Council with the representatives of the associative structures of the territorial administrative units(UATS) [Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Thank you for the invitation! This is the first time here in my official capacity. You also invited me during my tenure as a senator and as finance minister, I came as prime minister, its true. It is also the first working visit as prime minister, so things settled down properly. Thank you very much, I am very glad to be here today and to start with you because there will be other working visits to the country. You know very well that we have been stuck with the draft budget so far which was passed. And we have an impressive budget, I tell you, for this period that not only Romania is going through, but also the global economy. Last year, as part of Ludovic Orban Cabinet, we told ourselves from the first moment that it is a transitional government, we did not know that the crisis would come upon us, but from the first moment we saw things this way. We said that we will stop the fiscal wastage and the inefficient spending of public money. This was the objective last year. Of course, when the pandemic broke out, we had to change things along the way, and the objective was to reduce the negative impact on the economy, stemming from the economic crisis, so, a health crisis that turned into an economic crisis. And that was the challenge for us and the promise for Romanians, that we will do our best to be able to minimize the negative effects of this crisis. And we have succeeded. You saw the data for last year, in the fourth quarter, as we said the scenario that everyone ignored, some laughed at it, others said it was impossible. That recovery in the V of the economy came true and in the fourth quarter, Romania had the highest economic growth in the European Union and created the basis for this year, for 2021. The lesson I learned last year, in fact, I learned it in 2008 and I enforced it last year and saw that it works, it was simple: as many resources for investment as possible. If you want to grow, to have a strong economy, you have to invest. We have allocated more resources for investments, the economy has grown and we have had the income to compensate for the pandemic. Last year's challenge was to keep people healthy, but at the same time to have a healthy economy. You need a healthy economy to pay for healthcare, but you need healthy people to have a strong economy. That was the challenge last year and I think we succeeded. This is where the construction of the budget started, and this budget focuses on investments. The amount of 62 billion lei, allocated on projects that can be done, because that was another challenge, not to budget projects just to be there and then at the end of the year, to get the money back because they can not be enforced, this has been a practice in the past, we have allocated amounts exactly for those projects that can be carried out in 2021. Some will be completed, others not, but we are thinking in the next period. And another premiere started last year in the Orban Cabinet and was extended and this year is the budget execution for investments. We try to use European funds as much as possible. Last year we budgeted half of the investments to be financed from European funds. We kept our word, 47% of last years total investments were financed from European funds. This year, the construction is the same, half, a little more, 52%, should be financed from European funds and we will stick to this execution. Therefore, the budget is a strong, balanced one and I can tell you this as I read the analyzes of the specialists. Every time a budget appears, this year, we saw the independent institution which in Romania aims at assessing the way the budget was drafted, the Fiscal Council, an institution that was not so friendly with governments along the time. This year, they said something I am very happy with, that it is a balanced budget, and this year, it is perhaps the first year in which the budget is realistically built, .i.e. that deficit estimate of 7 percent - 7.16 percent is achievable, which is very important for me, to have a professional institution to say this. Here, we will see the EC institutions assessments, in March. All these three rating agencies will make assessments in April, but for the time being, the Tax Council, the first professional institution which states it is a balanced budget, a realist budget, therefore, we can attain this target. That's about the budget. Of course, another project that started last year and should be completed this year is PNRR (Recovery and Resilience Plan). The European Union reacted much better in this crisis compared to the crisis in 2008, and it came up very rapidly with two programs. One was SURE last year, which finances active measures, for which we have already taken a part of the money, therefore, there are loans we take at very good interest rates, and we can finance active measures in Romania and the second is the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). The plan is designed to make reform, to help make reform, because when you make reform, there are inevitably short- term costs. This plan helps to have the courage to make reform and finance the reform, finance short term costs. We set off with the same idea we had regarding the budget, to make reform, but this reform should be seen in investment. Therefore, you see that the resources allocated in this PNRR focus on investment projects. Romania lagged behind in terms of investment - infrastructure, railway transport, I think the most important thing, the emblem of this Cabinet, is to build new hospitals. Nobody has done this in 30 years, it is high time we do it, and you will see that considerable amounts are allocated in this PNRR for the construction of new hospitals. I know you too have a hospital here - the County Hospital, this hospital should be included in this PNRR. This is the only condition we have to meet - the hospitals we are about to build, should be completed by 2026. There are hospitals in Romania which can be completed by 2026. I ask everybody else with projects of new hospitals in their communities, to include them in this PNRR which can be completed by 2026. It is very important, I tell you because a lot of money has been invested in healthcare lately, and for this, new hospitals have to be built and we should start with this program. Therefore, there are several things in PNRR, we will discuss, but I want to draw attention to this aspect: I want new hospitals to be built by this government, I think it is important to start by now. In Focsani too, Yes, surely, it is registered too. The only condition is for the project to be completed by 2026, this is what we need. Of course, there are those climate conditions, digitalization, and there should be a modern hospital to take into account these things, but resources are there because this reform program help countries burn stages. There is this money. As for fiscal measures, we stick to what I said, and this talk will reveal another talk we had at the European Commission. Everybody asks us how we can make such a deficit reduction until 2024, which is ambitious, from 9, 8 percent last year to 3 percent in 2024. Everyone is wondering, I have seen an old issue being brought again in public attention. No, we do not introduce new taxes. To introduce taxes when the economy is working below its potential is suicidal, you may kill your economy. Romania has sources of funding in the economy, it needs better tax receipts, and this is done, I do not think that you only had to change one person or two, for you to achieve better tax receipts. This can be done without being compelled to change a person or two. Digitalization is the only solution we have noticed in the last 20, 30 years, in the EU, it increases tax receipts permanently. So, e-invoicing together with the connection of cash registers and SAF-T, there are only three projects at ANAF, they will increase revenues enough. So, I tell you, as I said at the European Commission: I am not in favour of raising taxes, I do not believe in raising taxes when the economy is below potential, because it is suicidal. We can reach that deficit of 3% as we have shown in the fiscal-budgetary strategy, through better use of the money we currently have. The money we have, if we use it smartly and effectively, we can manage to invest and reach a 3% deficit. So, we have a strategy, its already public, but were not into taxation. And two more things that I want to mention before we start the debate, in the budget, we extended measures that worked last year, and which helped the economy. We have extended the technical unemployment for those areas of the economy where due to the pandemic, because we have to admit we are still in a pandemic situation, the difficult period has not passed yet. I know that these days Bucharest has reached the red scenario again, unfortunately, all my public calls for citizens to wear masks were not always listened to and I said that it is up to us to stay out of the red scenario, it seems that we are back now. But, the measures stay in place: technical unemployment was extended, other measures that were there and helped the economy, Kurzarbeit for flexible work, etc. telework. We also support teleworking through budget measures. There are several measures that needed to be extended and an emergency ordinance was needed, this is SME Invest which resumed. And here, again a very important thing. It was a debate last year in the EU on how to sustain economies and there are two options. One, state aid, so you directly inject money into the economy and another was through guarantees. You should know that the countries that used guarantees, and Romania, I was then a supporter of guarantees, are the ones that won and it is very simple. When you offer guarantees, those who take this money are the ones who know and want the companies they run, to stay afloat. I know that guarantees also mean a loan and you have to give the money back, and then there are people who dont throw themselves forward just because they take some money to the budget and then make inefficient expenses. Not. Guarantees also have this way of controlling behaviour. Most EU countries are now returning to this system of guarantees, and guarantees instead of state aid. They are much more efficient and are the ones that help your long-term performance. So, SME Invest remains, it resumes, as I said last year, so it is still there. Agro Invest was established from the need we noticed in the market, because something else we did last year, we were not afraid to admit that some measures can be improved on course, following discussions with people. From the moment we introduced SME Invest, we saw how it is implemented, if it could be improved, we would have immediately improved it. Agro Invest emerged following discussions and seeing that the agricultural sector has some peculiarities that had to be taken into account we created this special program for the agricultural sector, also on guarantees, also on guarantee schemes, but it will help farmers to overcome this difficult period. Agro Invest, and as we did with SME Invest, starts with a billion lei ceiling. If it is a successful program, we increase the ceiling, as we did at SME Invest, so there is no problem to increase the ceiling if it is a successful program. So, Agro Invest starts with a billion, when we see that the ceiling has been used and it is a successful programme, we raise the ceiling. So, no issue here. Those were the messages, Mr President. Now, if there are any more questions. Thank you very much! 2021-03-06 12:35:00 Dan Barna l-a primit astăzi pe Excelența Sa Cord Meier-Klodt, ambasadorul Republicii Federale GermaniaȘtiri din 04.03.2021 have told Ambassador Meier - Klodt that we appreciate the excellent level of the relations between our countries both at the bilateral level and within the EU and NATO. The German minority in Romania and the important Romanian community in Germany make a significant contribution to this development. The economic relationship between our states is a success. We have balanced trade relations, and the German companies rank among the top foreign investors in Romania. We want these positive developments to be maintained, and to boost the level of trade, stated Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna. The two parties addressed the issue of Romanian seasonal workers in Germany. They agreed on the continuation of last year's efforts to secure the best working conditions and eliminate any potential issues that may emerge in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another topic of discussions was the development of vocational education in Romania, Germany's support in this respect was deemed welcome and necessary in the context of the Romanian economy's needs. 2021-03-04 18:57:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, la finalul şedinţei de guvern din 3 martieȘtiri din 03.03.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon! In todays Cabinet meeting, I would like to point out two draft Government decisions. The first, regarding the initiation of the expropriation procedure of all privately owned buildings located on the additional site, which are part of the expropriation corridor of public utility works of national interest, widening of four lanes, Bucharest South ring road; I wanted to mention that we are starting the expropriation and the project of the Bucharest South belt is advancing. I told you it is an investment budget and we start from the first day after the budget has been passed. And the draft decision on initiating the expropriation procedure of all privately owned buildings that constitute a corridor for the expropriation of public utility works of national interest, section 3B, Mihăileşti - Suplacul de Barcău, within the investment objective of national interest, the highway: Braşov - Targu Mureş - Cluj - Oradea, i.e, the Transylvania Highway. And here we continue both with the expropriations and with the highway project; I think that this draft Government decision is about 70 km. Also today, in the second meeting, I relieved 103 prefects and sub-prefects of their duties, 36 prefects of 42 and 75 sub-prefects of 85 were appointed. Tomorrow, after 1.30 pm, they will take the oath of office and, starting tomorrow evening, will take over their duties. Where no prefects have been appointed yet - six prefects have not been appointed - the subprefects will take over their duties. Thanks! If there are questions, I would prefer a maximum of two today. Reporter: A clarification, first of all, regarding the prefect of the capital, has Mr Traian Berbeceanu been relieved of his post? Florin Ciţu: Yes, Traian Berbeceanu has been relieved of his post. Reporter: And has Mr Alin Stoica been nominated? Florin Ciţu: The nomination for Bucharest has not yet been made. Reporter: So the capital will still be run by a subprefect? Florin Ciţu: That's right. Reporter: Its among the six. And if we were talking about the capital, the infection rate, Mr Prime Minister, is close to 3 cases per thousand inhabitants. We know that HoReCa in the Bucharest area requested you to change this threshold so that economic activity stays open. Do you consider such a change for the Capital? Florin Ciţu: I do not take it into account. At this point ... when we relaxed the conditions, I said very clearly that it depends on us to keep the number of infected people low, below 3 per thousand. We have seen that many of the citizens have relaxed, they no longer wear masks in the public space and now we pay the price of this premature relaxation. I repeat every time I have the opportunity: if we want to keep restaurants and other economic activities open, we must comply exactly with these conditions: wear a mask in public spaces, keep social distance, use disinfectant. You know very well that there have been many cases in which police came and fined the respective businesses. For instance, a club was fined 6,000 lei, and a few days later, the same club had the same problem. As long as we do not comply with these minimum conditions, we cannot talk about other measures. We must first comply with what we have and then we will talk about other measures. Reporter: You said that the economic operators, a large part of them, who had been fined, did not comply with the measures, reopened and were fined again and you said at the end of January that you would come up with a normative act, so that ... Florin Ciţu: I did, I tabled an amendment in the Parliament, unfortunately, the lawmakers did not pass it... Reporter:To what bill? Florin Ciţu: To Law 55, I think, because it was at the Defense Commission. If the amendment does not pass there, we will submit it in the form of a decision in the Government meeting. Reporter: Did they debate it? Florin Ciţu: It was debated but not approved. It will be re-submitted. Reporter: Nobody in the Defense Commission knows about this amendment either. Florin Ciţu: I tell you that it was discussed but not approved. I ask all my colleagues, if they want us to comply with the measures, and have a low infection rate in Romania, they should go for this option. If not, we will discuss it in the Cabinet meeting. Reporter: Why haven't you done it already? We just have an increase in ... Florin Ciţu: Because the correct option was to go to Parliament, to table an amendment to the respective law. Reporter: We have a final decision of the Bucharest Tribunal regarding the reopening of the August 10 case, if you can tell us how do you see this decision, in the first place? Florin Ciţu: It is a decision of the Tribunal and I can only comment it as a citizen. I am disappointed, it is true, to see that, in Romania, no one shot at us in December; no one is held accountable for the Mineriads either, and here again we have another event for which it is very difficult to find the culprits. As for me, I will make sure that the citizens of Romania will never again suffer from an abusive state, as it was the case in these situations. Reporter: What else can be done at the moment? Are there any remedies? Did you talk to the Minister of Justice about how it could be ... Florin Ciţu: I talked to the Minister of Justice. Well see if there are other remedies, whether or not, something can be done right now. You realize that I am waiting for the opinion of the experts in this situation. Thanks a lot! 2021-03-03 15:23:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la imunizarea cu vaccinul împotriva COVID-19, a persoanei cu numărul un milion Știri din 03.03.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Cițu at the Bucharest Emergency University Hospital, after the immunization of the one-millionth person with the COVID- 19 vaccine [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Thank you. This is a moment we have been waiting for a long time to see happening, since December 27. We are here now, we have the 1,000,000th person vaccinated in Romania. You will see that things will go at a much faster pace from now on. The initial target was to have almost one million by the end of March. We were very close. You must remember that we said that we were going to have 2.4 million doses in late March. Unfortunately, we will reach that figure only in March, we will receive 2.6 million doses, which means that we can kick off the third phase on March 15. Therefore, we will start the general vaccination and we still have in place, though, the 10.4 million vaccinated Romanians target for the end of September. The vaccination campaign goes well, we are at the top of Europe, always among the top three countries, and we will make sure that we will continue like this. Meanwhile, I should remind you that if we want a successful vaccination campaign, and to overcome the pandemic, we need to further comply with measures and obey all rules imposed like mask-wearing in public spaces. I have already seen a lot of people who relaxed, and do not wear masks in the public space. It is very important to wear masks in the public space, and I call on the Ministry of Internal Affairs, I will speak with Mr Lucian Bode to make sure that most MAI workers do their job. I see everywhere, in the street, in the metro, people who do not wear a mask. We cannot afford this at present, we cannot relax now. Thank you. I take one or two questions. I have to return to the Cabinet meeting. Reporter: It is a study conducted by The Economist, there is also INS data regarding the fact that in the past year, over 1 million Romanians returned in the country because they lost jobs. Florin Ciţu: 1.3 million. Reporter: Do you have a plan for these people? What will happen to them? Will they be integrated? Florin Ciţu: The study says they returned of their own will, as they found jobs in Romania, they did not return just because they are from Romania. The study is presented in the Financial Times too. It is clear they found opportunities in Romania, those who returned, especially in the IT sector. We will further take action as so far. Last year, the challenge consisted of keeping jobs and to make sure that the furloughed Romanians are able to return to jobs. They all returned as the unemployment rate in Romania is dropping. That means those people could return to the job and additional jobs have been created. We will continue in the same direction this year, especially that we estimate economic growth this year, in 2021. Reporter: What do you know about the investigation in Onesti, and the negotiations which lasted for more than six hours, are you pleased with the way the police officers intervened and if you continue to feel safe knowing how this tragedy happened? Last question: the attacker called the police both in Bucharest and in Bacau, what can you tell us about these calls? Thanks. Florin Ciţu: I spoke with Mr Bode about this case yesterday, throughout the day. I asked him for a quick investigation and at the same time quick measures if police workers are proven guilty. I urge anybody carrying guilt in this result, the culprits should be held accountable right away. I asked Mr Bode to conduct a quick investigation. Afterwards, after we receive the results, we will take the necessary decisions. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, what is the status of consultations with President Iohannis? Do you attend today's consultations on PNRR(National Recovery and Resilience Plan)? What is your message? What is the status of PNRR? Florin Ciţu: PNRR is a draft, I studied it yesterday, saw the allocations on budgets, I will discuss it with the President as well. I can say that 9 percent of the PNRR budget is allocated for education, almost 3 billion euros for healthcare, and we take a look at the others as well. The gas distribution is introduced as well. It is a discussion regarding the budget allocations and afterwards, we will discuss other projects as well. Thank you! 2021-03-03 12:17:00 premierului Florin Cîţu la votul final, în Parlament, asupra proiectelor legilor bugetului de stat și bugetului asigurărilor sociale de stat pe anul 2021Știri din 02.03.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Ciţu at the final vote in Parliament on the draft versions of the 2021 national and social security budgets [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Thank you, Mr President. I will be brief today, but I cannot help remarking how the PSD socialists motivated their vote. They said everything, except the real motive: they were cut from the budget and they cannot embezzle anymore. That was their only argument. For the rest, they will clamour all the year, but that is it. Lies, lies and only lies. We will dismantle some of these lies today, regarding the state social security budget. Revenues of 90. 3 billion lei, up by 10 billion compared to 2020, and up by 20 billion lei compared to 2019 when you were in office. The expenditure amounts to 90.2 billion lei, 89.24 billion lei of which - social welfare. Why can say that no money is allocated to social welfare? 89.24 billion lei! Let us consider them by chapters: 87.47 billion, effective expenditure for the public pension system, up by 7.7 billion this year. Why so? Because pensions rose. Do not lie anymore! Pensions rose in 2021 too. Therefore, up by 7.7 billion lei - pensions increased! 1.64 billion lei for social welfare, 1.44 billion lei for death allowance and 200 million for treatment vouchers. You see, we also take care of those who were less fortunate in life. 124 million lei for work accidents or vocational diseases. The unemployment insurance budget, built on total revenues of 4. 68 billion lei, 3.38 billion of which - unemployment insurance and 1.3 billion lei for the guarantee fund for the salary payables. This fund was used to mend the situation of Valea Jiului miners. We used the money and solved the problem which you postponed and you let the situation drag on for years and solved nothing. It is us who will solve the Valea Jiului issues as well! Last but not least, the social security budget is on the deficit. The decisions you have made in the last years of your government, irresponsible decisions, the fiscal debauchery put us in the situation of having this deficit. That means we need to allocate this year too up by 18, 19 billion lei compared to last year, as pensions increased, I repeat this, pensions increased and something else: we do all these, we pay more for pensions, salaries, and child benefits which increased by 20 percent, without increasing taxes, the way you did for three years, taxes which we eliminated from our first day of tenure last year. We did not increase any tax, and we pay more money and have higher budget revenues. I showed you how things were done last year, we show you how it should be done over the next four years. Take notes! Thank you. Press statements by Prime Minister Florin Ciţu, Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna and Vice Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor following the passage of the state budget and the state social security budget for 2021 [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: First of all, I would like to thank the MPs from the centre-right coalition, PNL - USR - UDMR, the minorities for having voted for this budget. It is a good budget, a balanced one, with which we start Romania's reconstruction and this can be done only through reform and investment. Therefore, I said from the outset: there are two things on which this budget focuses: record investment, half from European funds, and reform which many politicians publicly endorsed, but they all avoided it, and it is high time we do it. This budget pushes reform forward because I stated that only if we do not want to do it alone, we will do it through the budget. There have been some important days. I think it is also the first time when the Romanian Parliament passed a budget, with no amendment, which very clearly shows that we are a united, strong coalition, ready to withstand the next four years challenges as we have lots of work to do further on. Thank you. Dan Barna: The two days in which we voted the budget proved clearly something: there is a stable parliamentary majority, a government coalition seeking to make these reforms. Currently, Romania has a budget. From this moment on, starts the enforcement activity, the big challenge that these important projects that Romania needs and about which we have been speaking for 30 years, start becoming a reality in every corner of Romania, in each county, municipality, town or village. These two days showed that this centre-right coalition honours the commitments made to Romanians during the election campaign, and despite an opposition in which I have seen double votes, and that custom of stealing votes and when you are in minority, it can be even more ridiculous to do so, today's vote of MPs confirms that as of this moment, Romania enters on budget execution for the most ambitious budget that Romania has ever had. This is the result of these two days and it is a challenge for this Cabinet and also a commitment to Romania. Keleman Hunor: Good evening! Surely, in order to be able to vote this budget in two days, after a very good debate, we needed a thorough preparation of the draft budget, and this is why we were a bit late, indeed, compared to the initial timetable, because a very detailed preparation and public debate were necessary, and look that we managed to come up with a very well - devised budget, very well prepared, so that in 2021, we not only reduce the deficit to 7.1 percent, but we succeed in making investments in all important fields, from large infrastructure to health, from education to the environment and local development, there will be investments that will change Romania over the ensuing years. We need to look forward to the future, and we need to tell that we need multi-annual budgets and in 2021, we need to prepare in advance for 2022, because we need to aim at rather far targets in politics, so that economic growth and stability, economic predictability for investors take us to a direction in which every person, every citizen will feel that it is worthwhile working and making plans anytime for family, in the medium and long run. 2021-03-02 19:40:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 02.03.2021 16:00:00 premierului Florin Cîţu la prezentarea și dezbaterea, în Parlament, a proiectelor legilor bugetului de stat și bugetului asigurărilor sociale de stat pe anul 2021Știri din 01.03.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Ciţu at the presentation and debate in Parliament of the draft state budget law and draft social security budget law for 2021 [Check against delivery] Prime Minister Florin Ciţu: President, dear coalition colleagues, dear PNL colleagues, I'm telling you, without any false modesty, that this budget is the most important achievement since we started this term, at the helm of a centre-right coalition. It is the first budget of this centre-right government's four-year mandate and I will make sure, with my colleagues, that it will be a successful government and I will fight, first and foremost, for a better life for all Romanians. We will only succeed if we stay united and focus on exactly those goals that have brought us together - reform and investment. I can tell you that I addressed this budget with a great sense of accountability. I would like to address directly my PNL colleagues, and thank them as the vote of my PNL colleagues is the one that designated me Prime Minister, did me the honour and boosted my sense of responsibility. It is true that we are a government coalition, and the PNL is the largest party in this coalition, enjoys Romanians' confidence, and I represent the PNL in this Cabinet, which means PNL is in this Executive. It is my responsibility to guarantee that PNL will fulfil the mission entrusted by voters and of course, in this respect, I count on the full support of the PNL colleagues in this mission. The budget I present today for 2021, has two defining elements I am very fond of. We start reforming from the corners of the state, we stop 30 years of PSD theft from the budget, public money. It represents a firm declaration that Romania's path is in Europe, alongside our NATO partners. We guarantee to Romanians their safety and security. Now, before starting to present the budget, I will address the PSD lawmakers, I will give them a few seconds to take a pen, a paper and take notes, in order not to hear complaints afterwards. We are waiting for you, those who know to write, of course! The budget for 2021 is based on a deficit of 80 billion lei in the consolidated general budget. I will tell you about the ESA deficit. There are three deficits we are working on: ESA - 8.23 percent of GDP, compared to 9.1 percent, estimated for 2020, we adjust the deficit by a percentage point of GDP. The revenues of the consolidated general budget for 2021 are 364. 9 billion lei. /.../ Mr President, Romanians have this occasion to see on what the PSD is spending the money from taxes, just throwing it away. The budget for 2021: the revenues of the consolidated general budget of more than 64.9 billion lei, up by 42. 4 billion lei compared to the previous year, when we succeeded, despite all the things you said about us publicly, to have revenues as high as in 2019, when you had economic growth. Therefore, to be clear to everybody: in the biggest crisis of the last hundred years, the PNL Government managed to have revenues as high as in a year when you had economic growth. And you are speaking about tax evasion, if you understand what I mean: 47. 4 billion lei from European funds, by 13.8 billion lei more than last year. Therefore, you did not go beyond the children's age. You want allowances, I thought they are for children, not for MPs, but you see yourself as children, that's it! In estimating the budget revenues for 2021, we considered the following: 7. 3 billion lei - ANAF(National Tax Administration Authority) estimate on the recovery of tax obligations declared and deferred from payment through law effect, last year, 2.7 billion lei - ANAF estimate regarding the positive effects on budgets collection resulting from ANAF digitalization, and 5 billion - the annual distribution of the share of at least 75% of the unrealized profit in the form of dividends/payments to the state budget; 2.6 billion lei representing amounts to be settled from European funds on measures to prevent and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Im sure youll like the second part of the speech, but be patient. I have to give you the numbers, too. Expenditure of the general consolidated budget: 444.9 billion lei, up by 20.5 billion lei compared to last year. From the beginning, the construction of the 2021 budget was supplemented with amounts necessary for the payment of pensions, which increased, and allowances, which increased, amounting to 10.4 billion lei, so this year, the allocations have increased by 20%. I dont know if for you too, but we are checking, plus the mandatory expenditure of 5.7 billion lei interest and the EU contribution. Yes, the EU contribution, where you want to take the money from, in order to give it to the local barons, through the amendments you kept tabling in the Romanian Parliament. Investments in this budget are by 8.2 billion lei higher. /...; / If you read your e-mail, you would see what we did with the money. I emailed you every month last year to see where the money is, but if you dont open the email, thats it. Thus, the adjustment of the internal deficit in ESA in 2021 is moderate, in order to be able to continue the ample fiscal-budgetary support from 2020, to remove the negative effects created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, fiscal policy remains stimulating this year, so you cant talk about austerity when budget spending increases, when you have a stimulating fiscal policy, to translate it for you. The budget is built to encourage economic recovery in 2021, but at the same time reduce the budget imbalances that appeared during the period - and, again, please remember- 2017-2019, when you deferred invoices and incurred expenses. There are expectations from the business environment, such as transparency, predictability, stability, simplification of tax legislation and we will do that. I promised last year and I have kept my word. We have not introduced taxes in this budget and no other taxes have increased. We keep our promise in terms of taxes. It is important, and we will do so through this budget too, to accelerate the computerization process in order to increase the tax receipts through voluntary compliance. This is how it is done, this is how you increase your budget revenues, not through taxes, as you did, which we eliminated from day one. I know, Romanians lost hope that something can be really done. Ready! I am telling all Romanians that it is possible and that the time has come. We free the budget from PSD theft. First of all, reform in the central and local administration. I have already said it and I am going to repeat it, the public sector employees need to assume their decisions. Wages by 70 percent higher than in the private sector need to be justified. Double staff costs in the public sector, over the past four years, should be seen in this sector's performance as well. We do not see it, all Romanians who are working with state institutions say this. There must be responsibility and accountability. I have said it before and I repeat it: we need to be able to adjust the state sector to society's current needs. We cannot keep a state as the Communists built it hoping it will achieve performance in the 21st-century economy. The state sector revenues must be transparent and directly linked to performance, I outline this. It is counterproductive to expect that wages will increase anyway, regardless of performance. Enough, it is no longer possible, we stop the PSD mafia that has filled their pockets for years. And we come to the salary law, which will be in the Romanian Parliament soon and, of course, the bonus system will disappear. The way it is implemented at present, many of the bonuses disappear. But the most important thing is that those civil servants who do their job will also be best paid. Reform of state-owned companies. And Im looking at PSD again because here, I know youre going to be in a lot of pain. PSD is the champion, Mr Chairman Marcel Ciolacu, at destroying national companies. You are one of the main beneficiaries, you and your partners, and it would be good to explain today - you have a chance now- how you helped Omar Hayssam to benefit from the privatizations in Buzau County and, especially, from IPRS Băneasa. By the way, did you discuss the theft with terrorist Hayssam at the hunting party? Did you discuss it at those hunting parties, when you took pictures with him? Because we know what you discussed at the fishing party, Dragnea told us. We dont know what you discussed while hunting with the terrorist Hayssam, tell us now. State-owned companies carry billions of lei in arrears from one budget to another. Every year we throw good money into black holes, instead of investing. This cannot go on like this anymore! We cannot carry these losses with us, year after year, just out of fear. In the end, it was seen that if they are not performing, these companies will also go bankrupt. Some companies can be restructured, and I tell you that TAROM will be such a successful example, the restructuring began last year, and can make a profit. Others cant! But you should know that even the Romanians can no longer finance from their taxes the theft of PSD from these companies. It must stop here! The cost to society is huge! For 30 years, the Romanian political class has fled reform, clear and transparent measures, which are good for the whole society in the long run. We should no longer be afraid to demand performance, profit, transparency, accountability from state-owned companies on how public money is spent. And I say the solution very clearly: from my point of view, it doesnt work like that to keep wiping out debts, and for ANAF to become a real estate agent. In 30 years, debts have been wiped out, and those companies have made new ones. Without a clear restructuring program, we cannot continue! I expect managers paid thousands of euros a month to come up with a quick restructuring program. If they cant, they must say it now! Better to leave their job on their own initiative, than to be told to leave! And, yes, we will have fewer people, and here I know that it hurts you very badly to have in the boards of state-owned companies - people appointed transparently and competent people. The salary policy for 2021 for economic operators is provided in the draft law for everyone to see. Given that the salary spending is capped at the level of 2020, they cannot increase salaries, they have to deal with last years money. Reform in the local administration, because we have to tackle that too, is urgent and necessary. We have hundreds, maybe thousands of communes, in Romania, and cities, where town halls cannot, from their own income, pay their salaries, but in the last four years they have hired people and their salaries have also increased. If you cant pay salaries from your own income, then the government establishes your salary policy. We transfer this responsibility to the Government because you are not responsible. If you want us to make investments, reform and economic growth are backed by investments. And we continue to allocate record amounts in 2021 too, for investment projects. Yes, you can have record amounts allocated and budget execution as well in times of crisis, namely 61.9 billion lei, 5.5 percent of GDP. 53 billion lei was spent for investment last year, again a record amount. But what matters most last year and this year too is that half this money comes from European funds. /.../ I know, you will receive an allowance, but you have to enrol in the school. Scholarship, allowances are related to the school. Up 11.4 billion lei has been allocated to the Health Ministry, this is why I did not understand all this discussion in the public space, by 700 million lei compared to 2020 and by 2.2 billion lei more than in 2019, when PSD was in office and had a year of economic growth. So, it should be clear for all Romanians: in years of crisis, we allocated more money to health than PSD did during the 4 percent economic growth, so as to see the priorities of this Cabinet. Your reactions prove you either did not read the budget or you do not know how to read. It is worth mentioning that this year, record amounts have been allocated to the healthcare sector. In the healthcare chapter, we are speaking of a total of 56.9 billion lei. You will like this the most. The budget is an instrument whereby resources are being allocated in the economy. That is what the budget is doing. We get money from taxes and we reallocate it according to priorities. You could see that the priorities of this Cabinet are: reform, investment and healthcare, not as you did when you had economic growth. Therefore, we are in a period of economic growth, we allocated resources for all Ministries, and record sources for investment. A growing economy is possible only though investment, and following economic growth, we can pay pensions and salaries. Meanwhile, this budget is my firm statement for Romanians, that this year, for the first time, we will cut all the ways in which money is stolen from the state budget. It is my promise for Romanians and it is a firm statement. This is the worst news for you, at the PSD, the fact that you can no longer steal from the budget, it was your only source to enrich yourself illegally. From the reactions, I can clearly see that you have not read the budget and Romanians must know that the PSD is crying out both in Parliament and on TV not because they dont agree with the budget, as they havent read it and they dont understand it, but they are clamouring because they cant steal anymore. Its a call of despair, it is why the PSD is clamouring. They do not understand the budget, do not know what it provides, but they realize they cannot steal anymore. They are just interested in sponging off the budget and they realize that they cannot do such a thing anymore for the next four years. They are yelling and swearing because for the first time in 30 years, somebody has the courage to tell them: enough! Thank you. *** Statement by Prime Minister Florin Ciţu within the presentation and debate of the draft versions of the 2021 national and social security budgets [Check against delivery] Prime Minister Florin Ciţu: Thank you, President. In my opinion, PSD sources are as bad as many things PSD does, but thats it, we have nothing to do in this respect. I liked that PSD showed us again today that it does not understand to read, it does not know how to read a budget. You find out the most about people when you let them speak and PSD today showed, when it was let to speak, that they dont know whats in this budget, they really dont know, so it doesnt make any sense to talk about PSD anymore. I would like to thank the MPs from PNL, USR, UDMR and Minorities for the work they have done in recent days, for this budget to be passed without amendments in the Romanian Parliament. It is the first budget in the last 30 years that focuses on investments and reform and that is why PSD is clamouring. Romanians need to know that PSD is doing it out of despair. It was left without a source in the budget to finance all its illegal businesses. Some of them have been caught and are in jail, others are following, but I left them without funding and thats why these people are making a loud complaint. Thanks! 2021-03-01 17:32:00 premierului Florin Cîțu cu prilejul Zilei Protecției Civile din RomâniaȘtiri din 28.02.2021 13:32:00 Florin Cîțu a participat la plecarea primului lot de doze de vaccin AstraZeneca, oferite ca ajutor umanitar Republicii MoldovaȘtiri din 27.02.2021 14:59:00ţii susţinute de premierul Florin Cîţu la ParlamentȘtiri din 26.02.2021 14:30:00 Dan Barna l-a primit astăzi pe E.S. Dr. Ahmed Abdullah Bin Saeed Al Matrooshi, ambasadorul Emiratelor Arabe Unite în RomâniaȘtiri din 25.02.2021, Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna met with H.E. Dr Ahmed Abdullah Bin Saeed Al Matrooshi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Romania. During the meeting, the Vice Prime Minister emphasized Romanias decision to strengthen traditional relations with the UAE, with an emphasis on boosting and diversifying trade and promoting bilateral investment projects. In this context, the two parties agreed to continue their efforts to draw up an action plan aimed at establishing concrete steps for the implementation of the Strategic Economic Partnership between Romania and the UAE. Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna hailed the UAE Governments efforts to organize Expo 2020 Dubai. I am confident that the next World Expo will be essential in shaping the world in the post-pandemic period, stated Dan Barna. Note: Postponed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Expo 2020 Dubai will take place between October 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022. The theme of the Romanian pavilion will be New Nature and will propose a process of reflection on sustainable economic growth in the context of environmental protection challenges. 2021-02-25 16:42:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la dezbaterea organizată de Consiliul Naţional al Întreprinderilor Private Mici şi Mijlocii din RomâniaȘtiri din 25.02.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Ciţu at the debate organized by the National Council for Small and Medium Enterprises [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: I will be brief because I want to have a dialogue, it is better than a monologue, nevertheless, I should point out a few things. You were right, last year was a difficult year, especially for entrepreneurs, SMEs, the private sector. I appreciated the way you behaved last year, because, although they were about 1.4 million furloughed people, I have not seen any strike, I have not seen anyone taking to the streets, causing an uproar. We all accepted the situation, and we found solutions and for this, I appreciate the way you understood Romania's situation, last year. There were some good measures which we took last year and we improved together with you. IMM Invest is a successful program and the solution I have seen in other EU states, goes now from state aid, other forms of social aid, to this form of guarantee, therefore, it has been tested. At the same time, I want to tell you that before I get here, and from now on, I will say the same thing: the real heroes in the economy are the entrepreneurs. They are the ones taking risks, on their own money, they often win, they often lose but they have the courage to start over. Without this effervescence in the private sector, without you taking risks, with SMEs, which some of them become big companies, because thats where the big companies come from, therefore, without you, we wouldnt have a dynamic economy. And I want to thank you because, last year, its true, it was difficult for everyone, but the dynamics, the transparency, the collaboration we had together last year could be seen at the end of the year when Romania had the largest economic growth in Europe in the fourth quarter. Therefore, I think we have worked well and we will continue to do so. We have extended the successful measures - SME Invest and there is a hybrid, a younger brother, Agro Invest, for the agricultural sector, a kind of SME Invest for agriculture. Of course, the programme has been improved. We will see how far it can run this year, for how long we can go on, but I am telling you that there will be other programmes to support SMEs and this is the role of PNRR. There must be programmes to support this sector in the PNNR and I will make sure that there are amounts allocated under the PNRR. SME Invest, I have already said, is moving forward. The other programs, the three, and especially Measure 3, where there have been a few issues - I think there was a broader interpretation of that measure. When we talked about production spaces, no one was thinking about real estate - this is our interpretation. This is. Its true that you cant always know how its used on the other side. It is possible that a solution that we have in the short term, now, to eliminate those projects from Measure 3, which are related to real estate, and to move forward. It is a discussion that I will have with the Minister of Economy. It would be a pity not to go further with this measure and, I repeat, the whole problem arose in the way of interpretation, the way in which the Emergency Ordinance was interpreted. We were talking about production spaces, but the production, its true, has a broader meaning, it depends on who interprets it and how they interpret it. We try to find a solution as soon as possible so that the program is working. Payments for all others will start when the budget is approved. I hope that the budget will be approved next week and we will return to normal with the other payments. Regarding the export program, we have seen discussions in public space. I will talk to the Minister of Economy to see how we can find a solution. Commitment appropriations may be allocated in the first phase until the summer. If there are such projects, they can be contracted and then funded, but we will also amend the filter; perhaps the way these fairs, exhibitions were organized, the filter needs to be slightly modified, to make sure that they are targeted and that the money is not spent in vain. We want to support Romanian entrepreneurs to export, but we want to make sure that this is what the money is used for and then we will create some filters, a sieve of how they are purchased. I stop here so that we can have a dialogue. Thank you. 2021-02-25 10:56:00 premierului Florin Cîțu la evenimentul ”Performerii anului 2020” organizat de Bursa de Valori BucureștiȘtiri din 25.02.2021 by Prime Minister Florin Cițu at the Performers of the Year 2020 event organized by the Bucharest Stock Exchange [Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Thank you. Good afternoon. It is good to meet at such moments, although it is difficult because I know what we lived last year. One year ago, I remember when the pandemic started, or when we started taking those measures, we did not know what will follow, and two months followed when the economy was fully closed. There were very difficult moments because, on the one hand, we wanted to maintain the production capacity operational, on the other hand, how to pay for the production capacity to remain operational? Then, we had to make only one thing: show all investors on the capital markets, international or local ones, that we have a very good plan to redress the economy, to get it out of the crisis. I think we persuaded the investors last year and we managed to keep Romania's rating, in that difficult period, we managed to finance a deficit with lower and lower interest rates, which showed confidence in those measures; we managed to have two successful issues for the population, FIDELIS issues, and even in euros, record amounts - one billion euros was the second - and all these showed us that we took the right measures. People trusted the measures taken by that Government, and the confirmation of the figures, the confirmation of the reality came when we received the figures for economic growth for the whole of last year, the estimates at this time, which were better than any estimates of any specialist, even ours, and in last years fourth quarter, when Europe was going through other periods of lockdown, Romania had the highest economic growth. Thus, all this happened because we managed to put a plan in place, which earned the investors confidence, and I think this was the most important thing last year and is the most important for a Government, to earn the trust of investors. It is very difficult to gain that confidence, it is very easy to lose and we continue in the same direction this year as well. The biggest challenge this year is the vaccination campaign and so far, against all those who didnt give us a chance, Romania has a successful vaccination campaign. We are third in the European Union by the number of fully vaccinated people, who were given both doses, and 7th in the world. I dont think there was anyone to anticipate this at the start of the campaign. Nobody was expecting Romania to have a successful vaccination campaign, but just like last year, we do our homework, we take up a plan and carry it out. I made a promise last year and many said it was a campaign promise. No, it was not a campaign promise, we approved in the Government the draft law that went to Parliament to eliminate that populist nonsense, adopted last year, in the full electoral campaign by the socialist majority coalition, through which the Romanian state companies could no longer access capital from the capital market. We eliminated this because we needed to reform state companies, we needed foreign investors, investment, we cannot sustain this reform effort from the budget, we need technology and the know-how of foreign investors. Therefore, that draft law is in the Romanian Parliament, it will be approved soon, and we will do exactly what I said: we will attract foreign investors so that together, we can reform the economy. We lost 30 years, but I think we can recover as fast as possible. Thank you and congratulations for all you have done and still do for Romanians. Thank you! 2021-02-25 10:08:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, la finalul şedinţei de guvern din 24 februarieȘtiri din 24.02.2021 [Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: In todays Cabinet meeting, we have adopted several decisions and ordinances with the most important being the emergency ordinance by which we regulated the assistance that we are going to allocate to the Republic of Moldova, immediately, consisting of 20,000 anti-COVID vaccine doses. This is a donation that we are making, the first tranche from a total of 200,000 vaccines that we are going to supply to Moldova. Today, we have approved the emergency ordinance and as soon as its published in the Official Journal, we will need a government decision that we are going to approve, online maybe, if needed, in order to make sure that these doses reach Moldova as soon as possible. The emergency ordinance has been approved today, and after it is published, a Government Decision is needed, we will take it if necessary, in an online meeting, to make sure that these doses reach the Republic of Moldova as soon as possible. Other legislative documents adopted today. The Finance Ministry issued an emergency ordinance that clarified certain things. Several legislative documents have been adopted lately, and they cannot be implemented because the interpretation was difficult, and we needed to correct these issues. It was of course that issue with the countries put down on an addendum that we could not do a transaction with. We solved that too. Therefore, several administrative issues. I repeat, the most important decision made today pertained to the Republic of Moldova, the doses of vaccine supplied to the Republic of Moldova. Reporter: Regarding Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna's statement, has the Prime Minister or not exclusively the right to reshuffle Ministers? The Vice Prime Minister said that you should ask the USR or UDMR permission if you want to reshuffle a Minister. Florin Cițu: I know this discussion is interesting for you from another point of view. I observe the Constitution which clearly says how a reshuffle will be made. The rest, political discussions, what happens behind, that is something else, but when a decision is made regarding the reshuffle, as the Constitution provides, is only the Prime Minister's decision, and he has the last word in this respect. For the rest, we can discuss, and we do it all the time, but I spoke here about the Constitution and the responsibilities of each person in the Romanian Government. Reporter: Tell me if a legislative document was approved regarding helping the miners who were on strike lately? Florin Cițu: Yes, it was an addition. Last week, a legislative document was approved, and it was an addition because you know very well that miners received the salaries last year, but did not get that supplementation of vouchers and other extra salary benefits which were regulated through the Collective Labour Agreement. As the company is insolvent, we had to issue a separate Government Decision and find a source, it has been approved, it will be published in the following minutes, in order to make sure that money reaches as fast as possible Valea Jiului. Reporter: You can tell us what amount is and if it covers all... Florin Cițu: Exactly the amount we had identified, 11 million lei, therefore, what was asked, was given. There is no difference between the sum they asked for and what will be in the Government Decision. Reporter: I have a question linked to a decision taken today in Parliament, whereby public administration competitions are allowed again. I know that through this draft budget, we attempted a reduction in the staff costs, would not such a measure lead to an increase in expenditure with salaries? Florin Cițu: No. They will be employed within the salary envelope we have approved in the budget. Therefore, this does not mean necessarily that there will be bigger staff costs, only that they can be employed if they fit the salary envelope. Reporter: Do you have information on how many employees would be in this situation? What would be the deficit of employees? Florin Cițu: No. I do not know. Reporter: Good afternoon! I need a clarification: the 11 million lei will go on food and transport vouchers? Florin Cițu: Exactly, there are additional amounts. I understand it is about what miners did not get last year, and the spontaneous protest was carried out for that amount of 11 million lei. Reporter: Following the Recorder investigation, you sent the Control Body to the Romanian Waters, did you get the report from the Control Body? Florin Cițu: Not from the Romanian Waters, I received it from Bals, and certain measures have already been taken. I will tell them to you as I receive them. I told you, I received the Economic Inspection from Piatra Neamt, the report did not seem conclusive to me, I asked to be sent again. Therefore, things are on move. Reporter: We know it is at the Labor Ministry, a law banning the cumulation of pension with state salary. I wanted to ask you if you talked to Minister, and are there exceptions from this provision? Florin Cițu: Yes, we spoke. It is a draft law we discussed in the coalition. I have seen the draft law. The Labor Ministry can issue a detailed communication over the next days. It will be a public debate and we will see whether there are exceptions or not. It seems a very good draft law to me. We tried this last year too and it seems normal to me that when you retiree, you decide whether you want to get your pension or to stay employed, then, you have to give up the pension. Reporter: And on another topic: we see several of your Cabinet Ministers delegating some of their powers to the Secretaries of State. How do you see it, is it normal practice? Florin Cițu: It depends on the sort of powers, I do not realize what you are referring to. It is normal to delegate some of your powers. Sometimes, you cannot reach the Cabinet meeting, then, you have to delegate of your powers, therefore, it depends on the situation, but sometimes, powers are being delegated. Reporter: Regarding drought compensations, we know the farmers grievances, we have seen them in the street, the Agriculture Minister claimed that currently, it would not be the money necessary for these compensations in the state budget, and one can try a compensation at the level of tax claims. Basically, to exempt from paying income tax, CAS, CASS. Do you consider such a variant and when, because at the moment we know very well that I am in a rather difficult financial situation? And, in the package, this question, we know that you have discussed, I do not know if it was approved, an emergency ordinance on the classic aid scheme from European money also for farmers. Florin Ciţu: Yes, lets start with the simplest. Of course, the schemes were extended, it was an emergency ordinance, the scheme was extended from European funds. Regarding those amounts, things are simple, from my point of view. Last year, the Romanian Government allocated the largest amount for drought compensation - 1.1 billion lei. Those were the claims, I compensated them. If we think in the future that there will be a drought or something, we will see then. Not even last year were the amounts allocated in the budget at the start of the year, and they were allocated on the budget rectification. I do not see the sense of this discussion. Last year, 1.1 billion lei were allocated from the budget for drought compensation. Reporter: These are overdue payments from last year, Prime Minister, I do not mean what will happen in 2021, obviously. Florin Ciţu: I repeat, last year, there were1.1 billion lei, we paid 1.1 billion lei; that was the amount I announced publicly last year and I paid from the state budget. Reporter: I would have another question for you. Florin Ciţu: Sure. Reporter: Can you tell us what is the state loan requirement for the current year? Because, here, the public debt reached 47.7%. Florin Ciţu: The need for a direct loan is the budget deficit. What comes from the past, well see, I think about 40 billion. But the Ministry of Finance will come up with the strategy and it will be published - it has time after the budget is published to come with it publicly, but at least 80 billion. This means that 80 billion lei more will enter this economy this year. So we take money from the economy, 336, and the rest up to 449 we have a deficit, to cover expenses. There is extra money in the economy, 80 billion lei. Thank you very much! 2021-02-24 17:59:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului Național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu Gheorghiță, și secretarul de stat în Ministerul Sănătății și vicepreședinte CNCAV, Andrei BaciuȘtiri din 23.02.2021 14:29:00țiunea premierului Florin Cîțu la "Ora prim-ministrului"Știri din 22.02.2021 17:56:00ânia sprijină autoritățile din Republica Slovacia în eforturile de combatere a pandemiei COVID-19Știri din 21.02.2021 responds to the request for international assistance from the Slovak authorities. This response represents the concrete solution of the European Unions SOLIDARITY with the member states. The Slovakian medical authorities now need help more than ever, and our message is simple - the Slovak health workers must not be left alone in this unbalanced fight against this invisible enemy; YOU ARE NOT ALONE. A team of five doctors and nine nurses, established through the help of the Department for Emergency Situations, is ready to help the Slovak medical authorities. In the context of support for efforts to combat the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and following the activation of the European Civil Protection Mechanism - as per the request received by the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, in its capacity as national point of contact, from the European Commissions Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC) - the Romanian Government is ready to provide assistance to the Slovak Republic by dispatching a medical team specializing in anaesthesia and intensive care. The team of five doctors and nine nurses will also be accompanied by two IGSU representatives. It will be a 21-day mission. Both the medical team and the IGSU representatives who will provide support for the smooth unfolding of the mission, including liaison with the Slovak authorities, will set off as soon as the Slovak Health Ministry accepts Romanias offer. The action is funded by the European Commission through the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI). 2021-02-21 11:18:00ţii de presă susținute de premierul Florin Cîțu la finalul ședinței de guvern din 19 februarieȘtiri din 19.02.2021 [Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Good evening! We approved the Law on the 2021 state budget. This is the document. We also approved the Law on ceilings, on specific indicators set out in the fiscal-budgetary framework for 2021, and the Law on the 2021 social security budget. Of course, they are accompanied by the 2021 - 2023 Fiscal-budgetary strategy and the Report on the 2021 macroeconomic situation and its projection for 2022 - 2024. They will all be made public, they were in the decision-making transparency process. The approved version will be released when the budget is referred to Parliament for debate and approval. There have not been important amendments in today's meeting. The deficit stays the same. Total expenditure under the general consolidated budget is 397,515 million lei and personnel expenditure stands at 109,511 million lei. The state budget provides for a total expenditure of 223,702 million lei, and personnel expenditure stands at 55,834.9 million lei. The general consolidated budget deficit or the balance of the general consolidated budget deficit amounts to 80 million lei. Nothing has changed. Also today, we approved the evolution of the deficit, the annual structural balance of the public administration, the annual deficit. As per structural estimates, it is 7.42 in 2021, in 2022 - 6.07 and in 2023 - 4.83. This is the structural balance that is calculated in relation to the potential GDP. There have been some changes, transfers from certain chapters, for example, some transfers were made from the reserve fund to finance some investment projects that were included in certain annexes. Otherwise, the budget remains within the initial parameters and goes to Parliament for debate. Reporter: I wanted to ask you if at the Ministries - especially at the Health Ministry, there were a lot of public dissatisfaction in this respect, were there amendments to the budget for 2021? Florin Cițu: I see it is a recurrent topic and I do not realize how. I have not noticed such public complaints. The Health Ministry's budget was bigger in the beginning, but on today's meeting, certain amounts were reallocated from the reserve fund on today's meeting, for certain objectives of the Health Ministry. The budget of the Transport Ministry was also supplemented, but not very much, with certain objectives financed from the Reserve Fund, at Government's disposal. Reporter: What amounts are you talking about? Florin Cițu: The total amount which was amended - around a few hundred million, 200, 300 million, it is not exact, we'll see, but not only for these Ministries. There are several objectives that were financed from the Reserve Fund, projects which are important for communities and help develop certain communities. Reporter: And a question for another topic: about the salary benefits. We understand that they will be capped or eliminated, through the salary law which we are working on, at the Labor Ministry. I wanted to ask you if these amendments take effect in 2021, regarding those salary benefits which will be eliminated, those amendments will be applied from 2021 including. Florin Cițu: Let us see first how the salary law looks like. My objective is not to eliminate something, but to re-arrange the way the revenues are allocated in the public sector, we want to make this direct connection between performance and revenues. It is about that. At the same time, we have some other principles, one that was very many times presented publicly: it was about the president's salary, it should be the highest salary in the public sector. From here, all kind of exceptions. We want to correct these exceptions. I would like us to be very clear: the new unitary pay law wants to introduce this modern approach. We said that we are speaking not only about this law. I will propose to the Coalition on Monday, that the leading positions be two terms of office at maximum in public administration, with evaluation at every three years. That means a civil service body, the way is in all developed countries, we still do not have something like this now. Reporter: If you allow me, can you say if the Labor Ministry can stipulate in the law when it takes effect in 2021, or 2022? How will it be? Florin Cițu: Of course, it will stipulate. When we have the law, we will see when it takes effect. Reporter: I would like to ask you if you consider you had 100 percent the PNL support in this reform implementation you requested? Florin Cițu: Surely! The National Liberal Party is a party that wants reform, and you will see that we will make reform alongside the National Liberal Party, however, you have seen the PNL leaders endorsing reform publicly, exactly in the aforementioned direction. We have a programme for government, setting out clearly the principles underlying this society we are building now and it is clear that we have the PNL support. Reporter: As regards the salary benefits, what is your message for the Romanians who in 2020, for instance, lost their jobs or receive the unemployment benefit, and I see nevertheless that the state sector employees further receive all kind of benefits? Florin Cițu: In 2020, I allocated record sums to make sure that Romanians do not lose their jobs. 1,400,000 people have been furloughed, by the help of amounts that have been received from the state budget. I helped their return to the job by paying 41. 5 percent of their gross salary. If we look at figures, we see that we did not lose jobs, on the very contrary. The unemployment rate constantly declined last year, and we had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU again, and the fact that it did not go down or these effects are not seen in the economy, is due to having the biggest growth in the EU, in the fourth trimester. Therefore, it is clear that the economy has achieved performance, that jobs remained. We take a look at consumption. Revenues have been there, therefore, the sums allocated from the budget covered that cost that might have appeared in the economy. Reporter: But, nevertheless, these salary benefits are 27 million lei. Florin Cițu: Billion lei. I presented you with the situation. I told you about the way they are paid today, and the way in which these revenues reach public administration, and we should also demand performance and this is why we will have this pay law. Reporter: How do you solve the situation of miners who blocked themselves in the underground? Florin Cițu: I have read now a piece of news that the protest ended. Reporter: What did you agree with them? Florin Ciţu: You know very well that in yesterdays government meeting, an emergency ordinance was approved, through the Wage Claims Guarantee Fund, to qualify, and that means paying salaries for the next three months. Reporter: When does the money reach the people who protested? Florin Cițu: Today, this ordinance has been approved, it has already published. The Ministry of Labor told us that it will have the Government Decision to enforce the ordinance immediately. Therefore, this means that when it is published, the government decision will be discussed in the Cabinet meeting. If it is ready on Monday morning, we will have an online meeting on Monday, just to approve this Cabinet decision. Reporter: Former Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, the partys president, has announced that he is tabling an amendment on free student tickets, he wants students to benefit from 24 free trips. What is their budgetary impact? And please explain to us precisely what the effects of this amendment would be. Florin Cițu: We will see the budgetary impact of the amendment. If this amendment does not come with funding sources, it would mean an increase in the budget deficit. But I am sure that such an amendment will be debated in the Romanian Parliament without affecting the budget deficit, this means that it will come with funding sources from somewhere. Either we cut spending elsewhere, or, I dont know, well see what the amendment looks like. But I tell you that we cannot increase the budget deficit, so I am sure that this amendment will also have a source of funding. Reporter: Do you expect other amendments tabled by the governing coalition? Florin Cițu: No, I dont expect anything else, no. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, Law 1 of January 2011 provides budget allocations for education of 6%. I understand that you have announced the postponement of that 1% for research for next year, but the unionists in education accuse you and your predecessors of breaking the law through that artifice of extension. Does the Government break the law in this respect? Florin Cițu: No. The Government is allocating this year, and last year too, we allocated additional resources for education. The discussions I have with all sectors, not just with this sector, are very simple. I am ready to allocate more resources, but I would like to start linking these resources to performance. And I would like to see in all sectors, in all the budgets that we allocate, an analysis in terms of the quality, and then we will allocate more resources. Because, you should know that in these sectors, very large resources have been allocated annually. I calculated a few years ago, 2 years ago, in 10 years, about 60 billion euros were allocated to this sector. I would also like to know what this money was spent, and if it had any impact if the Romanians feel that this money went to this sector. So, we need to make a clear analysis of how we are spending this money and on what we are spending it. Reporter: For clarification, please, we know that there are several sources of funding for education, both from other ministries and administrative-territorial units. If we draw the line, please tell us we reach 6% of GDP or what is the exact percentage? Florin Ciţu: No, we do not reach 6% of GDP, but it is more than we spent last year, it was a record amount. Reporter: What is happening with Deva students, if the protest ended, and if it continues, do you have a solution for them? We understand that the courses are moving online, because, in fact, the Mintia Thermal Power Plant no longer has coal. Florin Ciţu: Thats what I said, its moving online, well see now if the protest has stopped. I hope the situation has been mended. I am also in contact with the prefect there, I was also with the minister of energy. We see what the solutions are along the way. For now, we wanted to defuse this situation, we go even further and we see how the situation evolves. Reporter: You told us that more money will be allocated to the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Health. I wanted to ask you what happens at the Ministry of Development, if you eventually allocate more money there, to the National Investment Company and for the PNDL budget, which we know is 4 billion lei? Florin Ciţu: No, no more resources were allocated, these resources remained. Several commitment appropriations have been allocated there because we want the local authorities to build or have projects in the future and we will see what kind of projects they have, but I tell you that I have talked to the Minister of Development and a large part of the projects that were at the Ministry of Development, passed to PNRR. So, we will use these funds from PNRR, for local development. Reporter: Are there other ministries where you also increased these loans? Florin Ciţu: Yes, they increased a bit to education, healthcare, transports, but they are not very large amounts, just reallocations of resources from the Reserve Fund. Reporter: Last week, you said that you did not receive the restructuring plan from companies - it is my last question. Now, that you passed the budget, did the Ministers come with those restructuring plans for the companies where the state is the majority or minority stakeholder? Florin Ciţu: We will make the state companies' restructuring this year. The budget requires the restructuring of these companies. I told you in the beginning that if I do not come up with the restructuring plans, through the budget, we will make this restructuring, we will be forced to come up with a restructuring of these companies. Therefore, you see that during this year that a restructuring of companies will take place, and there is an article in the budget clearly stating that at mid-year, we will make the evaluation of the budget execution, and where the budget execution is not the way we planned, then, those sums will be reduced for the respective Ministries and from there, start the evaluation of Ministries or of the performance of every Ministry. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, I would like to ask you why you eliminated the holiday vouchers, the free trips for students, you froze the pensions but why you did not also eliminate the salary benefits and special pensions through an emergency ordinance, the way you did with the first? Florin Ciţu: Some of them were approved by laws passed in Parliament and they would have been very easily attacked, and it would have been a work in vain. What we could do through an emergency ordinance, we did, the rest will be done through the Romanian Parliament. You have already seen, the special pensions of MPs have been eliminated. We will see how other measures will be taken. Reporter: What is the period of time within which the Labor Ministry's draft law will be presented, sent to Parliament, regarding the elimination of special pensions and salary benefits? Florin Ciţu: We will have to discuss this with the Labor Ministry. I know that working groups have already been established for both draft laws. I tell you that both the pension reform system, the pay reform are included in PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). Reporter: Will it be debated in this parliamentary session or in the autumn one? Florin Ciţu: I hope it is in this parliamentary session. Reporter: When is this draft budget going to reach Parliament and when do you estimate it will be approved? Florin Ciţu: It may reach Parliament, as there have been certain amendments today to the text, this weekend, and the calendar depends on the reunited Standing Bureau. I hope it to be as soon as possible. Reporter: Give us some examples regarding those objectives for which you allocated money from the Reserve Fund. Is it about hospitals and what hospitals? Florin Ciţu: There are also hospitals, and feasibility studies, and an airport, there are several projects. Reporter: And the last question regarding miners, those from Hunedoara Energy Company. In addition to that short - term solution, what will happen with those people, what is the solution? Florin Ciţu: I am awaiting a plan from the respective Ministry. You saw last year we were successful regarding the restructuring plan of Tarom. Tarom sticks to that restructuring plan and hopefully, it returns on profit. I am further waiting for a plan from the Energy Ministry. Reporter: Is it a deadline for this plan? Florin Ciţu: The deadline is linked to reality. It should be as soon as possible. Reporter: I wanted just a clarification: you mentioned a deficit of 7.42 pct. Therefore, is it no more 7.16 pct? Florin Ciţu: It is about the structural deficit. The structural deficit is mentioned in the ceilings law. The structural deficit is the one we calculate regarding the potential GDP. There are several deficits at which we take a look: the cash deficit, the ESA deficit, and the structural deficit. For instance, we look at the structural deficit in the Fiscal Pact. In Romania, we look at the cash deficit. With the European Commission, we discuss the ESA deficit. There are three types of a deficit. Reporter: That from GDP remains at...? Florin Ciţu: At 7.16 pct, I told you, I started with that, I said that 7. 16 pct is not modified. Reporter: You said as of Monday, you can organize a new meeting regarding the Government Decision on the implementation norms or... Florin Ciţu: The implementation norms for the emergency ordinance regarding the Guarantee Fund for the salary payables. Reporter: I would like to ask you if nevertheless, amendments are adopted in Parliament, making the deficit harder, what is the solution the Government is preparing? Florin Ciţu: We will see then what the solution is. I repeat I do not think that we should go beyond that deficit. If there are amendments approved in Parliament going beyond the deficit, we will see what the solution is, we can send the law back to Parliament. I stick to this deficit, we announced it publicly, it is agreed at the international level, and it is a deficit that puts Romania on the right path over the next period. Reporter: I know that you had a discussion within the Coalition so that the MPs backing the Coalition do not table amendments. Nevertheless, we have statements in this regard, in which the PNL MPs, including the PNL chairman Ludovic Orban and also those from the USR or the UDMR, want to table amendments, especially on areas they represent, for the counties they represent, and certain investments in that area. Did you have that talk and do you resume it on Monday? Florin Ciţu: I know no amendments will be tabled in the Romanian Parliament. Let us see what is happening in Parliament. For the time being, I know that no amendments will be tabled in Parliament. Thank you. 2021-02-19 21:43:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, viceprim-ministrul Dan Barna și ministrul justiției, Stelian Ion, privind unele măsuri aprobate în ședința de guvern din 18 februarieȘtiri din 18.02.2021[Check against delivery] Prime Minister Florin Cițu: Good afternoon! In today's Cabinet meeting, we approved several legislative documents, but two are more important. First of all, a draft law on the abolition of the Section for the Investigation of Judicial Crimes (SIIJ) has been approved. Its clear here, it is a promise made by the governing coalition, but at the same time, a recommendation for the observance of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, there are many things we have taken into account there. The details of this draft law will be presented by the Justice Minister. I can tell you one thing: The Superior Council of Magistracy(CSM) gave a negative opinion both when this section was established, and now, but not because they dont want the dissolution of the section, but for other reasons. I repeat the details will be presented by the Justice Minister. In todays Cabinet meeting, we approved the Emergency Ordinance regarding some fiscal - budgetary measures, and for the amendment of some legislative documents. It is about the Emergency Ordinance we needed to be able to approve the Budget Law. This ordinance will be published in the Official Gazette, and afterwards, tomorrow, we will have a Cabinet meeting, in which we will approve the Budget Law for 2021. You know very well what this ordinance provides for: eliminating the 30 percent salary benefit for the prefect office's staff, maintaining the value of the pension point to 1,442 lei in 2021 - a state budget saving of nearly 9 billion lei. The coming into force of Law 195/ 2020 on the status of railway personnel is being postponed for April 1, 2022. A necessary legal framework is being instituted so that the amounts unspent from the allocations for free transport for students can be used by universities over the next years to grant scholarships; the National Education Law is amended, establishing the right of students to benefit from 50 percent transport discount and repealing the provisions which established free transport for students. The holiday vouchers validity has been extended until 2022. The holiday vouchers from 2019, 2020, are still valid and in use. Some questions as the Justice Minister is here prepared to answer you, as well as Mr. Vice Prime Minister. Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, tomorrow, we will have the budget. Are any changes likely as compared to the variant which has already been announced? Florin Cițu: No, compared to the deficit variant. The budget deficit remains as established, there are amendments, perhaps, inside, different allocations, more commitment appropriations. Reporter: Are there Ministries receiving more money? Florin Cițu: We do not talk of more budgetary loans, it could be possible to have a higher allocation to CNI and PNDL, at the Development Ministry, but for the rest, it is about commitment appropriations, especially amounts to be allocated through commitment appropriations, to allow contracts to be concluded this year and of course, will be paid next year. But the budget deficit remains at 7.16 percent, with the same parameters expenditures and revenues. You have seen very well today the opinion of the Fiscal Council, which says that it is a credible budget and believes that this budget deficit can be reached this year. Reporter: It is nevertheless a budget which received a negative opinion from the Economic and Social Council. Florin Cițu: Yes. Interesting, isn't it? The budgets that destroyed Romania between 2017 and 2019 received positive opinions, the budgets that increased unsustainable budget expenditures, especially personnel ones, received positive opinions, the budgets that restricted the economic space in Romania and introduced all kinds of interventionist laws received a positive opinion, and this budget, which receives, for the first time, a positive opinion from the Fiscal Council, from professionals, those who are professionals say that it is a credible budget, receives a negative opinion. But in the end, you know how it is, politics is still a problem. Political decisions are still a problem in Romania, thats why I said that we have to make the reform from the ground up and I assume this. Reporter: Several miners /.../ Regarding the opinions, there are some recommendations from the Fiscal Council, the Economic Council, recommending you to introduce new taxes in order to increase revenues to the state budget. I would like to ask you if you take into account these recommendations if you intend to introduce new taxes this year or the next? Florin Cițu: These recommendations are always from the Fiscal Council and other similar bodies, they existed last year too. Last year, contrary to those who believed we will not succeed, we succeeded in keeping the economy afloat, achieving better results than estimated, borrowing cheaper and funding all budgetary deficit without raising taxes. I said in the very beginning, that we will not introduce new taxes, we will demonstrate that we can develop the economy, and avoid tax evasion, through the digital transformation of the public sector and public sector reform. There is no need to introduce new taxes over the next period. The receipts - and you looked at this in the Fiscal Council's report, we should also look at the part clearly saying that the estimated revenues could be underestimated this year, for the first time. We could have bigger revenues to the budget than estimated and the recommendation of the Fiscal Council is to use these revenues to reduce the budget deficit. Reporter: Where from could these extra revenues come? Florin Cițu: From economic performance above expectations. If you look there, the Fiscal Council stated that it expects an economic growth between 4- 5 percent, which is much more than what all these institutions estimated for Romania a few months ago. Reporter: I have one last question: regarding salary benefits; we saw that, again, this time, the CSM is dissatisfied, first of all, with the statements of the Minister of Labor, Raluca Turcan, regarding the cut of extra salary benefits. I would like you to tell them if you still think that the benefits in the budget system can be cut or at least capped this year? Florin Ciţu: As I said, the salary benefits or the Salary Law was passed by the Romanian Parliament. It is normal to submit a salary law in the Romanian Parliament, which will re-establish all this - the payroll, the salary benefits system; but what I want to remind Romanians is: there are 110 billion lei worth staff costs, in 2020. Of these, almost 27 billion represent salary benefits, so almost a third is represented by the salary benefits. These staff costs doubled in the period 2016-2020. I just ask the Romanians if they felt an increased performance of those who receive benefits representing a third of their salaries and had their salaries doubled during this period? Its a question we all need to answer, and thats why I remember the need of reform and linking performance to revenues. And then we can talk about salary benefits. Thanks. Reporter: If I may ask you another question, several amendments are being prepared in Parliament for several infrastructure projects, and more. If there is money left and could it be adopted in Parliament? Florin Ciţu: We have allocated resources in this budget at a historical level for investments. As we did last year, and this year, it is an investment-oriented budget and, you will see, this year too, the budget execution will be very good. Reporter: In the context of salary benefits, I wanted to ask you if you are considering looking at the allowances of the Board members or of the general meetings of shareholders? Florin Ciţu: Of course. It is a draft law that I am already working on, capping the number of Board members, the number of boards you can be a member of and, of course, the allowance. These will follow too. Reporter: What could be the limitation, for example, for a ...? Florin Ciţu: I think we are considering limiting the number of Board members to a maximum of five, but when the draft law is ready, we will present it to you. Reporter: Recently, you have been talking about increasing pensions, and for 2022 you said that they would be indexed by the inflation rate, to which will be added 50% of the real increase in average gross earnings in the country. I understand that now, this emergency ordinance, which you have tabled for public debate, includes this nuanced change: 50% at most. What remains in the end and what guarantees us, in the end, that pensions will continue to increase by 50%, as you said before? Florin Ciţu: First of all, we have to be very clear. I do not bring the discussion on pensions, in the public debate, you keep asking me about pensions. Secondly, pensions will increase with the average annual inflation rate, so here, it is a guarantee, which adds 50% at most of the real increase in average gross earnings. So it is a guarantee that they will increase by the inflation rate and by 50% at most of the real increase in earnings. Reporter: It could be 10%, thats for sure. Florin Ciţu: It is a guarantee that they will grow. You ask how much they will grow. Well see it next year. If Romanias economy performs very well this year - and we all need to want this and work for this purpose- then the pension will increase even more. It depends on all of us how much the pensions will increase. Reporter: And because were still talking about pensions, do we have that software for recalculating pensions or not, right now? Florin Ciţu: The Ministry of Labor can confirm us, but I know that the PNRR includes an entire chapter on the digitization of ANOFM. Reporter: And related to salary benefits, the last question, in the end, do you make the changes through the Pay Law - and I would like a deadline here if you can give us - to the Ministry of Labor or are amendments actually being made now to the state budget in Parliament on pay benefits? Florin Ciţu: I said that the Pay Law was passed in the Romanian Parliament and should be amended in the Romanian Parliament. Reporter: The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs met today with Minister Bogdan Aurescu. On the agenda of the discussion was the Ardeal Economic Development Program supported by the Budapest Government. How do you view this project dedicated to Hungarian ethnic communities and how do you consider the use of the name Ardeal (Transylvania) in a bilateral document? Florin Ciţu: I will have a discussion with Minister Aurescu, I have not discussed with him yet, and we will see what the meeting elements were. After I have a discussion with Minister Aurescu and I will be briefed, I will come up with details. Reporter: How do you see the use of the name - Ardeal given that the regions have no legal statute in Romania. Florin Ciţu: Allow me to see what the discussion elements were, and I can later discuss this issue. I do not want to give a personal opinion in this respect. We are here at the Romanian Government. Reporter: Have you received the reports on Piatra Neamt and Matei Bals blaze? Florin Ciţu: Some of the reports - I received on Matei Bals, Piatra Neamt, but I want to remind you that at Piatra Neamt, I sent the Economic Inspection. I have a preliminary report with which I was not very happy. I asked a re-analysis. I also have a report on Matei Bals. Some things were already initiated. As I said each time, the reports I receive from institutions, Control Body or Economic Inspection - if there are criminal issues, they will be sent to the respective institutions. Reporter: Will you make them public over the next period? Florin Ciţu: I will see what I can make public from these reports, and I will do it. Reporter: I wanted to ask you about the discounts that students will have for CFR trips. Through this Ordinance, the Government offers a 50 percent discount, but there were PNL MPs who said they would amend this ordinance and there will be 24 free trips. Did you talk to the coalition leaders? Do you know about these changes prepared for the ordinance? Florin Ciţu: Yes, I also saw these amendments. Of course, MPs can table amendments to the draft law approving the ordinances. At the same time, I am the one who was involved, together with my Cabinet colleagues, in drawing up this budget and we fought for any sum of money. Now, if we decide to reallocate some resources that we could send to communities to repair a bridge or a school, lets do it; if lawmakers think its better to have free student transport, its their decision. The decision I made was to use these resources for other purposes and I stick to that. Reporter: As for the unfavourable opinion from the Economic and Social Council for this emergency ordinance, we went through it and we see that there are several criticisms related to the budgetary impact. They said, it is a very small budgetary impact, and the Government did not consult the categories that were impacted by this ordinance. Florin Ciţu: As for the very small budgetary impact, this is relative. I repeat, there are communities in Romania that need several hundred thousand lei, tens of thousands of lei to survive. Here we are talking about savings of several hundred million lei. Or we are talking about pensions, vouchers, we are talking about billions of lei that we reallocate, as I said, we invest them in the economy, in the area where we have positive returns. Therefore, the budgetary impact is relative. I would have liked to see the Economic and Social Council's concern for the budgetary impact when money was wasted without any substantiation. I remind you that both the pension law and the salary law approved by the PSD governments had no economic ground, there were no sources of funding. And yet, this Economic and Social Council gave a positive opinion, which makes me question the good faith of those who gave this opinion. Reporter: You said that it is an unfortunate report related to what happened in Piatra Neamț. The same thing was said by the Minister of Health. Can you explain to us a little why it is unfortunate? Florin Cițu: I did not say - unfortunate. I said Im not happy with the results. And there is an economic analysis there, there is the Economic Inspection, and I looked at the results and I said they should be re-evaluated because I saw some elements that need to be further investigated. Thats why I said that I would like certain aspects to be re-analyzed. Reporter: Have you been contacted by a mayor who is dissatisfied with the amounts proposed for the administrative-territorial units? Florin Cițu: No, we had discussions with the associations. On the contrary, this year, as you know, 90% of spending on centres for people with disabilities has been covered by the state budget. So, this problem no longer exists, we did not have these discussions. Reporter: What is the health and education budget as a share of GDP compared to last year? And why are the two budgets not clearly visible in the draft budget? Florin Cițu: Well, the budgets of the ministries can be seen very clearly. And here I wondered - how no one understands that an 11.43 billion budget is bigger than the 10.5 billion budget last year and more than the 9 billion budget in 2019. But we should look at sectors. And here the issue is that we have the Ministry of Health, but also local authorities that spend money, and manage hospitals under their authority, we also have ministries with subordinate hospitals and we also have the National Health House. I told you that regarding the health sector, this year's budget provides almost 54 billion lei, I have not yet received the amount for the education sector. Also there, there is the expenditure of local authorities, and also the expenditure made by the Education Ministry. We have to look at the whole sector and I will mention later the exact amount for the Ministry of Health, if I find it by the end of the discussion, now I will tell you how much it is allocated for education. At Health, I told you that it is almost 54 billion lei. Not, in fact, 57 billion lei is allocated. Reporter: If you allow me, one last question. As a former Minister, what do you think about charging Facebook because Poland has already taken the first steps in this regard and we see what the battle between the social network and Australia looks like? Florin Cițu: Let me answer you first - there are 40 billion allocated to the education sector this year, by 2.2 billion lei more than in 2020. Regarding the tax, I am not a supporter of taxation. I think this field or the internet should be regulated, it is true. But I do not think that it can be regulated through taxation. Thank you! Reporter: It is a full public debate regarding that reduction in the Church's budget. Why such a large percent, 89 percent? Florin Cițu: Last year, there was an allocation, historical measure and this is why, if you look at recent years, there is no very large reduction of the budget, there is no significance whatsoever. It is an amount I have discussed with the religious denominations, it is a sum to support this sector. I have not seen any criticism from the respective sector, therefore, we have not faced these issues. Thank you very much. (...) 2021-02-18 17:46:00ță susținută de președintele Comitetului de Vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2, Valeriu Gheorghiță, și de Andrei Baciu, secretar de stat în Ministerul SănătățiiȘtiri din 16.02.2021 15:02:00Întrevederea premierului Florin Cîțu cu ministrul Afacerilor Externe și Europene din Republica Slovacia, Ivan KorčokȘtiri din 16.02.2021 13:12:00ţă de presă susținută de premierul Florin CîţuȘtiri din 13.02.2021 [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon! As you know, I had two days of intense and topical discussions during my visit to Brussels. I met the three presidents, the president of the European Council Charles Michel, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli. At the same time, I met with the three Executive Vice - Presidents of the European Commission: Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager, and Valdis Dombrovskis. We had very substantial discussions, I will tell you what is all about when we reach the budget discussion. I had a meeting with the European Commissioner Adina Valean who gave us some very good news, and with the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber (EPP), Iratxe Garcia Perez (S and D), Dacian Ciolos, Renew political group. This was the agenda. I had substantial discussions with each of them. Now, I will tell you the key issues we approached in detail. First of all, we discussed combating the pandemic and the vaccination campaign. I presented the situation in Romania, the way we prepared the vaccination campaign. I thanked the European Commission President for the way she prepared all this campaign, for the fact that it started at the same time in all Member States, the European Commission negotiated on behalf of all, otherwise, we would have had vaccine offer issues in certain countries. Therefore, the way this campaign has been prepared, from our point of view, has been a very good one, I congratulated the President for it, and despite the certain gaps at the beginning, things got better and better. In March, for instance, we will receive 2.4 million vaccine doses, one million from Astra Zeneca, 1.2 million from Pfizer and 230,000 from Moderna. Starting April - this was the conclusion I reached together with the EC President, things will evolve faster. We stick to the objective of having 70 percent of population vaccinated across the EU, by the end of summer and early September. We discussed our proposal to support the vaccine production process at the European level: it is a process considering a medium and long term objective. The Government, through my advisor for health issues, honorary advisor Victor Costache, is in touch with the Commission representatives, with Commissioner Breton, to address specific issues on this topic, they have already been in touch. Last but not least, we discussed, and the European Commission and the European Council hailed the efforts made by Romania to support the Republic of Moldova. In this respect, I said that our efforts to vaccinate the EU population are very good, are welcome, but if we do nothing to help those around us, get vaccinated, we cannot overcome the pandemic. The conclusion was unanimous: the European Union will help the countries in its vicinity with vaccine doses and equipment in order to stop the pandemic. Second important topic: the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. In this respect, we had substantial discussions with the European Commissioners, with the Executive Vice - Presidents. I presented our current state, we informed that we already had the first draft at the Commission, and we are working on the second version. Discussions here addressed two aspects: first of all, legislation needs to be passed by Parliament, regarding own resources. I do not know if you are aware of this detail, but until all EU member states do not ratify this legislation on own resources, to fund this plan, the European Commission cannot issue bonds, cannot attract money, and we cannot implement this recovery plan. Romania is in an advanced phase, we sent it to the Romanian Parliament, and I call on the Chambers Presidents to speed up this procedure, for this legislation to come into force as soon as possible. We know very well that the amounts are consistent and this is why it is important for us to attract all these amounts. During this visit, I also presented our priorities linked to reforms, and these reforms to us are also linked to the state budget, and PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan). We have reforms in the field of pensions, pay, tax administration and education. There are four large reforms we will include in the PNRR and are also related to Romania's budget. At the same time, I wanted to make clear the opinion of EC experts and of the Executive Vice - Presidents, regarding the large infrastructure, as I received different messages, whether or not they are eligible for PNRR. I got the answer that they are eligible for large infrastructure if they represent a transition period to a green economy, we need to be careful when drawing up these projects. I will also mention the aid that the Commission allocates in terms of infrastructure projects when speaking about the meeting with Commissioner Vălean. We also talked about the gas transition. I pointed out that Romania supports the climate objectives of the Union, but I said, as each time, when I was in ECOFIN, that these efforts of Romania must be analyzed taking into account the current context. Romania has a different starting point than other countries in the European Union and needs a transition period, especially in terms of this gas connection of households. We had a discussion with Mr Vice President Timmermans and we can also introduce in the PNRR the gas connection or distribution for households, the gas connection of households, as long as it represents a transition, from how these households are heated today to green heating, maybe with hydrogen in the future, and it is our duty to do these projects. I mentioned the meeting with Mrs Vălean, and here I must let you know that the Commissioner informed me that she established a working group, a task force, to work together with the team of the Ministry of Transport in Romania. I think thats very good news. We have already informed Minister Drula about this team. It is a team that will help prepare the projects so that we no longer have the problems we had in the past, we will have the projects, we will finance them and the Commission will tell us in case they are not eligible because we did not understand how to apply the procedure. So, they will help us to make sure that the projects meet the required criteria. We want to increase the absorption of EU -funded projects, therefore, this task force will also deal with European funds and, of course, help us identify synergies between European funds, the Resilience Fund and the European Interconnection Mechanism. Romanias budget was the third topic we discussed. You know very well that we took over a disastrous fiscal-budgetary situation in 2019, with unpaid bills, with expenses that spanned over several years, which increased every year. This made Romania enter the excessive deficit procedure before the pandemic, we are the only country in the EU; of course, if we judged the EU by the same rules today, all countries would enter the EU's excessive deficit procedure. These rules were suspended in 2020, we do not know if they are suspended in 2021 too. Unfortunately, Romania is in this procedure, due to those disastrous policies in 2017 and 2019, and we must show investors, the European Commission, rating agencies that we are a responsible government, as we promised in the election campaign. We presented the economic figures, and you will see that they are much better than anyone estimated at the beginning of the year and that we did an excellent thing in the economy last year. We already have figures on net income growth of 8.5%, we have figures on investment, industry, but we will also have figures on economic growth soon and my estimates show that they will be better than anyone estimated this year. From here we start with the numbers for next year. We have discussed in detail with Executive Vice - President Dombrovskis and we have support for this budget, for this form of budget, for the reforms that we have included in the Fiscal-Budgetary Strategy, and we have support for the deficit estimates in the next 4 years. We already have a public message from the Executive Vice-President and I am sure that, when we approve the budget, in the form we have presented, and with this Fiscal-Budgetary Strategy, we will have even more public support. We also discussed judiciary reform. You know very well that this year, an important priority for me is to meet the recommendations of the European Commission in order to complete the CVM. Here, too, we received support from the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council and, of course, we discussed the accession to the Schengen area, which is very important for Romania. Romania has met the criteria since 2011, further on, this year, we will take steps to finalize the CVM, and afterwards, I think that Romania is meeting all criteria to join the Schengen area. All interlocutors, without exception, emphasized the good cooperation with Romanian authorities and the openness to work together on all topics of interest for Romania. There were substantial discussions, excellent discussions, I think you could see the messages from interlocutors. These were the topics debated and discussed at the European Commission, very good news for PNRR, regarding large infrastructure and gas network connection, that task force is very welcomed in the field of transportation, for the preparation of the PNRR project and as you can see, the vaccination campaign in Romania is working, we rank third in the EU in this respect, we are ready to open other 200 new vaccination centres over the next period, to deal with the new doses coming in March. This is about my visit to Brussels. We start now the discussion about the budget, as I have seen in these two days when I was away, a lot of public discussions about the budget, with erroneous interpretations from my point of view. I would like us to start from zero, to see how we built this budget, on what we relied. First of all, we rely on a tough reality: more than three years of PSD government and a year of pandemic. In this period, expenditure grew, of course, without any connection with sustainability or economic growth during 2017 -2019, and we had to increase expenditure during the pandemic as we were in a difficult situation, while the economy declined. It should be clear for everyone the role of a budget. A budget allocates the resources we have available through taxes to sectors in the economy. I have always stated that I want to allocate more resources in that sector with a bigger yield, as only this way can we have bigger budget receipts in the future and can cover bigger social expenditure. At the same time, I said from the outset that I do not agree to maintain in the budget or to cover through this budget the PSD inconsistencies between 2017 -2019. I voted against them in the Romanian Parliament, how could I endorse them, in my capacity now? I was against them then, I am against such things now. At the same time, if somebody fancy that we can maintain those inconsistencies in the budget, despite our government programme, they are wrong. We do not have room for that. To create space for our programme for government, the coalition programme, the centre-right programme, we should eliminate those inconsistencies. I will stay firm in my stand to eliminate from the budget what was passed during 2017 -2019 for purely populist reasons, and I will not maintain these things in the budget. Therefore, through this budget, we cut the wastage done by PSD during 2017 -2019. Furthermore, I would like us to notice the hypocrisy of Ciolacu and PSD folk. They keep complaining at the European Commission about Romania's budget for months, although some years ago, they got angry when we complained in our turn at the European Commission. Their complaints are not the issue here. I would have preferred Mr Ciolacu to call me up as I did in 2019 and as I asked during 2017 -2019. I could have explained to him what this budget is about. I know it is more difficult, but I could explain to him what this budget is about, rather than he makes these complaints to the European Commission. Therefore, Mr Ciolacu, when you have time, give me a call. I saw some talks about certain budgets, and my coalition colleagues, members of the Cabinet participated in some of them, contradictory ones. I stay firm in what I said, we cannot finance the inconsistencies caused by PSD and I was unpleasantly surprised when in some discussions with my colleagues, members of the Cabinet, I saw greater support for subsidies, for certain companies with losses, than for investments. I do not accept such a thing. I asked for a reform program for state-owned companies, it has not yet come and then we will introduce it in the Budget Law. And there are a few more things that we will introduce until we get to the Budget Law. There were discussions about this budget with ministers, all ministers wanted more money for Ministries. Initially, the requests for ministries amounted to 49 billion lei more than we had. We compare our budget with the PSD budget and make a bigger budget. Totally wrong, no, thats not how we can move forward. So all the ministers wanted bigger budgets than in previous years. We had only a few exceptions, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the General Secretariat of the Government and at the Ministry of Finance, where there was money for general elections and so on. We responded largely with larger budgets for all ministries than last year, so we have larger budgets than last year in almost all ministries. I told you the three exceptions. But now come my expectations, for the ministers, for the Cabinet members. And its about performance, efficiency and through these allocations, I would like to see that there is monitoring, and on this occasion, I announce that at mid-year, we will make an evaluation, there will be indicators, we will use intermediate indicators, and at mid-year, we will make the evaluation in terms of the budget execution because Ive seen this situation in previous years when we had been fighting for a bigger budget during the year and budget execution was disastrous in the middle of the year. And this year we saw public discussions, I dont know how many were true, how many were not true, but if they are true and they referred to votes in Parliament to endorse the budget or resignations, we will also discuss budget execution at the budget rectification in mid-year, with mandates on the table then. I agreed to increase the budget, there is a big expenditure that we have to cover, but I would also like to see the implementation, I want to see the performance, I want to see that reform of state companies as well. And as we have not received any restructuring schedule of these companies so far, we will do so through the Budget Law. And at present, we are being told that the ministries are working on these specific measures. I tell you this: the salary policy in 2021 for economic operators is provided in the draft law, as every year. We have capped the salary expenses for 2021 at the level of those of 2020 for all economic operators provided in this draft law. There are only a few exceptions, related to those that have increased, such as the increase of the minimum gross basic salary in payment, but only for the staff that fall under these regulations. And I let everyone know that I will not wait until the middle of the year when they come and tell me that they have not made any reforms and then they will say that we have to pay these subsidies or salaries because they are provided in the Pay Law. They should start the reform program until mid-year in order to have extra budgets. I have also seen an issue linked to the increase in the number of public administration employees. There are 9,000 in the educational sector, and in healthcare, and I also have the explanations of my colleagues, I will tell them immediately: in the university education, 1,200 increases of posts, few were the result of Government Decisions last year, considering the pandemic. Therefore, salary increased in healthcare and education, we can give you more details, given that there were temporary employees in healthcare and online teaching in education. A little about the budget and then, we take questions. You have already seen the macro indicators. I would like to add a few details. In 2020, to combat the effects of COVID -19 pandemic, 16,13 billion lei was spent. (...) These measures are extended in 2021 too. There have been measures of 3 billion lei, last year, in the budget which we will not find this year, the so-called on-off, holding local and general election and compensations for drought. We do not have them in this year's budget. From the outset, the budgetary construction for 2021 was supplemented compared to 2020, with the necessary amounts for the payment of pensions and allocations, in the amount of 10.4 billion lei, therefore, without any discussion on the budget, expenditure grows naturally, 8 billion at pensions and 2.4 billion lei state benefits for children. To these add extra expenditure worth 5. 7 billion lei interest rates and EU contribution, investment in the amount of 8.2 billion lei and COVID measures deficit impact of 8.42 billion lei, therefore, these were from the start. I would like to discuss a little about investment because as I promised from the first moment, this budget will focus on investment. Only through investment, can we grow the economy, the budget receipts, and we should afford bigger expenditure on pensions and social expenditure. PSD formula is a formula leading to bankruptcy, which brought us in the current situation, and we will not promote it. The investment projects, record amounts amounting to 61.4 billion lei, 5.5 percent of GDP. So, these are the amounts. I have heard other discussion about the Health Ministry in the public space, and I want to tell you that I am amazed here. I think that we should know how to read a budget sheet after so many years. 11.4 billion lei are allocated to the Health Ministry, last year's execution is 10. 7 billion lei, in 2019, 9.2 billion lei, therefore, this year, there is more than 2.2 billion lei at the Health Ministry. If I take a look at the entire healthcare sector, and I include both hospitals and the Health House, 56.9 billion lei has been allocated this year, by 4.7 billion lei more than in 2019, so, it is more money. Last year, it was that on-off expenditure, because of the crisis situation, I cannot include it this year too. But compared to a normal year like 2019, we have more by 4. 7 billion lei, therefore, more money has been allocated to the healthcare sector. The Health Ministry has more funds, so the overall sector has more money. But I think we can approach this situation some other time. It rests a very brief discussion about salaries, as I have seen the public discussion on it, and I want to see exactly how big are the salaries in the public sector. Therefore, in the staff analysis of 2020, the pay envelope is 109.5 billion lei, the bonus for work conditions and the other bonuses amount to 9. 8 percent of the overall salary envelope. According to article 25, paragraph 1, of Law 153/ 2017, the variable part of the pay includes allowances, cash rewards and other extra which should not go beyond 30 percent of the basic salary at the level of the public institution. I want to recall that I did not vote for this law, neither I, nor my colleagues. Therefore, we do not endorse this form of law, and this is why I went public, and I said that we do not endorse these bonuses awarded on various criteria, none of which is a performance criterion. The variable part of the salary envelope was 26. 7 billion lei in 2020, approximately 24. 4 percent of the overall salary envelope. I give you this information to have it in the future. At the same time, I expect this year to be an excellent year in terms of investment; last year was very good too, a record year, in which investments were financed half from European funds, I expect this year the same, as the investment has been budgeted this way. European funds should be attracted as soon as possible, in a bigger amount, this is why we need this budget as soon as possible. Reporter: As you spoke about investment, I wanted to draw your attention on some budget figures: 61 billion lei was allocated for investments, 149 billion for social security, and 105 billion lei for the public sector employees' salaries. We are spending 22 percent of GDP on social security, public sector pay. You are nevertheless a liberal government, are you not considering that there is a very big gap between the allocations for investments and the expenditure on pensions and public sector pay? Florin Ciţu: I understood you drew my attention to investment, but in fact, you asked me about expenditure on staff and social welfare. Reporter: I wanted you to make a comparison. Florin Ciţu: As I said from the very beginning, we grew investment compared to last year, last year, the budget execution was 53. 2 billion, this year, it is 61. 4 billion, therefore, we clearly show the direction we are heading to. Regarding the expenditure you mentioned, we maintained the expenditure with the staff at the level of December 2020, therefore, we will not deviate from this, regarding social assistance, of course, pensions grew last year, and allocations are included there, there is extra 10 billion lei to budget from this expenditure. This year, we are amending the Unitary Pay Law based on this. I do not agree, I did not agree with that law, I did not vote for it in the Romanian Parliament, I do not agree to endorse the aberrations that the PSD voted in the Romanian Parliament and it was clear that they led Romania in the wrong direction and weakened Romanias fiscal stability, I do not say why I received analysis from rating agencies, respectively, regarding the Law on pensions or the Pay Law, that they are not sustainable, that Romania can enter in payment incapacity and so on. The moment I stopped that wastage, you saw how the tone of these rating agencies changed. Reporter: Regarding the salaries of public servants, if this government remains in office in the coming years, do you also intend to freeze the salaries of public servants at the level of last year or are you considering some performance criteria? Florin Ciţu: This is a very good question and I wanted to say at the beginning: I think that the mistake that many make today is that they look at this government as a short-term one. No, its a four-year government, its a four-year coalition. This budget for 2021 is the one that redresses the situation, and I ask my colleagues to be patient because the next years will come with more investments. What will happen to the salary in the budget sector will be known exactly after we have the law on unitary pay? There is a working group already established in this regard and, as you know very well, I told you earlier, there are four reforms regarding the pension law, the pension system, payroll, education and tax administration, which we will undertake this year. These are things that we have already agreed and presented to the European Commission and we have received favourable opinions in this direction, these are things that people have been waiting for, in Romania, for 30 years. We will do them this year. I know that there is a political risk for the prime minister who assumes such a thing. I know that at present, a lot of political leaders step aside, making reforms is difficult, responsibility-taking is necessary and nobody wants to assume these measures. I assume it, with all political risks, even if I know that in the National Liberal Party where I am vice - president, a congress will ensue and candidacies as well. I am taking this risk and go further, irrespective of the cost I might pay at that congress for any office I will be running for, there. Thanks. Reporter: Are you going to run for a position, at the Congress, is that what you wanted to tell us? Florin Ciţu: I am the PNL Vice - President, you realize, we all want to run at the Congress. Reporter: As regards the healthcare budget, as there were so controversies in public space, I would like to ask you if the Health Minister asked you a certain budget if he expressed dissatisfaction with the allocated budget. Florin Ciţu: I told you that all Ministers wanted bigger budgets as it was very simple to compare the budget you want, your programme for government with the PSD programme, only that we went towards 15-16 percent of GDP. I agreed on them to increase the majority of budgets, besides the three I have already mentioned to you: MAE(Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finance Ministry and the Secretary-General, but now, I want to see the performance and budget execution, if the budget execution does not come up, we will discuss another way at mid-year. Reporter: When can we see the first COVID vaccine produced in Romania? Florin Ciţu: I do not know this, I told you discussions are being held in this respect, and are welcomed by the European Commission. I transferred these talks to my adviser. It is about (...) what Romania can do in this field. There are technical discussions about how Romania can make its contribution. As far as I know, there are two countries that answered the European Commission's request, Romania is one of them. Reporter: When can we see the reports on Matei Bals and Piatra Neamt hospitals blaze? Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu publicly announced that he will present them in a short time. Almost three weeks have passed since that press conference and we have not seen the reports. Florin Ciţu: I have not received them either. We have been waiting for them. Reporter: Where are you going to invest with priority the money allocated through the Budget Law for this purpose? Florin Ciţu: Infrastructure. I said each time that we need infrastructure. I want to make sure I make sure that these projects are included in PNRR today, and this money will be allocated to infrastructure. During recent meeting, we saw the projects funded through the Transport Ministry, through other Ministries, I have a list of these projects. I requested the Transport Ministry to see the correlation with the programme for government, for the next Cabinet meeting. Reporter: You were the Minister of Finance, I ask you what could be the consequences for a country like Romania, which does not have industries to support itself for the most part, in the new fashion of investing in cryptocurrencies and automatically withdraw large sums from the economy? Florin Ciţu: I do not see a great danger here. Romania has investments and this is what we will try, through what we do this year. By repealing certain laws that the PSD adopted last year, we will encourage foreign investors to come to Romania and you will see more foreign investment in Romania. Last year, Romania, although estimates showed that it would fall by minus 9, remember, we were the last, you will see the figures, and you will see that they were better than anyone expected. What we did last year, paid off, income rose in a period of crisis, the biggest crisis in the last hundred years, average net gross income rose by 8.5%, inflation fell, so we have interest rates falling; we succeeded to manage the economy in a time of the pandemic. There follows a period in which we clean and grow, during 2022-2023. We are growing this year as well, but you will see that the growth rate will increase starting mid this year. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, given Romanias economic situation and the 7% deficit target, I ask you if you have contacted the International Monetary Fund for a loan agreement? Florin Ciţu: No, never. And I tell you, last year we managed to finance - and it was a premiere - to finance a deficit of 9.8% of GDP without any international institution. We went to the international markets, each time we borrowed cheaper than the PSD borrowed in a period of economic growth, without crisis and we made it clear that we are a credible government. We continue exactly what we started last year. We continue in the same direction and we will not have problems regarding the ability to pay. We will move forward if we stick to the reform agenda. The moment we derail from the reform agenda and become politicians again, we will have problems. Reporter: Considering that you have taken measures to cut salaries, freezes ... Florin Ciţu: No, I correct you, no salary has been cut. Reporter: ... restructuring in the budget system. I wonder why you are not going against two banks that have debts to the state of 250 million euros. Isnt it a double standard that youre not going against them? Florin Ciţu: It is not. I know that that procedure has been submitted to the Romanian Parliament at the moment, the decision is to be made by the Romanian Parliament. We will enforce the decision that comes from the Romanian Parliament. Reporter: Will you run for president of the National Liberal Party? Florin Ciţu: No, it is too early to discuss such a thing. I just told you that right now, no. I take any political risk to make Romania go in the right direction, any political cost, no matter what it is. Reporter: What criticism did you bring to Mr Ludovic Orban, for the way the National Recovery and Resilience Plan looks like, at the meeting with your colleagues from the EPP? Florin Ciţu: No criticism, I did not criticize the National Plan for Reconstruction and Resilience, on the contrary, I said that we sent the first draft to the European Commission, I received some recommendations from the European Commission, we improve it, in the sense that the Commission and Parliament, after several discussions, began to be more flexible and that is why we are talking about the introduction of those gas networks to connect households, large infrastructure. Therefore, I did not criticize it. It is a good plan, which is being built now, we should have a very good plan for Romania to attract all that money. Reporter: After the assessment of the first week since the re-opening of schools, what specific measures are required for healthcare security? Florin Ciţu: You should know that I have not seen a worsening of the situation. I have seen that we are in a good situation, judging by the indicators I pursue. I have seen the news that COVID hospitals are only half full. The alarmist news that has been coming for months, did not get materialized. It is the same situation in which we were criticized that the economy does not work. The economy worked very well last year. We managed to achieve performance, despite all criticisms. You should know we were congratulated by the European Union on the way we managed and the previous government managed the pandemic together with Mr President, but also on the vaccination campaign. Reporter: What is the plan this year for the re-start of the economy? How will the vaccination campaign be linked to the aid measures for the business environment and what measures do you envisage? Florin Ciţu: You very well know that this year, many of the measures we took last year regarding the business environment, have been extended. Kurzabeit for instance is a measure still in place, there are measures to support the SMEs, the SME Invest, and the others will also be tackled during the Cabinet meeting. We are waiting to get opinions, but these measures will be in place this year too. At the same time, we should look a bit at this economy as emerging after a crisis period. Last year, we faced a crisis but we should speed up the engines. Romania is making efforts regarding the budget deficit, but I am telling you that it is not enough. The European Union had on average 13 percent budget deficits last year, most countries have 6 or below 6 percent deficit. Therefore, this can be done. We have not done this yet, as we have an economy undergoing reform, we need this reform, and I asked a speed to adjust deficit in Romania smaller than in other countries. We also have been asked to have a 6 percent deficit. A first question, Mr. Prime Minister, related to the vaccination of teachers in education. There are all kinds of variants, scenarios, that it starts on March 1, with mobile teams or not. Do you have a concrete plan at the moment? What happens to the vaccination of teachers? Is that date confirmed on March 1 and how will it be done? Florin Ciţu: So, the teachers are, at this moment, vaccinated. Many of them are about to be vaccinated. If we talk about what happens after March 1, there will be 200 new vaccination centres, we will have other vaccines and yes, they will be used for rural areas and this type of vaccination with mobile centres, but in the others, we will have centres in cities, but they may be separate. I have to talk to Mr Gheorghiţă to see exactly which of the options is best, but the good news is that we have 2.4 million doses that will arrive in March alone. That means 1.2 million people vaccinated in March alone. Reporter: And will you prioritize these doses, for example, for teachers or certain other categories or do you go on with the model existing so far? Florin Ciţu: If we have the confirmations for April, we can maintain the same pace, because a much faster vaccination will start and we will approach that target of one hundred thousand vaccinations per day. Lets see what the schedule for March and April is. For now, I say that the good news is that in March, we will receive 2.4 million doses of vaccines. That means 1. 2 million persons vaccinated only in March. Reporter: And you said that in the middle of the year you will discuss the budget execution with the mandates on the table. I would like to ask you, what do you expect when you make this assessment and how you will succeed in imposing yourself in the coalition, knowing that one party is not allowed to dictate the members of another party. How will you succeed in persuading, for example, those from USR-PLUS or UDMR, when you find that the Minister has not done what he should have done to give it up? Florin Ciţu: I think there are some things we dont understand about how a coalition works. We have made some decisions and we have a government programme. We have to observe it. This is not about USR, UDMR or PNL. It is about the Romanian Government's performance. There is money allocated. We cant waste money, because - what do you have to understand - we allocate more resources to this budget because they were asked by the ministers who say they will need money to spend it. This more money also means a bigger deficit. That means we borrow with interest rate. I dont want to waste Romanians money. If I don't have a perfect execution in the middle of the year, I need to know why, because we pay interest on this money we borrow, and the idea of putting the mandate on the table is not mine. We have seen that there are many who want to link their mandate and votes in Parliament to a budget. Very well, we also link it to the budget execution. Reporter: That is, concretely, if a minister does not fulfil his duties for the middle of the year and there is no budget execution ...? Florin Ciţu: We will see then. Reporter: Will you be able to demand his resignation? Florin Ciţu: Wait a minute. You know very well what the Romanian Constitution is like, yes? Reporter: I know. Florin Ciţu: So, it has nothing to do with political parties, how to do /.../, but thats not what were talking about now. I want to see responsibility and commitment not only when we ask for money from the budget, but also when we do the budget execution. Thats what were talking about. That is why it is about indicators, just like at PNRR, because at PNRR there will be indicators in the medium term. You attained this indicator, you get the money from the European Commission. If not, you dont get the money. The same will work for the government. Thanks! (...) 2021-02-13 15:39:00 februarie- Premierul Florin Cîțu, vizită de lucru la BruxellesȘtiri din 12.02.2021 Minister Florin Cițus meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel Prime Minister Florin Cițu, had today, February 12, 2021, a meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, in the context of his visit to the European institutions. The two officials had discussions over major EU dossiers, with a focus on managing the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recovery efforts at European level and the Unions external agenda. Prime Minister Florin Cițu presented the priorities of the Romanian Government and expressed our country's commitment to continuing to back, as a state deeply attached to the European project and its fundamental values, the efforts to strengthen cohesion and convergence at Union level. President Charles Michel voiced his appreciation for the deeply pro-European conduct of our country and the excellent cooperation with Romania within the European Council. The two senior officials agreed on the need to continue efforts for coordinated action at European level in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Florin Cițu underlined the importance that Romania attaches to ensuring a continuous vaccination process, without syncope, and showed that it is essential that the Unions action ensures, on the one hand, the supply of vaccines, and, on the other hand, the implementation of the measures necessary for the economic recovery, the proper functioning of the single market, the flow of essential goods and services, and the free movement of persons. The Romanian Prime Minister also outlined the need to convey a message of solidarity, especially to the European Unions closest partners, such as the countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership, by supporting vaccination campaigns and donating vaccine doses, and he evoked in this context, Romania's commitment to donate 200,000 vaccine doses to the Republic of Moldova. President Charles Michel fully agreed with this approach and voiced support for the development of an effective mechanism in this regard. In the context of discussions regarding the operationalization of the European budget and economic recovery instruments, Prime Minister Florin Cițu praised the special role that the President of the European Council had, in reaching the European agreement on this issue in July 2020. At the same time, the Romanian Prime Minister evoked Romanias efforts to finalize the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The two senior officials also discussed the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Romanian Prime Minister emphasizing Romanias support for the objectives established at EU level, at the same time with adjustment of the implementation process according to the specifics of each country. In this respect, Romania needs a fair and sustainable transition from coal to natural gas and then to hydrogen, with adequate support for the social costs incurred. Also, the Romanian Prime Minister advocated the finalization of the CVM, following the fulfilment of the European Commission's recommendations to which the Romanian Government is fully committed, he also advocated Romanias accession to the Schengen area, taking into account that our country has met all conditions in this regard. President Charles Michel voiced support for Romanias efforts on the two dossiers. The meeting also facilitated a discussion on a number of issues on the European Unions external agenda. Thus, Prime Minister Florin Cițu expressed the expectation that this years Eastern Partnership Summit will reconfirm the importance of this European initiative, emphasizing the need for the post-2020 agenda to focus on bringing the Eastern Partnership states closer to European values. Moreover, Prime Minister also underlined the special opportunity opened by the term of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, advocating the consolidation of European support for boosting the democratic reforms in the Republic of Moldova, promoted by the new President, in compliance with the pro-European option of the Republic of Moldova's citizens. The EUs relations with Russia and Turkey were also addressed during the meeting. *** Prime Minister Florin Cițu's meetings with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Valdis Dombrovskis, the Executive Vice - President of the European Commission for An Economy that Works for People Prime Minister Florin Cițu had a meeting with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels on Friday, February 12, 2021, on the occasion of his visit to the European institutions. The two senior officials comprehensively addressed relevant issues in relation to the European Unions agenda, with a focus on managing the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the economic recovery process and the objectives of combating climate change and the digital transition. Regarding the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of maintaining a coordinated approach at EU level in the context of the current epidemiological situation at European and international level, especially considering the risks posed by virus mutations, and he welcomed the Commission's coordination efforts, under the leadership of President Ursula von der Leyen. The Romanian Prime Minister also presented the state of the national vaccination campaign, which places Romania in a top spot among the member states in this respect. At the same time, he voiced confidence that the new commitments of vaccine suppliers will be met in order to allow vaccination campaigns to run smoothly. The President of the Commission thanked for Romania's decision to donate up to 200,000 vaccine doses to the Republic of Moldova. Regarding the economic relaunch process, the Romanian Prime Minister presented the efforts to complete the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, emphasizing the importance of infrastructure investments, including from the perspective of their contribution to the green and digital transition. Prime Minister thanked the Commission for its cooperation with the national institutions responsible for drawing up the Plan, stating that it would be submitted to the Commission within the period set out in the programmatic documents. In turn, the President of the Commission welcomed the close contacts between the Government and the Commission representatives during this period, on the completion of the PNRR. Moreover, Prime Minister Florin Cițu highlighted the priority Romania attaches to the fulfilment of the European Commission's recommendations with a view to finalizing the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and he evoked the constant dialogue and close cooperation with the Commission, on this topic. He also reiterated that Romanias priority objective is to join the Schengen area. The President of the European Commission voiced her appreciation for the Romanian Governments determination regarding the completion of the CVM, as well as strong support for Romanias accession to the Schengen area. At the same time, the Prime Minister requested the support of the President of the European Commission for an extended Romanian presence within the governing bodies of the European institutions, including the Commission services. During the course of February 12, Prime Minister Florin Cițu also had a meeting with Valdis Dombrovskis, the Executive Vice - President of the European Commission for An Economy that Works for People. During this meeting, the Romanian Prime Minister pointed out that one of the key objectives of the Government, besides combating the pandemic, is to start the process of economic recovery and ensure fiscal-budgetary stability. He also stated the importance attached by Romania to the completion of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan as a basis for backing these objectives while the European Commissioner emphasized the very good technical dialogue existing between the Romanian side and the Commission for this purpose. The Romanian Prime Minister made a presentation of the draft budget for 2021, as well as of the main reforms envisaged by the Government, in close connection with the draft budget, Commissioner Dombrovskis praising the Governments efforts for this purpose. In this context, Prime Minister Florin Cițu pointed out that the use of fiscal mechanisms to foster green transition should take into account the specific circumstances of each Member State, in order to avoid an excessive budgetary impact on some of them. 2021-02-12 11:51:00 februarie- Premierul Florin Cîțu, vizită de lucru la BruxellesȘtiri din 11.02.2021 Prime Minister Florin Ciţu's meetings with senior European Commission officials In the context of the working visit to Brussels, Prime Minister Florin Ciţu had meetings on Thursday, February 11, with a series of senior officials of the College of Commissioners, respectively: Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal in the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, and Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport. The discussions with the senior European Commission officials focused on both the overall priorities at EU level and Romanias vision in relation to them, as well as elements of specific interest from the perspective of the European dignitaries portfolio. During these meetings, Prime Minister Florin Ciţu presented the Romanian Government's priorities in relation to European dossiers. He also conveyed a message of substantial commitment from Romania to further act as a reliable and fully dedicated partner to the European project. Prime Minister also expressed Romanias full readiness to actively participate in the joint effort to restore the Unions post-crisis economy and to advance the implementation of the long-term objectives agreed by the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024. During discussions, Prime Minister also raised the issue of Romanias accession to the Schengen area, which remains a priority objective for Romania. The discussions with Frans Timmermans focused on the objectives set out in the European Green Deal. In this context, Prime Minister Florin Ciţu reiterated Romanias support for achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and for stepping up emission cuts by 2030. In this context, the Romanian dignitary emphasized the importance of establishing a flexible implementation framework, with adequate support mechanisms for the Member States that take into account the economic and social realities they are facing and that do not impose an additional burden on European citizens, especially those in more precarious situations, in terms of welfare. Prime Minister also reiterated the importance that Romania attaches to gas usage in this transition process, a possibility confirmed by the European Commissioner, including as regards the development of natural gas distribution networks. At the same time, the meeting with Margrethe Vestager occasioned an exchange of views on the consequences of the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic on European companies, including those in Romania, and on the mechanisms to support their recovery efforts. Prime Minister Florin Cițu praised the Commissions work in this context and the rapid measures to adapt the legislative framework in force. Moreover, considering the growing relevance of the digital sector at European level, Prime Minister Florin Ciţu showed the interest that the Romanian Government attaches to this sector, and highlighted the expectation of achieving a real digital convergence within the European Union, through investments in infrastructure and the development of digital skills in all Member States. In this context, Prime Minister presented the digitalization projects envisaged by Romania, with a focus on the administration digitalization, including the tax administration, the education system and others. The European Commissioner also congratulated Romania on winning the European competition for hosting the EU Cyber Center, reiterating readiness to support its operationalization as soon as possible. The meeting with Adina Vălean addressed current issues of the European agenda, taking into account the relevance of transport for the proper functioning of the EU internal market and the economies of the Member States, further highlighted in the context of the pandemic. In this context, the two officials emphasized the importance of further maintaining Green Lanes to facilitate mobility during the crisis. The difficult situation created by the Mobility Package 1 was also discussed, and the actions taken by Romania and other affected Member States before the Court of Justice of the European Union were mentioned. In this context, the Romanian Prime Minister mentioned the priority attached nationwide to infrastructure projects, considering their contribution to Romanias economic development. Prime Minister emphasized the importance of a balanced approach in the process of adapting this area to the new climate and digital objectives, considering the development and modernization needs specific to each Member State. Prime Minister welcomed the European Commissioner's initiative to set up a Task Force of European Commission experts to help the Member States, including Romania, to prepare transport infrastructure projects eligible for funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. *** Prime Minister Florin Cițu met with the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and with leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament, and the EPP Secretary-General Prime Minister Florin Cițu had today, February 11, a meeting in Brussels with David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, on the occasion of the official visit he is paying to European institutions on February 11-12, 2021. The discussions occasioned an exchange of views on the main topics of the European agenda, with focus on managing the pandemic at European level, including the vaccination campaign in the EU, the Economic Recovery Plan, and launch of the Conference on the future of Europe, as well as the EU external agenda. The Romanian Prime Minister reaffirmed Romania's firm commitment to further acting in the spirit of deep attachment to European project and values. As part of the good cooperation with the European Parliament, Prime Minister Florin Cițu expressed the Romanian Government's interest in continuing their open and substantial dialogue, especially in the current European context marked by the pandemic which requires involvement, unity and enhanced coordination on the part of European institutions and EU Member States. In this context, Prime Minister Florin Ciţu mentioned the Romanian MEP's expertise and involvement in the promotion of the EU's unity and cohesion. The Romanian Prime Minister emphasized the importance of close cooperation at European level in order to further manage the pandemic and its consequences. In this context, he also emphasized the importance of successful vaccination campaigns in the EU Member States and the need to maintain the functioning of the Internal Market and the European free movement area. The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli confirmed that only a coordinated approach at the European level is likely to help the EU emerge from the crisis triggered by the pandemic. Economically, the Romanian Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the new financial instruments being implemented to ensure robust economic growth. At the same time, he welcomed the European Parliament's very recent approval of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe, Prime Minister Ciţu highlighted the relevance of this process especially amidst the ongoing pandemic and lessons learned in this regard, in strengthening European crisis response instruments, and democracy at European level. The dialogue with the President of the European Parliament outlined the expectations that the forthcoming Conference debates would contribute to the goal of a Union closer to its citizens, able to ensure the awaited stability and prosperity, and in-depth dialogue on issues of direct interest for citizens. The Romanian Prime Minister thanked for the support extended by the European Parliament to Romanias accession to the Schengen area, while the President of the European Parliament reconfirmed the European institution's full support for Romania in this regard. With respect to the Unions external relations, the Romanian Prime Minister highlighted the priority attached to the Republic of Moldova and the support for its management of the pandemic, as well as for the democratic and pro-European reform process. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of EU backing the vaccination process in the Unions immediate neighbourhood, given that if this neighbourhood is not healthy, neither the Union can fully be. The President of the European Parliament voiced his special appreciation for the support extended by Romania to the Republic of Moldova, including the donation of up to 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. On February 11, Prime Minister Florin Cițu had also a series of meetings with the leaders of the European political groups in the European Parliament: Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP Group, Iratxe Garcia Perez, leader of the S and D Group, and Dacian Ciolos, leader of the Renew Group. Prime Minister also had a meeting with EPP Secretary-General Antonio Lopez-Istúriz. These discussions addressed topical issues on Romanias European agenda: the vaccination campaign (Romania currently ranks 4th in Europe in this respect) and the crucial importance of the efforts that the European Commission coordinated at EU level, as well as the need for a mechanism to help the states in the Eastern Neighbourhood obtain vaccines, the process of finalization at the national level of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the European Rule of Law Mechanism, which Romania endorses, Romanias effort to finalize the CVM, our country's commitment to fulfilling as soon as possible the recommendations of the European Commission being confirmed on this occasion, the presentation of the Euro-Atlantic Center for Resilience project, praised by the interlocutors, Romanias process of accession to the Schengen area and the OECD and other political issues of common interest. 2021-02-11 14:11:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, la finalul şedinţei de guvern din 10 februarieȘtiri din 10.02.2021 17:09:00 și miniștrii Guvernului au primit astăzi doza rapel de vaccin împotriva Covid-19, la Spitalul Universitar de Urgență Militar ”Dr. Carol Davila”Știri din 10.02.2021 14:27:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului Național de Coordonare a Activităților privind Vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu GheorghițăȘtiri din 09.02.2021 15:52:00 Florin Cîțu va efectua o vizită de lucru la Bruxelles, în perioada 11-12 februarie 2021Știri din 08.02.2021 Minister Florin Cițu will have meetings with senior EU officials during his working visit to Brussels, on February 11-12, 2021. The agenda of the visit comprises meetings with senior European leaders, including the presidents of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, respectively. It also includes meetings with European Parliament President David Sassoli, as well as with European Commission Executive Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans, Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis. The Head of Executive also has scheduled official meetings with the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean, and with NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana. The agenda of the visit also includes meetings with representatives of the political groups in the European Parliament: EPP Group leader Manfred Weber, EPP Secretary-General Antonio Lopez-Istúriz White, RENEW Group leader Dacian Ciolos and S and D Group leader Iratxe Garcia Perez. 2021-02-08 16:22:00 Florin Cîțu s-a vaccinat cu a doua doză de ser anti-COVID-19, la Spitalul Universitar de Urgență Militar Central ”Dr. Carol Davila”Știri din 06.02.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon. I have received the second dose. To me, this operation concluded in the same easy way as the first, without any issue. It is very important to receive a booster dose. Everyone should understand that we should receive the booster dose, as without the second dose, everything we have done so far, all our efforts become useless. It is important to get vaccinated, first of all, and I have seen that there is interest in the vaccine but much more important to come up with the booster dose. Therefore, everyone should receive the booster dose, I can tell you that nothing happens, no secondary effects, we are going ahead. A few information about AstraZeneca, that will arrive in Romania, and in February, we should have at least 600,000 doses. We start the appointment scheduling from February 10, for persons aged 18 to 55 years. And we will have 180 new cabinets for Astra Zeneca. I think that as of tomorrow, 81,600 doses start to be distributed, but vaccine appointment scheduling will start from February 10. In this month, we start having several. I think that February is a challenge for the vaccination campaign, although we are on EU top regarding the number of vaccinations. But starting March, we will receive several doses, and the vaccination programme will accelerate, we will have more than 50,000 vaccinations per day, as of March, and we will approach the 100,000 vaccination target, which we set out in the beginning. I would take two or three questions. Thank you. Reporter: Good afternoon, Mr Prime Minister! I would like to tell us how you assess the way the Health Ministry managed the situation resulting following the Matei Bals Institute fire, considering there has been too much hesitation, faulty communication so far, on this case. Furthermore, last Saturday, the Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu announced that on Tuesday, at the latest, will put forward a report on the measures taken following the fire at Matei Bals Institute. This has not happened. Can you tell us if indeed, there is a tense situation between you and the Health Minister, given that you had contradictory statements many times? Florin Ciţu: I have a few more things to say. First of all, there are no tensions whatsoever.. Yes, we still contradict ourselves because I believe that information does not always reach us at the same time. There are a few things I care about a lot. Vaccination campaign - I see it in a positive way. Im not a supporter of punitive measures when it comes to a vaccination campaign that aims to get as many people vaccinated as possible, because I know thats what you mean. At the same time, it is true that if there are flagrant violations of the way we decided to do this vaccination, those responsible must be held accountable. So far, I have not received such information that such a thing exists. I repeat, our goal is to vaccinate as many Romanians as possible in the shortest possible time. So that should be the goal and we should focus on that. Regarding the tragedy from Matei Balş, I have not received a final report yet, I am waiting for the final report from the Ministry of Health. When I have this report, we will tell publicly what measures we need to take, but at this moment I do not have this information. Thanks. Reporter: Hello. I would like to ask you about the budget if this is a reason of tension between the coalition parties, based on those reforms requested by you at the ministries, also if you have received the reform plan from all ministers and if you include pensions or the increase in pensions in this budget. Florin Cițu: The budget is a challenge for any coalition, it is true, especially since we are politicians. We have clearly stated the criteria underlying this year's budget - without waste of public money. I gave you some examples - staff costs have doubled in four years. I do not think that the performance of public administration employees has doubled during this period. That is why, this year, we talked about some reforms and one of them is a re-establishment of the salary law, to link the incomes of the public administration employees to performance. It is time to do this, not just to promise that we will increase salaries every year and without asking for anything in return. We are not the only ones asking for it, the Romanians are asking for it. All Romanians will have a high performing public administration and we should not be afraid to tell this. This is why I started with this budget, on the one hand, on the other hand, of course, there are these state companies registering losses for years. We should put a halt. We should stop this waste of public money. The spending with subsidies almost doubled, and these during 2016 -2020, and I have not seen a better performance of these companies, on the contrary, I have seen bigger losses. These state companies that have losses, should come up with a restructuring plan if they want to receive support. Last year, we did this with Tarom, this can be done, a lot of people said it cannot be done. Look at Tarom, it is being restructured, receives funding further on, and it will achieve profit at a certain moment. We will do this with all state companies. It is possible that some of these companies do not survive or some of the managers that badly administered these companies, do not maintain their positions in these years, but that is the price to pay if we want to achieve any progress. Reporter: Good afternoon. Hungary bought 2 million doses of Sputnik vaccine and the Czech Republic wants to do the same thing. Has Romania started discussions to buy the Russian vaccine or the Chinese one? Florin Ciţu: No. Romania had communication with the European Commission. We will do much better a thing - we will try to produce the vaccine at Cantacuzino, in Romania. I sent a letter, following some questions from the European Commission and we showed our readiness to manufacture the vaccine in Romania. We will see what vaccine will be produced, but this is our variant. Reporter: Good afternoon. Mr Prime Minister, school starts on Monday. I have seen that the Health Ministry published that document that parents should bring at school. On Monday, we will have rapid tests in schools, if not on Monday, when? And how do we resolve those educational issues without medical cabinets in which children can be tested if they need it? Florin Ciţu: I think that somebody rushed about drawing up that document public, as I have seen the release of the Education Ministry mentioning what is in that joint order of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. There will be exceptional situations, we do not test everybody on the first thing. Children may have symptoms, and then, we will have to fill in that form. Not everyone should come with that form completed, at school. Therefore, we should read the Ministry of Education's release, in this respect, and there are several details and the joint order of the Minister of Education and Minister of Health. Reporter: So parents shouldnt come with the form on Monday? Florin Ciţu: The details are set out in joint order and, as far as I know, the Ministry of Education has communicated or will communicate exactly on this topic, today, in order to be very clear to everyone what is happening with these forms. Reporter: I wanted to ask you if you agree with the idea of the Ministry of Health regarding changing the way the infection rate is calculated, the inclusion of positive cases in social centres in the infection rate and if that changes the scenarios regarding the re-opening of schools. Florin Ciţu: Now, in order to change something, we have to see how what we have had so far, has worked. It seems to me that what I have had so far has worked very well. If there is a scientific ground for changing something, I am ready to see it. At the same time, I am in favour of simplification changes. If a change makes things much more complicated and it will be much harder for us to understand what we want to do, I would not endorse it. But, I repeat, I want to see exactly what happens if there is scientific documentation, an empirical, statistical analysis, which clearly shows that what has been done so far, has had shortcomings, and they can be quantified, of course, we will consider making changes. So far, I say that what has been done has worked very well, we look at the numbers, it is not just me who is saying it. In Romania, the number of patients who are admitted to intensive care remains below 1,000, we look at the number of calls to 112, we look at all the other information we have, the number of admissions to hospital, and we see that all in all, we have managed this pandemic well. So, I dont see at the moment, from the information I have; there may be other statistical analyzes, other analyzes from the Ministry of Health to prove the opposite, I am waiting for them and when they come, we will see them. But any change must simply things, from my point of view, not complicate them. Reporter: You just told us that we will reach 50,000 vaccinations per day from March, I wanted to ask you what is the deadline for reaching 100,000 vaccinations per day, as you first told us when you came here for the first dose of vaccine? And if you consider making a reshuffle at the Government level after all the scandals that have arisen as political sources say. Florin Ciţu: I am not taking into account the reshuffle at the moment, there are no scandals. It is a new coalition, which comes after several years of the election campaign and I think we are still in the beginning. But it is a coalition that is getting stronger every day and you will see that the budget debate will be the moment that will strengthen this coalition for the next four years. As soon as possible! I hope to reach 50,000 by March, we could increase our vaccination capacity very quickly. We were a little delayed in this process by the supply of vaccines which suffered changes made by suppliers. But when we have the vaccines, we will distribute them so that we can vaccinate as many people as possible. We can reach the capacity of 100,000 in a very fast period. Lets have vaccines first! Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, how will the issue of financing those four hospitals in district 1 be solved? Florin Ciţu: The financing of the hospitals in district 1 of Bucharest depends on district 1. So far, we have not had any discussion with the mayor of District 1, nor with the mayor of Bucharest about the financing of the hospitals. If they need a solution, of course, I am open, but so far no one has contacted me with this issue. Reporter: Have you not discussed with Mr Vlad Voiculescu about the Bucharest District 1 issue? Florin Ciţu: So far, the Health Minister has not brought up this topic. Reporter: Good afternoon! Former Minister Nelu Tataru said that when leaving office, he let on the table of the Health Ministry and the European Funds Ministry that emergency ordinance establishing that hospitals can undergo repairs on European funds. Have you discussed with Ministers Voiculescu and Ghinea? Have you asked them if they found that ordinance and what do you intend to do with it? Florin Ciţu: That ordinance received negative opinion a couple of times and then, I found a variant whereby I approved last week a memorandum. I figure out that ordinance is no longer necessary to access those funds for hospitals, a memorandum has been approved, 50 million euros will be allocated to hospitals in Bucharest, according to that ordinance. The cost of modernization or structure works or can be covered by (PNRR National Recovery and Resilience Plan ) or other programs. Reporter: When could Romania produce a vaccine against the novel coronavirus? Florin Ciţu: I can tell you that we initiated discussions, we have been asked if you want to do it, if we have the capacity of doing it, we put data on the table, and we are waiting for the European Commission's answer in this respect. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, when do you make a decision regarding the bonuses in the public sector, more precisely the bonuses of the prefects that are still in payment? Florin Ciţu: When discussing the budget, and many of the bonuses will be eliminated. Reporter: Can you give us some examples based on the data so far? Florin Ciţu: No! The bonuses amount to approximately 600 million lei, which I have currently identified, but you will see exactly how these bonuses will look at the budget debate. I tell you that the subsidies will not be at the level of last year anymore. State companies with losses that want to benefit from budget subsidies, will have to come up with a reform program, restructuring one to show that they can achieve a profit over the next years. If not, they will not receive subsidies and will have to make both ends meet with the existing funds. Reporter: What can state employees expect once you bring this budget law into public debate? What bonuses will be reduced or eliminated? Florin Ciţu: We will put these amendments into the public debate before the budgetțs approval, and you will see them next week. I think they will put up for debate on Monday the soonest and then, we can discuss them. Reporter: Astra Zeneca is a different vaccine, not a Messenger RNA - based vaccine. What will you do in case of persons who refuse vaccination? Florin Ciţu: There are the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca vaccines and there will be others as well, there are many vaccines. Thank you. 2021-02-06 13:52:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu și ministrul educației, Sorin Cîmpeanu, privind unele măsuri aprobate în ședința de guvern din 3 februarieȘtiri din 03.02.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Today, before the Cabinet meeting, the decision of the National Committee for Emergency Situations was approved, whereby the 3 scenarios that we have been publicly presenting were approved. They will be explained in detail by the Education Minister who is here today, and of course, they will be put into practice by a joint order of the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health. There is a novelty in today's decision of the National Committee for Emergencies. It is a proposal to draw up a legislative document to institute a measure supplementary to activity suspension, on a definite period, for the economic operators who do not comply with the measures aimed at preventing and combating the spread of COVID - 19. There have been many discussions when we relaxed the conditions for certain economic operators. Unfortunately, even if some restrictions remained in place, we see very many economic operators who do not observe these restrictions. This proposal has appeared exactly after the late observations on a legislative document to regulate this situation linked to the suspension of activity on a definite period, and there will be several proposals there. This is the novelty. Reporter: Definite period? Florin Cițu: Of course, a definite period. On today's Cabinet meeting, a much-expected draft law on the private economy, the strong part of the economy has been approved. This law when it appeared, created uproar and distrust in Romania, a law which has been passed in the Romanian Parliament. The draft law approved now by the Government repeals the law suspending a natural thing for the market economy: suspended the right of companies in Romania - some of those where the state was major stakeholder, access funds from the private sector, to capitalize with private funds. Today, we repair this injustice. I told you when this law was enacted, creating an uproar in the economic sector, and especially in the investment sector, and people have had lots of questions. From the very beginning, I publicly stated that we will repeal this law when we take government. On today's Cabinet meeting, we passed a draft law repealing Law 173/ 2020 regarding some measures for the protection of national interests in the economic activity. This draft law will be sent to Parliament. It is a very important issue, a clear message for investors, both in Romania and abroad, that this Government backs investments, needs investments for development and this is a fair signal. An Executive Decision put forward by the Labor Ministry has also been passed, something that we did following Piatra Neamt tragedy. This Executive Decision proposes relief to be granted to families of the victims of Prof Dr Matei Bals Institute fire which resulted in the death and injury of a number of patients. An emergency aid worth 5,000 lei is intended to be granted to the family of each victim, the maximum sum to be allocated, amounts to one million lei. These have been the important decisions of today's Cabinet meeting that I wanted to present. As regards the budget, I know it is a public discussion about this. We are very near a final form. We are discussing with the authorizing officers what I always requested: measures to cut the expenditure. You will see them publicly presented. We also have here an evolution of the state sector expenditure over 2016 -2020, but I will make a separate presentation over the next days. Reporter: Have you finished that analysis of pay bonuses? Florin Cițu: Yes, we have. Reporter: How does it look transposed into the budget? Florin Cițu: We have finished that analysis, and there are some interesting things the Romanians should know and I will present them in the next period. I discovered bonuses I didnt know they even existed. I discovered situations where the legislation in force is not respected, as regards the bonus amount. You will see. In the coming days, I will publicly present the changes that will be made, but, as I said, the Unitary Pay Law is next, which we will amend this year, and we will do some corrections there. The biggest or the most important change to this law is to link performance to pay. This doesnt exist in todays Pay Law. Bonuses are given arbitrarily, pays are given randomly. We will introduce performance criteria, this can be done and we can grant the bonus, if it exists, based on performance criteria. This is the most important change that we will operate to the Pay Law. Reporter: Can you give us some examples of bonuses which do not exist or you have not identified yet? Florin Cițu: Let me give you some examples of bonuses I had no idea they existed, but there are more of them. Theres that bonus everyone is talking about, for harmful conditions, which actually means things we do every day. Writing on a computer is no longer harmful, but there is a bonus for that in certain institutions. These bonuses will be axed, as per a bill that will be issued this year, or maybe next year. This year we will start with a capping and next year we will reset things. Unitary Pay Law needs to be changed. I repeat, bonuses are good, they are a motivation for everyone to do their job better, but only when they are linked to performance criteria, not when they come from the managers pen, indistinctively and without respecting certain rules. And then you will see that we will use this way to motivate people to better do their job in the public sector. Reporter: If you allow me a question about the healthcare sector. Your party colleague Nelu Tataru said he let to the Government an Emergency Ordinance allowing hospital managers to access European funds for the hospitals repair and modernization, the ordinance that appeared after the Piatra Neamt fire. I wanted to ask you what will happen to it, should it get opinions from Health and European Funds Ministries? Will you approve it? Florin Cițu: As far as I know, that ordinance was in the approval circuit, but it did not have positive opinions, it had negative opinions. On today's Cabinet meeting, I approved a memorandum that does exactly this - shows there are sources we can use from European funds, in order to improve the warning systems in hospitals. You can see the details in the memorandum which we used as there was no need of emergency ordinance for this. The financing sources are already there. Things can be done via a Minister's Order. Reporter: We return a bit to economic issues. You said you would suspend the activity of economic operators on a definite period. We are speaking here including about those restaurants, clubs and pubs that were opened. Florin Cițu: Of course, it is about this. Who transpasses the legislation...Today, we could see that our fines do not have any effect. And then, because legal provisions are not observed, we need to change a bit the rules, we need to come up with this change. Reporter: Will you raise the fines for these economic operators or just... Florin Cițu: No, we do not raise the fines as you could see they have no effect. It is about the activity, activity suspension on a definite period. Reporter: And if you can say more clearly, I would need clarification on state-owned companies that will be able to access European funds. What would be the level, on what areas? On the investment area? How will state-owned companies be able to access these European funds? Florin Ciţu: For the time being, we are talking about the Reconstruction and Resilience Plan. We will talk about European funds in the classical system later. And this is, as we call it, reform projects. The state companies that will do it will come up with reform projects, yes, they can access these European funds, these amounts. In fact, they are grants, not European funds. You know very well that PNRR has two parts: grants and loans. Reporter: What does this definite period mean, Mr Prime Minister, regarding the suspension of activity? - that its a very ...deadline. Florin Ciţu: You will see in the normative act, but I, if you ask me, I think we can start with two weeks and then grow gradually for those who still do not comply with measures. So, I think we go with a minimum period of two weeks, but thats just what I would propose, we still dont have the normative act. CNSU put forward a proposal to make a normative act, and when a normative act comes in a Cabinet meeting, we will approve it; I initially propose at least two weeks. Reporter: And regarding CNSU and the clarifications that could be made. You have opened, by a decision of CNSU, obviously, depending on the rate of cases per thousand inhabitants, the restaurants; but there are no clarifications and the pubs are not specifically mentioned, even if in the preliminary CNSU decision, they were closed. They have the same NACE code as restaurants, but the Local Police, precisely because you did not specify this in the subsequent CNSU decision to reopen, applies fines, even if people have the same NACE code, and they should benefit from the same legal basis. Florin Ciţu: It is about a type of activity, not about a NACE type, but if there are issues, we will remedy it by a CNSU decision. But we are talking about activities, not the NACE code. Reporter: Regarding the budget, you said - I mean your statement of January 6 - that you will eventually send it this week, to the Parliament; will you have another Cabinet meeting this week, or next week? Florin Ciţu: I think most probably is next week. This is not a simple budget blueprint. Its a budget that looks at the period 2021 - 2022, a budget that starts fixing the anomalies introduced in the Romanian law in the last four years. I will give you just one example: wage expenses have doubled between 2016 - 2020 from 57 billion lei a year to 110 billion lei. I dont think that anything else has doubled, there hasnt been a twofold increase in Romanias revenues in the last four years, the economic growth hasnt doubled in this period, but personnel expenditures have doubled. Only one example. Through this budget we need to reset the structure of the economy, to continue to invest, the investment allocation is higher than last year, the figure last year was a record amount, but the amount this year is even larger. As I said, this budget looks at two years, 2021 - 2022, because the reforms we are implementing in 2021 will have effects in 2022, that is why they must go in tandem. Reporter: A clarification, if possible, linked to CNSU. You were talking about economic operators, but there are also religious establishments, that, despite warnings, when authorities opened their doors, they were not fined, will they be subject to this legislative document that you are preparing? Do you take it into consideration? Florin Cițu: The CNSU proposal is for the economic operators. Reporter: Strictly the economic operators? Florin Cițu: Yes. Reporter: Regarding the analyzes you asked, the three, from January 6, you asked the Ministers, if they were sent to you, those regarding the state companies, investments and legislative documents with budgetary impact? Florin Cițu: I said that two things can be done here: Ministers can put forward proposals to reschedule expenditure, reform proposals and we can do this through the budget. We will do it through budget this year. Thank you! Reporter: Good afternoon! Is it justified that salary of 18,000 euros at ARR? Florin Cițu: As you can realize, I have no information regarding the pay at that state authority. We will not look at this: whether or not, it is justified, but I can tell you about another project that we had, you know very well that as Finance Minister, I tried to reduce salaries at CEC and Exim Bank, and I was blocked by this system we are trying to change. I do not give up that intention, we will go further. At the same time, I want to look at the number of persons in the administrative boards, it seems a bit bigger at this moment, and we should have a smaller number than what we have here, but I can tell you that the reform we are talking about will include the pay system in the state companies, this is why I answered earlier that reform can be done through budget or the proposals coming from Ministers. If proposals coming from Ministers are late, we will do reform through the budget, we will force the reform through the budget. It seems that currently, we will force the reform through the budget. When I took over this mandate, I said clearly that no state company will receive subsidies without a reform program. No reform program, no subsidies. Reporter: Florin Victor Dumitru and Victor Costache were recently appointed Secretaries of State. What does it recommend them? Florin Cițu: Victor Costache is not Secretary of State, but an honorary advisor. His career as an international surgeon is recognized by the French Academy. Reporter: Why these appointments? Florin Cițu: I need a specialist in medicine and Victor Costache is a worldwide renowned specialist. Reporter: How close are you to the 7.2 percent deficit target? Florin Cițu: We are below the 7.2 percent target, we are closer to 7, than to 7.2 percent. I want us to approach 7, at least closer to 7, than to 7.2 percent. Reporter: Do you consider freezing pension as an option? If yes, what can you achieve this? Florin Cițu: Here, we have to somehow change the public language. The pensions cannot freeze in a year when they grew. Pensions this year are higher than last year. The pension point in 2021 is higher than last year. People will get more money at a pension than they got in 2020. Therefore, we cannot discuss this. Thank you. Reporter: Good afternoon. More mayors in the country are complaining they cannot open certain vaccination centres, as they are not doctors. Is the medical staff who declines participation in the vaccination process likely to be sanctioned? Florin Ciţu: I did not see this. On the contrary, we have seen that we have vaccination centres, we have the capacity to vaccinate, but the vaccines hardly arrive. But in Romania we are in the top 6, we stay there, regarding the number of daily vaccinations, we look at an average of seven days. So we cant say we dont have vaccination centres. We have more than we can vaccinate, unfortunately. Reporter: The mayor of Suceava claimed this morning that he cannot open certain vaccination centres because he does not have enough doctors, there are not enough doctors. Florin Ciţu: I dont know what the situation of the mayor of Suceava is. I tell you, at the national level and at international level - Romania is at the top in terms of vaccination. I dont see an issue here, on the contrary, we are waiting for more vaccines to come and I hope that as many vaccines will come in February so that we can return to normal. Reporter: And about the controls at Romanian Waters. You have announced that you will send the Control Body to investigate that case. Florin Ciţu: I already sent it. No, not just that case, not just that case. The point is, we dont just send it for one case. It is true, the information that was made public is very often beneficial, but the Prime Ministers Control Body looks at several things, it also looks at investments, how they were carried out. We have several objectives in this investigation. Reporter: If you allow me another question, related to those who skipped the vaccination. The Minister of Health said that there are over 1,300 people who got vaccinated from stage three to stage two. You, Monday, if I remember correctly, said that this did not happen. I wanted to ask you if you found out, if there were people who were vaccinated faster and if you also thought about sanctions for the doctors who made these vaccines? Florin Cițu: We have to be fair. I advanced the figure of 1,300. The other figure was tens of thousands and was advanced by the Ministry of Health; but I return to the goal of this vaccination campaign, to vaccinate as many people as possible: you cant stop the pandemic, you cant stop this virus unless we have as many people vaccinated as possible. The goal is to have 70% of the adult population, vaccinated. This is the goal, thats where we start. I cant sanction doctors if they vaccinated because there was an extra dose left. Yes, if there are situations in which all sorts of schemes have been created and which disadvantaged those who had scheduled their vaccination appointments, that is something else. But since we know that none of those scheduled to be vaccinated was turned away for someone else, I dont see a problem. Reporter: Regarding the Romanians who are held on Cancun Airport? Florin Cițu: The Minister of Foreign Affairs is in touch ...; Reporter: I only saw a message from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Anything else? Florin Cițu: Minister, in particular, has been in touch with those in Mexico. You saw the message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they are in touch with authorities in Mexico and the problem will be solved in a very short time. Reporter: And changes regarding the prefects? I saw that you had changes on the agenda regarding the prefects if you made appointments? Florin Cițu: No, there werent, there were a few. On-demand. The prefect of Cluj quitted this office and was appointed deputy secretary-general in the Government. There are a few more appointments, /...; / but those appointments that you expect have not yet been made, they took place through negotiation, because the emergency ordinance amending the statute has not yet been published. When it is published, we will have those appointments as well. Thanks! Mr Minister of Education! Reporter: I understand that there is some information that you objected to some of the nominations. Where do these nominations come from, and what are the issues related to these nominations? Florin Cițu: There are no issues, I did not object to anything, I said that there are some criteria that I do not abjure from no criminals in public offices, no conflict of interest. I want only professionals there. Thanks! (...) 2021-02-03 15:31:00, de către prim-ministrul României, Florin Cîțu, a ministrului de externe spaniol, Arancha Gonzalez LayaȘtiri din 03.02.2021 Minister Florin Cițu had today a meeting with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya, on the occasion of the latter's visit to Bucharest. The meeting took place in the context of the 140th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2021, and the first joint government meeting of the two states to be hosted by Spain this year. The two senior officials highlighted the substantial character of Romania - Spain Strategic Partnership and emphasized that the special level of the bilateral relationship, and the post-pandemic context offer opportunities for the development of common strategic projects, and partnerships generating value-added and jobs in the economies of the two countries. The numerous Romanian community in Spain also makes an essential contribution to strengthening the partnership between the two countries. Prime Minister Florin Cițu appreciated the presence of Spanish companies in our country and pointed out that the Romanian Executive will continue to promote investors -friendly public policies. Topics of common interest were reviewed, with a focus on priorities related to the smooth running of COVID - 19 vaccination programmes, and the opportunities linked to post-pandemic economic recovery programmes. Moreover, the Romanian Prime Minister reiterated Romania's major interest in completing the OECD accession process, as well as its accession to the Schengen area. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya expressed Spain's full support for both objectives of the Romanian Government. 2021-02-03 14:15:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2, Valeriu GheorghițăȘtiri din 02.02.2021 15:04:00ție de presă susținută de premierul Florin Cîțu la Palatul VictoriaȘtiri din 29.01.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon! First of all, I want to offer my condolences to the grieving families following the fire tragedy that occurred at the Matei Bals Institute this morning. Few minutes after the call to 112 was made this morning, I was contacted by Secretary of State Raed Arafat, who informed me that there was a fire at the Matei Bals Institute. At that moment, the red plan was triggered, and I have stayed in constant touch with the relevant authorities ever since: the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Bucharest Municipality Prefecture, the Health Ministry. Meanwhile, vacant beds were found at other hospitals in Bucharest, to transfer the patients. I take this opportunity to thank the managers of these hospitals who got directly involved, they took immediate action, and we could make this very fast transfer of patients. Around 6:37 am, all patients were already transferred to other hospitals. I also want to thank the employees of the Matei Bals Institute who also acted immediately to transfer the patients to other parts of the Institute. I immediately told the Minister of Interior to use all the resources necessary to stabilize the situation as fast as possible. I believe, and I say that again, that the intervention was very fast, efficient, and if it werent so, we would have had a different situation. Therefore, things were immediately kept under control. Now, about the tragedy. The shortcomings of the Romanian healthcare system have made their presence felt even today, in this tragedy. Although important resources have been allocated to this sector - last year alone, almost 65 billion lei were allocated that was 6.1% of the GDP - only a very small part of this money has been allocated to investment. It is time for everyone to understand that we cannot go on like this. We cannot spend 90%, 95% of resources only on wages and pay bonuses. We need to allocate more and more resources for investment in order to avoid such tragedies in the future. Besides the criminal aspects, there is also a criminal investigation going on. In addition to this aspect, this investigation, there is also a complex team that we have established, which will present a report. We already have a preliminary report, but I am waiting for the final conclusions to know what steps will need to take next. It also happened last year and we have learnt anything from that tragedy, it has happened again today. We cannot go on like this! I call on the administration employees, the employees of the Healthy Ministry, county health departments, Health Ministry's control bodies: do your job, otherwise, you'll get fired! It is time that each employee in the Romanian public sector does the job he/she is paid for. It is what I demand from the public sector employees. Thank you! 2021-01-29 14:24:00ție de presă a viceprim-ministrului Dan Barna cu ocazia debutului seriei de consultări între ministere pentru identificarea priorităților și proiectelor care vor fi incluse în versiunea actualizată a Planului Național de Redresare și Reziliență (PNRR)Știri din 28.01.2021 opened today the series of official working meetings devoted to updating the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. It is an important phase to avoid any sort of difficulties in PNRR approval and implementation. The participation of the representatives of all Ministries in this first discussion, as well as of institutions with complementary responsibilities in managing the future PNRR priorities, is the premise that our efforts will be coordinated, but transparent in implementing the reforms financed through the Plan. The deadlines are very short, and the premise is that this sum of 30 billion euros will be used as budget support for real reforms in the next period in Romania. Not only do we observe the conditions imposed by the European Commission, but we want to make the spending of these funds a key-moment in turning government commitments into reality. By March, we will clearly identify and define all investments, phase objectives, targets and costs related to all funding priorities within the six pillars established by the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism Regulation: green transition and climate change, digitalization, health, education and social services, institutional resilience, economic competitiveness and innovation, the new generation. We will have less than a month to make the fine adjustments together with the European Commission. By April 30 at the latest, the PNRR will be officially sent in Brussels. I am confident that we are entering a new stage of construction and development vision to start off this process. 2021-01-28 17:16:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Asociației Orașelor din RomâniaȘtiri din 28.01.2021 14:07:00 de presă susținut la finalul şedinţei de guvern din 27 ianuarieȘtiri din 27.01.2021 statements by Prime Minister Florin Ciţu and Minister for Development, Public Works and Administration, Attila Cseke [Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon! On today's Cabinet meeting, the Emergency Ordinance whereby prefects become dignitaries has been passed. The Development Minister Cseke Attila is here, he will answer all questions. You know very well that it is a project assumed by the government coalition through the programme for government and today, we have approved this emergency ordinance. The Development Minister will offer you the details. I will speak about the budget as I know there are public discussions about this topic. The targets remain the same, we are setting the deficit at 7%, we hope to reach 7%, 7% - 7.1%, but we are going around that figure. And I would like to say why we have to do this work and why it takes longer or it seems to take longer, although the goal is to come to Parliament next week because we are reversing or conducting or introducing reforms that have been postponed for 30 years; measures that have had a devastating, destructive impact on public finance in recent years, must be changed to create sustainability for public finance in the coming years. It is important, through this budget, to maintain the trust we created last year, trust in the eyes of the European Commission, of foreign investors, of credit rating agencies. That is why it is a very important budget, It is a budget that helps the economic recovery, that lays the foundations of a strong economy for 2021 - 2024. Moreover, the analysis of this budget is a little different, because with this budget we are starting the first part of a multi-annual budget. Therefore, we will introduce in Romania, I think that from 2023, the multi-annual budgeting, but we are starting with this budget and I look at the 2021 budget and the budget for 2022, and I tell you that this is the discussion in the European Commission. We are talking about the two budgets because some of the reforms that we will implement in 2021 will have a real impact on the economy in 2022. Therefore, this work is a bit more laborious, but, for the first time, we are introducing this multi-annual budget that will be in effect from 2024. On Cabinet meeting, of course, we had a discussion with all Ministers, because you know very well that I requested a set of reform measures from each Ministry and I want more details there, but there are measures we have been waiting for, and we will see them over the next period. I have publicly announced many of them, you already know what we refer to - state companies, Pay Law, Pensions Law, but also removal of some inefficient expenditure from the budget in this period. Last but not least: the vaccination campaign. /.../ Its going very well, all the figures show that its going very well. On the 25th, we ranked first in the European Union in terms of the number of vaccinations per day, calculated as an average. So Romania ranked first in the European Union at vaccinations. And we are still in top six in terms, with 2.5pct of the population that is to be vaccinated having already taken the vaccine, which we need to say so that people will know. With the resources that we have, limited resources, Romania manages to stay on the top. Yes, it is true, and Romania and the other EU countries had to reconfigure, to reset their vaccinations campaign in the very short term because the vaccine companies have adjusted their production and we had to re-analyze the situation. But this happens in all EU countries, not only in Romania. However, Romania has a successful vaccination campaign, we have over 500,000 vaccinated people,as I have already mentioned. First, the medical personnel should be vaccinated as I do not want to have outbreaks in hospitals, we want the doctors to be always there, and to cope with the situation, the elderly, the chronically ill remain the main objectives, priority ones, and we maintain them over the next period, even if we had fewer vaccines. Although we received 93,000 fewer vaccines last week, only 20,000 - 30,000 people were affected. Therefore, we managed to find solutions even under these circumstances. This is not the objective of vaccination, to rank first in the EU in terms of the number of vaccinations. The objective is to vaccinate as fast as possible an increasing number of people, and the vaccination campaign to have an impact on society. And even with these short-term problems, we will have the same objectives we discussed with all the companies producing the vaccine, to get to vaccinate 10.4 million citizens by September. That goal has not changed. It could happen faster, but that is the target, and also to have 2.4 million vaccinations done by March 29 this year. These are the objectives we undertake based on the contracts we have at the moment with the companies, especially with Pfizer, but with the other companies too, one at a time. This is the I repeat, the vaccination campaign in Romania is going well, despite all those who thought we couldnt do it. But we did it and we even managed to rank first in Europe in this campaign. I will take some questions before giving Mr Cseke the chance of explaining you the draft emergency ordinance. Reporter: Good afternoon. You were speaking about the budget. Today, there were several protests of retired in the capital, they demand an increase in the pension point by another 26 percent. What do you convey to them? How much will the pension point increase this year? We are speaking about three variants so far: freezing the pension point, an increase by 3 or 8 percent. Can you give them a clear answer? Florin Ciţu: The pension expenditure is increasing every year by nearly 8 billion lei. To understand the budgeting procedure: until we start anything this year, we should see if 8 billion lei expenditure is the precise expenditure, due to increasing the pension point from September, and the child benefits by another 2-3 billion lei. Therefore, we supplement this year's budget, without doing anything, by nearly 11 billion lei, 1.1 percent of GDP. Pensions this year will be higher than last year's pensions, this is certain, and the budget is built on the effective legislation. Reporter: Increasing the pension point by 40 percent is an illusion - the Labor Minister said. You have nevertheless set a threshold for the increase in the pension point? Can it increase nevertheless until 20, 30 percent? Florin Ciţu: We have announced that the legislation on pensions will be amended, as there are many issues there. We, as the government coalition who took office this year, have an obvious objective: pensions should be based on the contributory principle, we are based on this, and we will see the final form. But I repeat this year, the pension point is higher than the pension point in 2020. Reporter: And a single question, if you allow me, linked to the prefects politicization. You are a member of a party that has always said, at least in the last years, that it wants to depoliticize the public offices. Why now this politicization of the position of prefect? Florin Ciţu: I would not say it is a politicization of the prefect office. It is a re-establishment of this position, the Minister will explain exactly what the reasons behind are. It is an objective assumed by the coalition, it is a transparent objective assumed in the coalition's government programme, nothing is done overnight, it is not a surprise, it is a draft ordinance that has been in public debate for a month. Reporter: Regarding pensions, you said earlier that they will increase this year. Ludovic Orban said on Monday that it should increase with last years inflation, plus half of the increase in the average salary per the economy. Do you endorse this point of view? Florin Ciţu: I support my point of view, the one in which I say very clearly that the pension point in 2021 is higher than in 2020, and the expenditure regarding pensions has already increased this year by approximately 8 billion lei. Of course, we are looking at several options, but I repeat: when we talk about pensions, we need to look more in the long run. Because whatever happens this year with the pension point has implications for the coming years and, therefore, I repeat, we must move to a multi-annual budget. Without a multi-annual budget, we will have these discussions every year and we find that next year we are looking for money again through the budget. I stick to what I said, pensions this year are higher than pensions in 2020. Reporter: And a clarification. Did I understand that next week the draft budget will reach Parliament? It should be approved by the Government first. Florin Ciţu: Exactly. Of course, this is the procedure. I said I hoped we would be ready to go to Parliament next week. If not, there will be another week. But all the package, not just the budget, need to reach Parliament, it is about the package of reforms that this budget is based on, and which will have a medium and long term impact on Romania's economy, but the impact will be much to see in 2022. This is why we should be more careful when we pass this draft budget. Reporter: I apologize, Anca Dragu said that budget could be sent to Parliament in two to three weeks. Florin Ciţu: Well, not so pessimistic, but a week more or less does not matter at this moment, if we come with what I said - the reform package and the draft budget at the same time. Reporter: Do you consider that Romania will sue Pfizer for non-compliance with the vaccine delivery schedule? Florin Ciţu: There are discussions, I am aware of these discussions. So far, Pfizer does not seem to have not complied, because what was not given last week, was sent this week, so the doses of vaccine I received, were compensated. Reporter: Then why? Florin Ciţu: There could be other problems. They were sent earlier, they were scheduled to arrive last week, thats why that problem. But in the end, we get all the doses. It is clear that they arrived a week late. Discussions are taking place at the level of the European Commission. There are other companies producing the vaccine, AstraZeneca, we will see what the decision will be. Romania will not make a separate decision, because you know very well that these contacts are not made between Romania and the Pfizer company, they are made by the EU, Romania receives a quota. Reporter: Have you also discussed at the government level about the vaccination of Romanians living abroad? Florin Ciţu: In this respect, of course, there were some discussions. But the Romanian citizens who are domiciled in another locality ... there are also mobility problems, to bring them home implies all kinds of logistics-related issues. We are also trying to find a solution for the Romanian citizens living abroad. Reporter: I am referring here to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova - because they are not part of the EU, how will they be vaccinated? Florin Ciţu: You know very well that the Romanian Government promised to deliver 200,000 doses to the Republic of Moldova over the next period. Reporter: Can you tell us how many vaccine doses do you expect, especially from those from Moderna, and if those who want to get vaccinated with Moderna, will need a new vaccination appointment, or will they be vaccinated with Moderna according to the appointment? Florin Ciţu: Currently, there are about 60,000 doses from Moderna at this moment. We are looking for up to 90,000 doses to arrive over the next period, which, if they came a bit faster, we were not obliged to make this adjustment, as it was exactly the amount we have not received from Pfizer that week. Moderna and Pfizer are the same, there is no difference between Moderna and Pfizer. If I could have made a Moderna vaccine, to show there is no danger, I would have made this vaccine, unfortunately, we did not have this vaccine back then. There is no difference, the Health Ministry presented it, I will ask my Health Ministry colleagues to clearly present the differences or the resemblances between the two vaccines. I do not think there will be an issue the way people will get vaccinated. I think there will be vaccination centres with different vaccination cabinets where you can get vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer, therefore, a centre has several cabinets and thus, we can differentiate by cabinets. Reporter: You said that 90,000 doses are missing from... Florin Ciţu: 93,000 doses from Pfizer came late, over the ensuing weeks. Last week, we received 93,000 doses less, but we will receive them over the next weeks. Therefore, this week, we received some of them, next week, the other part. What we were to receive weekly was supplemented, for us to receive 93,000. Reporter: How many Moderna vaccines should arrive, how many are missing and when the next batch arrives? Florin Ciţu: We receive 14,000 Moderna vaccines weekly, they complied with the delivery schedule, we will receive over the next period too. We did not introduce them into use yet, as there were too few, but we need to make sure we have the Moderna booster dose too, this is why we are very careful when appointments are made. Reporter: A question on the budget. There was a meeting yesterday at Vila Lac with president Klaus Iohannis, we know there are nevertheless tense discussions between PNL and USR leaders regarding the budget. If you can tell us if this is the cause of the delays on the state budget? Florin Ciţu: No, there are no tense discussions, what matters is what I requested and want us to deliver - the reform- and it is high time for this. There was no kind of tension. We will make a sustainable budget, a budget to back the economic growth between 2021- 2024. Reporter: There have been public information regarding certain Ministries asking more money than the state budget can afford. Florin Ciţu: All Ministries are asking. There are not only some. All Ministries are asking more money, it is not something new. I could see this last year too. It is good nevertheless that they have investment projects, it is good there is interest and we should eventually prioritize resources, we are glad we find projects in which we need to invest. Marina Cioaca: I would also have a question about the vaccine. Those rescheduled noticed that they will have the second dose after a month, and not after 21 days as so far. Florin Ciţu: It depends on the vaccine. As regards Pfizer, I do not know this detail, I will check it, when I got vaccinated I asked if I can make the booster dose later and I was told that it was no problem, I may come later for the booster dose, so, I see no problem there, it is good they have their vaccine appointments re-scheduled, that there is the booster vaccine, we will have a vaccine. Reporter: How do you manage to keep the budget deficit to 7 percent, if there are several colleagues from USR who requested higher amounts? Florin Ciţu: You should know that the budget is built on certain limits of the Ministries. Therefore, even if demand is higher, the budget is approved within certain limits, and if that is the budget, the enforcement will deal with it. The Public Finance Ministry approves monthly the limits for each Ministry and then, I will monitor as I have said at the outset, the budget execution and we will see the limits established for each Ministry. There are big ambitions at the outset, there is an issue with the enforcement, but I do not think it will be further an issue. Reporter: Please tell us, how will you manage to keep the budget deficit at 7%, if there are more colleagues from USR, as far as we know, who asked for larger amounts? Florin Ciţu: You should know that the budget, when it is built, is built on some limits of the ministries. So, yes, there may be a higher demand, but in the end, the budget is approved within certain limits and that is the budget, we will go with the execution. I dont know if you remember, but also last year ... The Ministry of Public Finance approves the limits for each ministry on a monthly basis and then I will monitor, as I said at the beginning, I will monitor the budget execution and we will see what limits are approved for each ministry separately. Usually, the problem is not ... Its a reverse problem, execution, ambitions are very big at the beginning, with execution its a problem, so I dont think it will be a problem anymore. Adriana Prorea: And a question about the vaccination campaign. It has been known, however, for two weeks that there will be fewer doses delivered by Pfizer, why did you not limit the number of vaccinations, to end up in the situation of rescheduling the vaccine appointment? Florin Ciţu: We knew about Pfizer, but we didnt know about Moderna and we didnt know about AstraZeneca. This was information that came along. And when I had all the information, I made a decision. I repeat, 93,000 doses were delivered later, fewer people had their appointments rescheduled, so, we found solutions, everything become more effective, everything worked much better than we expected. But I was in talks with CNCAV on Friday, because we had to find a solution and in the end we found a good solution. Adriana Prorea: Thank you. Reporter: You said that pensions from 2021 will be higher than in 2020 ... Florin Ciţu: A pension point, yes. Diana Bonea: ... when you make this comparison, do you take into account the pensions before the increase in September, or after this increase? Florin Ciţu: Take what comparison you want, but if you take the pension point, this year, and forget what is the pension point last year for the whole year, and make an average, you will see that this year the pension point is higher than the year last. They are in any comparison higher this year, I I tell you, expenditure on pensions is already increasing by 9 million lei. So, any comparison we would make, the pension point this year is higher than last year. Reporter: We have seen that lately less and less tests are being carried out, in the context in which, in fact, 5 cases have been confirmed in our country with the new coronavirus strain in Great Britain and there are specialists who say that Romania could end up having 60,000 cases of coronavirus per day in the fall, due to the fact that very few tests are being carried out, and the authorities are not aware of the real figures. This is also reflected in the large number of patients who are admitted to Intensive Care, for example. Why so few tests are being carried out? Florin Ciţu: I am not a specialist, but there is not a large number in intensive care, on the contrary, it is a constant number, there were even less than a thousand people hospitalized, so this information has not been confirmed yet. Regarding the tests ... Reporter: There are over 1,000 cases in the intensive care units. Florin Ciţu: Regarding the tests, here I also asked for more information at INSP, there were several discussions. I tell you that every time I look, not only at the number of tests or the number of infected people, I also look at the other indicators: hospital and intensive care admission rates, and we do not see it. We are trying to find out what the truth is. I assume people who get tested, are more likely to be tested at home, and I noticed that the responsible persons testing home with an antigen rapid test, and test positive, they usually call the family doctor for treatment. Therefore, it is a simple procedure. The others who get ill or their state of health has a negative evolution, they are admitted to hospital /.../ and therefore, registered. So, we need to look at several indicators to have a real picture of this phenomenon, but we treat seriously the situation with UK virus strain. I am talking on a daily basis with the Health Ministry, with Mr. Arafat, and several persons, we are trying to identify the risks posed, and how we can counteract. The number of intensive care beds should increase so that we are ready. We assume this on short term, only to be ready. Reporter: On the other hand, former Prime Minister said there is a capacity of approximately 50,000 tests daily in Romania, which has never been attained, and in recent weeks, there were several days in a row when 4,000 - 5,000 tests were conducted. Florin Ciţu: I think that people are getting tested home, and if the infection rate was higher, we would have seen it from other indicators. Thank you! The Development Minister will tell you about the emergency order. (...) 2021-01-27 17:11:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2, Valeriu Gheorghiță Știri din 26.01.2021 15:57:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Coaliției pentru Dezvoltarea RomânieiȘtiri din 26.01.2021 14:19:00ții de presă susținute de premierul Florin CîţuȘtiri din 25.01.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Investment and healthcare are the priorities we have announced since last year. We are still in a pandemic, we did not escape the pandemic and to this, we added the vaccination campaign, additional resources for the payment of the vaccine, as well as supporting the vaccination campaign, so the budget started from here. I know that the Ministry of Public Finance will complete today the discussions with the authorizing officers, so, we will have today, a budget proposal closer to what I desire and to what I consider a good budget, able to sustain the 2021 economic growth. We will see today, at the end of the day which were the demands of the authorizing officers and how many of them can be sustained by today's economic situation. We know from the National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis that the nominal GDP stays at the same level, a bit higher than last year, and this would mean that we have three years with a nominal GDP which has not changed too much, although last year, it registered a decrease, this year, we will have growth, but the nominal GDP remains in the same context. Therefore, these are the underlying macro figures. Reporter: Regarding the increase in pensions, we know there have been discussions on this topic too. Will the pensions rise or not from September 1? Florin Ciţu: Pension expenditure in the 2021 budget is already increasing by almost 8 billion lei from last year, from last years pension increase. So that you can realise: 8 billion means about 0.8% of GDP, plus an increase in child benefits, last years increase plus this years increase, another almost 3 billion, we are talking about 1.1% of the GDP in addition to what we had last year in the budget, so expenses in addition to last year. From here we start building the budget this year on the legislation in force, of course. Reporter: Apart from this growth, does it mean that it will not be another growth? For instance, indexation with the inflation rate, as it was publicly discussed? Florin Ciţu: Currently, and I have publicly stated this, we are looking at the amendment of two laws which created problems to the sustainability of public finance in Romania. We are talking about the unitary pay law which was presented publicly as a law eliminating the inequities from public administration and which created several problems by all kind of exceptions which have appeared lately. You know well that when this law was presented, the Romanian president was said to have the highest salary and from there we start considering the rest of the salaries. This is not anymore so, the Romanian president has not the highest salary anymore, and we need to re-analyze this pay law. The pension law- this coalition said from the outset: we want to have a pension law based on the contributory principle. And of course, there are two laws we have been working on, and we will see the final form in the next period. Reporter: Therefore, the pension law which is now in force, and which should take effect as of September 1, will not be applied as of September 1? That new form of calculation, solving those inequities from the pension system? Florin Ciţu: We will see whether we are ready with a new law of pensions in this period, and we can apply it until then. But the budget, of course, is built on the legislation in force. Reporter: Linked to the pension law, is it compulsory to index the pension with the inflation rate through law? Florin Ciţu: I repeat what I have been saying from the beginning: the budget is built on the legislation in force; what the law says to be done, that will be done. Reporter: But these amendments to the Pay Law and Pension Law should bring much money, left much money in the state treasury. Do you have an evaluation? Florin Ciţu: It is not the purpose of these laws... Reporter: Obviously, but... Florin Ciţu: First of all, I said that it is about the contributory principle at the Pension Law, and this is the underlying principle. As regards the Pay Law, we seek more effectiveness in public administration. In this respect, its also about linking performance, revenue to performance - there are several things. In addition to wanting to have a clear hierarchy, we should also introduce some performance indicators that are connected to that revenue, so that the increase in incomes should not be politically decided every year; it should be one related to economic performance. Reporter: What would that mean? Does this imply that the civil servants pass annual competition or...? Florin Cițu: There are several variants, there are variants that we introduced and the Ministry of Public Finance was going to introduce them too, something that has been happening in the EU for a very long time, and at the European Commission too. For example, a rotation, for a person not to remain in the same position for 20 years, after a term or two terms as a general manager or in office, to be able to change office elsewhere. There are many examples in the EU of good practice in public administration governance that we will use. Reporter: You say that you will make an analysis of the bonuses that state sector employees are receiving. Id like to ask you if you have already done this so far...? Florin Cițu: It is not yet finalized. The analysis on the budget is conducted concomitantly with the budget for 2021. You should know that the reforms that we want to introduce will take two years and a large part of the reforms that we will adopt in 2021 will have an impact on the 2022 budget, so we are not just thinking about the budget for 2021, we are thinking about these two years. It is how I look at this budget and at investment and staff costs, and we look at all these considering a two - year span. You have not asked me yet, I am going to tell you about investment. This year, the budget expenditure with the investment will grow, we will maintain the same principle as last year, to finance an increasing number of investment from European funds. Two or three Cabinet meetings ago, I asked the Ministries to identify those investment projects which can be transferred on PNRR. Therefore, this effort we made last year, generated results, almost half the money spent last year on investment was defrayed, we will continue it and we want to increase this percent. The largest share of the money spent in fact on investment, should be from European funds. We have PNR and next financial exercise. Reporter: Lately, we have a dispute related to the opening in Bucharest, at least of the restaurants, which would still contribute to the budget revenues. There are voices including at the Ministry of Health, in favor of the extension of restrictive measures. How do you see all this dispute? Should they be open in cities where the infection rate has dropped or not? Florin Cițu: I said that if it was up to me, I would like the whole economy to open tomorrow. We need an open economy, we need investment to be able to pay higher salaries and pensions. At the same time, we need to take into account the doctors recommendations, because this is a difficult period. They need to make a decision first, this is not my decision to make. From what I understand, these relaxation measures regarding Bucharest, these decisions have been taken based on the legislation in force. If they decide to change that threshold of 3 per thousand [cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection], to make it 2 per thousand, or 4 per thousand, and of course that they can do this, because they are the experts, and then they will come up with the recommendations and we will make a decision. On what is happening today, I cannot have another opinion than the one based on the legislation in force. If the effective legislation is observed, and if the indicators we have used for one year, show it is good to relax conditions, then, we relax them, if indicators are changing, and I could hear Mr Arafat saying the same thing, and I hope the others said the same, and the incidence is above 3 per thousand, then, of course, we will return to these measures. Last year, in 2020, we adapted each time. Things have improved, we relaxed the measures, as it happened last summer; as things got worse, we applied restrictive measures. But to be very clear to everyone, this very little relaxation of the conditions doesnt mean that we must immediately give up the mask, the disinfectant. No, everyone must observe all the conditions in order to protect us against the virus and I hope that, with the help of vaccination, we will have better conditions during the summer, towards the end of the summer. Reporter: What about the discussion on opening schools? We cannot open them today and close them next week when the incidence rate is higher. What is your personal opinion on this matter? Florin Cițu: We said, the president of Romania said as well, that we will make a firm decision on February 2. We are watching until then what happens to the epidemiological situation in Romania if the situation gets worse. Personally, of course, I want, like everyone else, for schools to be opened, and the economy to be opened, but it doesnt matter what I want, what matters is the health situation, because we cannot relax the conditions too much and then have pressure put on the health system. I repeat: the vaccination campaign running well in Romania, despite all criticism, and if we take a look at what is happening in the European Union, we can consider the relaxation of conditions in the next period. Reporter: Regarding vaccination and COVID, if the new possible outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus should worry Romanians and if other restrictive measures might be taken? Florin Cițu: For the time being, I think there is an investigation underway into this new strain. Yes, we should be [worried]. Once again: if we maintain the measures we have had so far - wearing a mask in public spaces, using a disinfectant, social distancing - you have seen that they have worked and worked very well for Romania. We must not give them up, we understand that this new strain coming from the UK seems to be spreading faster, true, but if you wear a mask if you keep your social distance and if you use disinfectant, things stay the same. Therefore, when we give up these aids in the face of the pandemic, then it spreads faster. Reporter: In France, they considered imposing a new lockdown exactly because of this new strain of the virus. Florin Cițu: In Romania, we are looking at our situation. If God forbid, we reach this situation, of course, we will make a decision. But I do not think we will. I repeat, Romanians complied with these restrictive measures, we could see this during holidays, and the results could be seen. I further call on all Romanians to wear a mask in public, to observe physical distancing, and you will see that we can hope in this direction. Reporter: How do you feel after the first dose of vaccine? Florin Cițu: Very well. I have more energy, I do not know if it is from the vaccine or from drinking more coffee, but I am feeling very well. Reporter: Linked to investment, will we have highways built this year, like healthcare, education are priority areas. Will you have funds for that too? Florin Cițu: Healthcare and investment are priority fields in 2021. Reporter: Education isn't? Florin Cițu: Education is too, but we allocate additional resources to invest more in education and healthcare. There will be kilometres of highway built. I said that investment projects should be prioritized. Sibiu - Pitesti should be kicked off, and we need to have a plan, clear planning and a well-devised budget for the next four years. I do not want the budget to be limited to 2021. As regards large projects, the financing scheme should be prepared for a longer time, in order not to strive each year to find money to carry out these projects. Thank you very much. 2021-01-25 16:13:00 Dan Barna, întrevedere cu Istvan Jakab, șeful interimar al Reprezentanței Comisiei Europene din RomâniaȘtiri din 22.01.2021 Prime Minister Dan Barna has met today with Mr Istvan Jakab, Acting Head of the European Commission's Representation in Romania - I have assured Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna of the full openness of European Commissions Representation to strengthening collaboration with the Romanian Government so that Romanians can benefit from all the advantages stemming from EU membership, stated Mr Istvan Jakab. - I have praised the European Commission's involvement in ensuring coordinated management of the aspects related to Covid -19 pandemic. We further count on this involvement. As far as we are concerned, it is essential for us, at this moment, to ensure the fastest and most effective implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. We want to build a plan not only to be accepted by the Commission from a technical point of view but also designed to make a major contribution to combating the effects of the economic crisis we are going through stated Vice Prime Minister Dan Barna in his turn. 2021-01-22 16:11:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu, viceprim-ministrul Dan Barna și ministrul investițiilor și proiectelor europene, Cristian Ghinea, privind unele măsuri aprobate în ședința de guvern din 20 ianuarieȘtiri din 20.01.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good evening. Several legislative documents have been approved in the first part of the Cabinet meeting. I will speak about two of them, and afterwards, I will take some questions, we have not seen each other for some time. First of all, I would start with a shorter document, a memorandum regarding the CVM. You very well know that there is a political commitment of this coalition in this respect, and we will take priority steps to finalize the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and of course, it is about the judicial legislation. This memorandum clearly shows a timetable of the Government and the coalition in the Parliament to sort it out. Furthermore, Vice Prime Minister Barna will also speak about the CVM. It is a very important thing that this Cabinet and this ruling coalition committed to finalizing the CVM based on recommendations and we have an ambitious timetable in this respect, we hope to sort it out by June. The second legislative document was also presented publicly, it is about a Government Decision presenting the strategy, in fact, setting out the categories of persons to be vaccinated in the second phase, i.e, those essential categories of persons, and there have been several discussions in this respect, we eventually reached a final form, and decided the initial strategy to be reconsidered, therefore, we have this second phase and the third ensues, where there are other essential categories who should have been in the second phase. A few more elements, the key personnel from public institutions enter this second vaccination phase, these public institutions are key to state functioning; I call on the heads of these institutions that these lists include the essential personnel for the operation of these public institutions, not the entire personnel. There are many institutions presented here, we included the Romanian seafaring personnel, the personnel working on maritime platforms, and I repeat the third phase A was introduced, with key workers from the private sector essentially. The Government Decision as I said on today's Cabinet meeting, is a flexible document which can be amended depending on the developments on the spot, and the amount of the vaccines received. We very clearly know that 2.4 million Pfizer vaccines will arrive until March 29, this is clear data. This means that more than a million people will receive the two vaccine doses by then. Moderna vaccine is also in the initial plan, it should come up with another 400,000 doses and there is also the AstraZeneca vaccine. If these vaccines arrive as well, we will amend this Government Decision to accelerate the third phase. I must tell that the second phase was accelerated compared to the initial phase, therefore, we are ready to speed up the third phase as well, if these vaccines arrive. I will take a few more questions, and then, my colleagues will answer you. Reporter: You were talking about the attempt to speed up this phase, therefore, could it be possible in March, not in April, if we have enough vaccine doses? Florin Ciţu: Yes, it is true. The second vaccination phase started two weeks earlier than expected, and we managed to do this, we had a stock of vaccines. If things are running well, we will accelerate the third phase. It is what we wanted, this is why we bought 8 million vaccines, but they will come in the second quarter, as of April. If Modena sticks to the plan, we will speed up the third vaccination phase, if AstraZeneca sticks to the plan, we will accelerate all the stages. We are ready with the vaccination centres, to reach up to 150,000 vaccinations per day as I said. Everything depends on the date when we receive these vaccines. At this moment, we will reach 220,000 doses per week, as of February, we will reach that point. Reporter: But I know that currently, Pfizer manufactures less. Does it spoil your plans, given that there will not be enough doses... Florin Cițu: No, it was a smaller production for a week. We will receive the difference starting next week. So, this week, we received almost 90,000 doses, next week we receive 180,000 instead of 150,000. And we get the difference for last week. In addition, the initial plan was to increase these doses weekly. At this point, I repeat, we reach 220,000 weekly doses, 2.4 million by March 29. Reporter: And I dont know if I understood correctly: you were talking about the third phase A ... Florin Cițu: A, which is an intermediate phase, because in the second phase, of the essential workers, we would have wanted to include more people, and especially from the private sector. They are sent in the third phase A, which is an intermediate stage. Reporter: One more question. Teachers could be vaccinated ... Florin Ciţu: They are in the second vaccination phase, now. Reporter: No. Until February 8, do they somehow have priority until then? Thanks. Florin Ciţu: They are in the second vaccination phase. So, all teachers should get vaccinated, they are in the second phase if they want to get vaccinated, just like the doctors who were in the first vaccination phase. Reporter: Prime Minister, who exactly is entering this phase, what are the new categories of the second phase and which of them will be a priority in the third phase? You said that changes have been made to the Government Decision that you made public. Florin Ciţu: In the second stage I said that we are trying to maintain that distribution that we also saw at the registration /...; / or enrollment in the platform: 75% elderly, so people over 65, plus people with chronic diseases. So that would be a percentage. The rest are essential workers for the functioning of the state. And you will see exactly the categories - there are several, you will see exactly each one. The third stage was broken in the 3rd and the 3rd classical phase. At 3a, I tell you that they are, for example, the people who come into direct contact with more citizens, but from the private sector. Reporter: I mean, for example, people who work in banks, in supermarkets...; Florin Ciţu: Exactly. Cashiers, people working in supermarkets, in banks, - these are people who will enter phase 3a, which will be very soon, I can tell you. As we accelerated the second phase, we are preparing to accelerate the third one too. Reporter: Would you have liked them to enter the first phase as well? Florin Ciţu: I want everyone to be vaccinated as soon as possible. It doesnt depend on us, as far as the logistics is concerned, we are ready for 150,000 vaccines a day, it depends when we receive these vaccines. At this moment, to be very clear, 2.4 million by March 29, 400,000 from Moderna should arrive by March 29 too, as regards AstraZeneca, we should find out by the end of the month if we receive them; the optimistic scenario is to have 4.2 million doses by March 29. But that is an optimistic scenario and I want to be very clear that we are currently relying on the 2.4 million doses. In the optimistic scenario, there are about 2 million people vaccinated by March 29. As we have scheduled today, by the end of September, 10.4 million citizens, 70% of those to be vaccinated, out of the 15 million, will be vaccinated with both doses of vaccine. So, we purchased all the doses, there are 23 million doses bought, already paid, we have just to see when they arrive. Reporter: Are there any tensions between you, the Minister of Health, Vlad Voiculescu, and the coordinator of the vaccination campaign? Florin Cițu: No. There is only the desire for things to go perfectly and we have discussions every time, but there is no tension. We want things to go perfectly in order to have a successful vaccination campaign. Thats all. Reporter: But are there more heated discussions between the vaccination campaign coordinator and the Minister of Health, Vlad Voiculescu? Florin Cițu: I dont think there are more heated discussions. I did not witness heated discussions between the two. Thank you. Reporter: What concrete measures have been taken to prioritize teachers vaccination because Mr Sorin Cimpeanu stated that he wants teachers vaccination to be prioritized in the second vaccination phase? Florin Cițu: Minister of Education is doing this prioritization, first of all, the respective institutions, we do not prioritize it. The respective staff will be registered with priority, but not by us, by those making the registration. Reporter: For instance, the schools directors confirmed me that they cannot register the teachers, as there are no more vacant places in the localities centres. Florin Cițu: I do not know the respective detail, but I could see a 50 percent vaccination intention, problems in this respect have not been signalled to me. Maybe there is a special situation in a case, which can be solved if it is notified to the Ministry. Reporter: Several trade unions in various sectors took to streets now, to protest against salaries freeze. Those protesting in the street said that the protests will continue as long as things are not solved. Did you talk to the trade union leaders, and if you did, what decisions did you take and what decisions will you make in this respect? Florin Cițu: I think you are talking about several sectors of the economy, and the Ministers coordinating these sectors held discussions with the trade union leaders, I also discussed with taxpayers from the private sector this time, and there are a lot of demands from this sector. Romania is going through a difficult time, a period of economic crisis, and nevertheless, in the biggest crisis in the last 100 years, in 2020, I was the one who stated that it is not time to make a reform in the administration, it is not the right time to freeze salaries, it is not the right time to make these things in 2020. The public sector salaries rose on average by 8 percent in 2020, whereas the median growth was 3 percent in the rest of Europe. This year, we should further make sure that we will make the investment, that we allocate resources for investment, to generate economic growth. This is the signal for all public sector employees: only if we register sustainable economic growth, can we maintain the current level of wages. Without a medium and long term sustainable growth, without investment, we cannot maintain the current level of wages. But I am always ready to discuss with everybody, with figures, to see solutions. Reporter: As regards the vaccination strategy and I wanted to ask you: the second vaccination phase included the ministries personnel, the public administration, personnel who during this period was able to work from home, but HoReCa and the cultural sector personnel have remained for the third vaccination phase. What was this difference? Florin Cițu: Not everyone was included, and thats what we started with: the key personnel in the state institutions, without which the state cannot function. Here are some ministries, Ill give you an example - the Ministry of Finance, the payment system, some people who work there who are essential workers, if these people are not there, we can no longer function in the economy, and so on. It is about essential personnel in public institutions. Reporter: Excuse me, regarding the Ministry of Finance, there is also staff from ANAF, for example, who is working from home and who will still be included in the second phase of vaccination. Florin Cițu: We dont know if they are eligible. It is the key staff, I repeat, this will be a decision taken by the head of the respective institution: to identify the essential employees in that respective institution. Thats why Im telling you it doesnt include all the staff, right? The government decision was amended today in this regard. Reporter: And another question about raising pensions: will this increase be included in the 2021 Budget Law? Florin Cițu: We will talk about the budget when we discuss the Budget Law. You know very well, its a separate topic, it doesnt make sense to discuss it here today. Reporter: And the bonuses for state sector employees? Florin Cițu: But I will gladly discuss the budget, when we approach the Budget Law, together with the Minister of Public Finance. We will observe transparency, as we have always done, we will discuss everything in the budget and you will see each chapter. Reporter: Mr Prime Minister, you said in the interview you granted last evening that, in addition to the massive testing, we must continue to monitor the epidemiological evolution. In this respect, I think it would help us to know clearly how many tests we have at the moment, in each county. Considering the answer given by those from the National Institute of Public Health for Antena 3, at present, the Romanian Government does not have at its disposal, neither the authorities have, obviously, nor the people, a clear statistics regarding the number of tests conducted per each county. Laboratories transmit these tests results directly to the platform. Basically, we dont have clear evidence, at the moment, of testing on each county, in Romania. Florin Ciţu: No, your conclusion is exaggerated. We have clear evidence and data ... Reporter: It is not our conclusion, it is the official point of view of the National Institute of Public Health. Florin Ciţu: We get there too. The data says very clearly what we know is being tested. But at the same time, you know very well what this press release refers to the fact that tests are being conducted at home as well, a lot of antigen tests are being done at home. And there are people who are testing positive at home, some of them call the Department of Public Health and say they tested positive and then do a PCR test, some of them do not. This is what this refers to. There are a lot of tests being made in Romania but are not being reported, thats what it refers to. But all tests that are done in the medical system and everything that is reported is publicly reported, and the analysis we have - and we are looking at several indicators, not just the number of tests, if we look at what is happening, at the number of people calling the emergency line if we look at what is happening in the intensive care units- we see that things are getting better everywhere. When looking at this analysis, we look at several factors and indicators. Bucharest has for instance an infection rate below three per 1000 inhabitants. I think it is a very good thing. That means that the measures we have taken and maintained during holidays, bore results, although not popular at that time, but now, Bucharest has an infection rate below 3 per 1000 inhabitants. If we keep this trend, we can have very good news for the Horeca sector, it means that we can open restaurants if the infection rate is below 3 per 1000 inhabitants in the next period. Reporter: I quote, not to say that this is our conclusion, from the official response of the INSP: - Following your e-mail, we specify that the laboratories that perform tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 report on the online platform only the total number and the processed tests . Therefore, at the central level, there are no reports of data per counties, Mr Prime Minister. Based on this data, you will decide when the schools reopen; Clearly, you should have a picture of what is happening nationwide. Therefore, you cannot tell me that it is just an indicator and we are glad that, now, the number of tests is increasing, including those done at home. Basically, you rely on absolutely independent variables. Florin Ciţu: No. In addition to this indicator .. You give me an indicator: the number of tests. We are looking at several indicators. The other indicators are: what is happening in the hospital, in intensive care, what is happening when people are calling the emergency line, how many people report and so on. So we have several indicators to look at in order to make a decision. It is not even normal to make such an important decision based on a single indicator, which is volatile, it is true. But from what we know so far, there are a lot of people who are being tested at home, some of them report the results, some dont report, so we dont rely just on an indicator. Reporter: If we were talking about leaving things on certain possible volatile indicators, what happened to Government Decision regarding the minimum wage? We know that it was published in the Official Gazette, it appeared under a new form that was placed on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting, it was not approved last Friday, it did not appear on the agenda of todays meeting.? Florin Ciţu: We have to discuss this ... It is the part of the interpretation of the legislation in force - very often when you want to do a good thing, sometimes you stumble upon slightly more complicated legislation. But the minimum wage is to increase by 3% in 2021. Eventually, the Government Decision will be adopted. When it comes from the Ministry of Labor, with all the approvals, everything will be ok, we will approve it. Reporter: And in terms of those performance indicators for state-owned companies - it was up to you to discuss them in this Cabinet meeting. If you can give us an example, if you have decided on these indicators that you will approve by memorandum, if you have done so, by the way. Florin Ciţu: The memorandum was approved last week. We expect from the ministries, there are several things, not just indicators, it is about identifying first of all these companies with problems, the reform plan, etc. There are a few more things to do until February 4. Reporter: Marga Nitu, Aleph News. Mr Prime Minister, in last evening's interview, you said that - responsibility usually falls on Prime Minister's shoulders. Under these circumstances, if the target of 10.4 million vaccinated is not attained, taking responsibility, in this case, equals your resignation? Florin Ciţu: Back then, I was speaking about responsibility-taking regarding Secretaries of State, the appointment of Secretaries of State to public offices. You spoke about other responsibility taking. I assume what I am responsible for. When I appoint the Secretaries of State or the chairpersons of agencies, I said that I would conduct a vetting based on these three criteria I do not abjure from no convicts in public office, no conflicts of interest and professionals only, this is what I meant back then. Now, if in September, we will have 10,300.000 vaccinated, I think it is a success. Eventually, I think the goal is to have as many vaccinated persons as possible, not the Cabinet to collapse. I think we should rejoice of the current vaccination pace. Now, Romania ranked sixth in EU and 18th globally. We have not been given this prospect, we have always been seen in the last places, I say we are heading in the right direction. I have seen the PSD messages, I do not think that PSD has something to say over the next four years, they should be ignored in terms of the public messages. What they had to say, they said it in 2017, when few days after their Cabinet investiture, people took to the streets by hundred thousand, I do not think we have somebody to discuss with, there. Reporter: Regarding HoReCa. When to expect the indoor restaurants opening? Florin Ciţu: As to me, I said that I would open all the economy tomorrow. To afford this, and to be able to be a strong economy, we should be an open economy. Everything depends on us all to comply with restrictions, to wear a mask, maintain a distance from others, use disinfectant. It depends on us. When we comply with all these rules, we will open sooner the restaurants and everything else. Thank you. Reporter: Realitatea Plus. Mr Prime Minister, could we witness a drop in state sector salaries over the next period? Florin Ciţu: No, salaries have been frozen. Reporter: Yes. But will you cut them? Florin Ciţu: No, they have been frozen, therefore, we can no longer...a right once won, it is already harder to do something, salaries have been frozen. A decision has been made in this respect. Reporter: What is the status of that vetting you said you would conduct regarding the salaries of state employees, their number? Florin Ciţu: We have several vettings, analyses to conduct, both regarding local and central administration. The discussion I had with the representatives of the local administration, county councils, and the Municipalities Association was very clear from my point of view. The evolution not only of salaries, bonuses, expenditure with local and central administration, in the last four years, is not sustainable. We cannot afford this, consequently, I expect responsible local administrations to come up with measures, to correct this tendency. What has happened in the last four years is not sustainable in the long run, considering our development potential and the fact that we need resources for investment over the ensuing period. Reporter: You said local administrations. What is happening...? Florin Ciţu: Both central and local administration. Reporter: Do you have a deadline for receiving these solutions? Florin Ciţu: I think we will meet again with the representatives of municipal and county associations next week. I will try to meet them more often especially now, with the budget debate. They want transparency and predictability concerning the sums they receive from the budget, for re-balancing, and I want the local administration reform, and I think we can meet. Thank you very much. Dan Barna: Today, several important decisions have been taken on the Cabinet meeting. I will speak about three of them: first of all, the memorandum which was mentioned by Prime Minister, relative to the timetable regarding CVM measures, in order to raise this issue Romania has since 2006. The CVM has become a sort of pipe dream, we are always talking about it, but real measures are very limited. Through the memorandum adopted today, on Cabinet meeting, we decide to have the legislation by the end of February... the Government's approval of the law on SIIJ dismantling, that special section that generated so many problems and brought us zero benefits, so that we fulfil one of the very clear commitments and among the very clear EU requests. We also seek to pass by the end of April, at the level of Government at least, the legislation on repairing the justice laws, and send it to Parliament in order to have, hopefully, an emergency procedure whereby we can meet the European Commission's requests, the Venice Commission's recommendations, GRECO's recommendations and requests, so that the CVM, lifting the CVM becomes a reality for Romania, as this Cabinet has exactly this among the objectives of its programme for government and it is also a necessary and compelling step in connection to the other important expectation, related to Schengen. This, about CVM. The second important memorandum for Romania and for our increasingly assumed role is the adoption of the memorandum on operationalizing this Cyber Centre which Bucharest will host. In fact, it was decided to set up an interministerial working group between the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, so that in a very short time, the Cyber Centre have an important centre for the long term European policy and the digital security and become operational and an institution with which Romania can matter on the European stage. The third memorandum I want to talk about and somehow the most important in terms of the coming months and years for the development of Romania is the one regarding the timetable of updating the PNRR, this programme from which we all have very high expectations, this National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The memorandum adopted today, a memorandum initiated by the Ministry of Investments and European Projects, established a way of working which, because, in the next two months, in February and March, until April - the deadline, it is important to update this plan and send it to the European Commission and get the approval, because we are talking about a very important development resource that allows a somewhat simpler and more functional procedure than the traditional mechanism of the structural funds, and the ability to get out of the crisis generated by COVID and its negative economic effects depends on our ability to create the mechanisms for using this resource. In fact, we seek that, starting the next days and mainly in February, there will be almost daily meetings between the line ministries, between the coordinating ministry, which is the Ministry of Investments and European Projects, together with the Ministry of Finance, which has a key role in this process, precisely for each of the line ministries to present their projects with an important maturity stage. We are talking about projects that will be and will have to be carried out in the next three years, we are not talking about fanciful strategies about Romania in 30 years, we are talking about very concrete, very specific investments. Therefore, we expect each Ministry to nominate both a political representative who enjoys the trust and support of the Minister, and technical representatives, who entering into these consultations held under the coordination of the Ministry of Investments, will be able to generate this program, which should be realistic and, above all, approved by the European Commission. These are the ceilings that you know very well. My colleague, Minister Cristian Ghinea will detail the part of the working groups immediately. I now want to say that those thresholds are 37% on investments in the environment - climate change, 20% in digitalization, which are not whims or internal decisions of Romania; there are European thresholds and limits that we must meet precisely in order to have access to this resource. Therefore, the discussions in the coming days and weeks are in fact, are critical for everything that means the next 3-4 years of investment in Romania. Of course, for us, the priority is the infrastructure part, those 3.4 - 3.5 billion euros on road infrastructure, money that we hope to make it find itself in the final form of the program; and this is also a matter on which there will be very complicated negotiations. If there are any questions, I am at your disposal. If not, I will invite my colleague Cristian Ghinea to detail the consultation mechanism for the next period. Cristian Ghinea: Thank you, Vice Prime Minister. As Dan Barna has said, starting next week, there will be working groups, on a daily basis, at the Ministry of Investment and European Projects. Yesterday, I appointed a new coordinator of the programme, Nicolae Toderas, from the Programming Department. Secretary of State Marius Vasiliu will also coordinate this program. The 10 working groups we agreed today with the rest of the Cabinet, are transport, 2 - environment, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, 3 - urban development, 4 - agriculture and rural development, 5 - health, 6 - education, 7 - business environment, entrepreneurship, 8 - research, innovation, digitalization, 9 - improving the built environment, 10 - resilience, crisis situations. Throughout this period, the informal dialogue with the European Commission continued. We have clarified issues that are found in the final form of the European regulation, final in the sense that it went past the trialogue phase. The final vote in the European Parliament will take place in February, but we are ready to observe the changes that have already been made to the regulation. Two very, very important clarifications, because there are some misunderstandings: the money from PNDR is not ordinary European funds, it does not go on the cohesion regulations. Nobody forces us to make complicated systems, to send invoices to Brussels. All we have to do is propose some reforms, some biannual targets, which we report to the Commission twice a year, and take the money for them. The way we organize our home system is completely our national decision. Therefore, we will propose a very, very simple management system. There must be a direct connection with the state budget. We want to see which projects are mature in the ministries and kick them off directly so that there is no longer a lengthy process in which we launch calls, we evaluate the projects for months. If they are mature projects and well linked to the ministry's reforms, they can start immediately. I would like to make an important clarification, we can start to finance projects that have been unfolding since last year in both central and local administration. We will conduct a review process of the projects that have been included in the first form of the PNRR, to see if they meet these criteria that I have just mentioned. Its not ordinary European money, its money that, on the one hand, has extraordinary flexibility, you can put there what you want as a government, provided you have a logic of reform, of change, its not just investment, but, on the other hand, it is accompanied by an extraordinary constraint, the amounts must be committed by 2022 - 70% - and the projects must be completed by 2026; there are no more possibilities of: lets structure them, and so on. That is why it is very important, and both Dan Barna and I wanted to reach consensus in the Government, to have everyone at the table in this very difficult month, February because what we put now in PNRR is well placed and we do not want to reach the situation when we realize that it cannot be completed by 2026. We will ask under signature from all those who propose projects, the implementation stages, so that all those putting forward projects- ministries, and the ministry I am leading, and the Government as such, and the local administration, which comes up with ideas - lets assume under signature that it is completed, because, obviously, I am pressed by all sorts of requests, everyone has ideas, there is a long way from idea to project, which we do not have to go through within the PNRR. We will prioritize those projects that can start immediately, and because we have these budgetary constraints, lets take over those projects that have been carried out until now on national money, to move them on PNRR, so as to alleviate the additional pressure on the budget. Thank you. Reporter: You mentioned Mr Minister, projects which could be taken over from national funds, we would be interested in finding out, what social expenditure can be currently taken over, following the informal discussions you had with the European Executives, on European money, as we know there are such talks including to defray some of the expenses with the vaccination centres and not only? What is the status of talks and what kind of expenses could be included in this area? We know that you also discussed certain expenditure with a higher social character, not only those linked to the pandemic. Cristian Ghinea: I would like to make rectification in this respect. The vaccination money which I announced this morning is another instrument, which is called REACT - EU. Therefore, we found money for wages and the centres organization. In PNRR, it will not be money for... Reporter: I did not speak about PNRR, I was speaking in general. Cristian Ghinea: Yes. This is the answer. Therefore, they will be in REACT - EU. In PNRR, as such, in the form they are now, the social expenditure is very few. In exchange, an entire social pillar added in the European Parliament, the social pillar for young people, children. Given that when the first form was drawn up, we did not have this decision of the European Parliament, logically, the second form, the one we are working on, the PNRR, we need to have a social pillar, to take measures for children and young people. We do not have an obligation incurred by regulation, as we have on the digital side, 20%, and on the green side, 37%, so, we do not have a minimum threshold for social expenditure, but it must be a visible social pillar as such. And we want social expenditure, I have already said this, I think that the implementation of the minimum income for inclusion is the kind of social reform which is needed, we are having talks with the European Commission. Certainly, a complex information system is needed, because this VMI brings together all the social welfare at this moment. So, the development of the digital platform must be financed from PNRR. We are negotiating with the European Commission regarding the budget expenditure, at least for the first two years. We are waiting for an answer, in writing, from the European Commission and negotiations will ensue. I hope it is a positive answer. Other social expenses that may be, I do not want to anticipate them, I had a discussion with Raluca Turcan on this topic. I would recommend you to look at the country recommendations from the European semester, there are more there, in terms of pensions, the sustainability of the pension system - we have to come up with ideas, the European Commission has this list of country recommendations for the last three years and everything we put in the PNRR must have an equivalent in these recommendations - and we are talking about all areas, also about macro-stability, if you look, as regards the forests, the country recommendations mentioned that the SUMAL system does not work, we must monitor illegal logging. All these recommendations must be taken into account and we should come up with solutions for each of them, if those solutions cost, we can fund them by means of the PNRR. This is the logic of the entire PNRR, it is an instrument for funding reforms. Thank you very much! 2021-01-20 16:39:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2, Valeriu Gheorghiță - 19 ianuarieȘtiri din 19.01.2021 16:51:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Asociației Municipiilor din România (AMR)Știri din 19.01.2021 12:32:00Întâlnirea premierului Florin Cîțu cu reprezentanții Uniunii Naționale a Consiliilor JudețeneȘtiri din 18.01.2021 13:43:00 Florin Cîțu s-a vaccinat anti-COVID-19, la Spitalul Universitar de Urgență Militar Central ”Dr. Carol Davila”Știri din 16.01.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Cițu: Good afternoon! The vaccination was very, very easy, I have not felt anything. I told the nurse that I could not realize when I got vaccinated. This explains my reaction when I did not realize the vaccination was over. I am glad that I could get vaccinated, I did it for me and all around me, and of course, to give a signal of confidence for all Romanians. I have seen this signal, that Romanians want to get vaccinated, yesterday too, in their interest to register on the platform, but in my capacity, I shall do all that is necessary to persuade as many Romanians as possible to get vaccinated. It is important to understand that along with keeping the restrictive measures further on, the vaccine and the emerging treatment help us overcome the pandemic. We stay focused on the same objective we have lately presented: 10,400.000 Romanians vaccinated until September, and we will not back away from this objective. Reporter: There were several dysfunctionalities in the vaccination platform operation(...), were they solved? Florin Cițu: We are working non - stop on the platform. The places are also determined by the number of vaccines. I repeat I would like us to look more at the positive message: very, very many Romanians want to get vaccinated. And, as we contracted another 8 million doses last week which will arrive on the second quarter, to make sure that we have the required amounts, as other vaccines appear as well, we will take more. In this respect, we will spare no effort to have the vaccines as soon as possible, in order to vaccinate all Romanians. Reporter: Pfizer has announced its intention to reduce production, I understand that this affects us as well in the next three weeks? Florin Ciţu: No, only a week do we receive 80% of the amount, after that we will recover the difference. Therefore, the slower pace over the next period will be recovered in the coming weeks. So its only one week issue, but to be very clear, Pfizer did this, in order to recalibrate production capacity and have those extra 200 million vaccines in the second quarter... Therefore, it is a good thing and you will see that the procedure does not slow down. Reporter: Prime Minister, did you say that 10 million people should be vaccinated by September? Florin Ciţu: 10,400.000, and that means around 50,000, on average, by September, but we will have the capacity of vaccinating 100,000 people per day. Our goal is to get there, thats why we bought those extra 8,000,000 vaccines, for 10,400.000 to be vaccinated of the 15,000.000 adult population. Reporter: But do you think this will be possible ... Florin Ciţu: Of course. Reporter: ... given that, so far, 183,000 people have been vaccinated, and the vaccination campaign started on December 27? Mathematically speaking .... Florin Ciţu: Mathematically, I have just told you it is. Reporter: ... depending on the resources you have, do you think it will be possible ... Florin Ciţu: It will surely be possible! Reporter: /.../ because 20 million doses are needed ... Florin Ciţu: Exactly 20 million doses are needed and we will have these doses, we just contracted them, we paid them. And I told you, the capacity means about 50,000 vaccines daily, and were going to do that. Therefore, its our goal and well stick to it until September. But, I repeat, if other vaccines appear by then and will be approved, we will buy them as well, just to advance this figure, so that we can vaccinate as many Romanians as possible by September. Reporter: Regarding the vaccination centres, 932 centres were scheduled to be organized outside hospitals in the second phase. Have you received assurances from the local authorities when all these centres are ready? I understand that only half of them are ready. Florin Ciţu: The figure of 932 is maximum, it is the total, not for the second phase. At present, there are centres, in Bucharest, and everywhere, and there will be, I think, 300 next week. There are about 200 or so now. I repeat I do not see a problem. The biggest problem we had or it seemed to be a problem and in my talks with the Minister of Health, I was told that people do not want to be vaccinated. That is why we introduced these incentives to motivate family doctors or other actors for people to get vaccinated. Yesterday, it was very clear: Romanians want to be vaccinated. That is the most important thing. It is our duty, and I will do this, to make sure that all Romanians get vaccinated by September, we have this figure of 10.4 million. We got past the most important moment of disinformation that Romanians do not want to be vaccinated. They want to get vaccinated, it has been seen, and we will make sure they get vaccinated. Thank you very much! Have a nice weekend! 2021-01-16 13:23:00 de presă susținut de ministrul sănătății, Vlad Voiculescu la finalul ședinței de guvernȘtiri din 15.01.2021 20:18:00ță de presă susținută de președintele Comitetului național de coordonare a activităților privind vaccinarea împotriva SARS-CoV-2 (CNCAV), Valeriu GheorghițăȘtiri din 12.01.2021 16:28:00 umanitar pentru persoanele afectate de incendiul din Miercurea CiucȘtiri din 12.01.2021 14:53:00Ț DE PRESĂȘtiri din 12.01.2021 13:28:00 este pregătit să sprijine persoanele afectate de incendiul din Miercurea CiucȘtiri din 09.01.2021 12:33:00 de presă susținut de premierul Florin Cîțu și ministrul educației, Sorin Cîmpeanu, la finalul ședinței de guvernȘtiri din 06.01.2021[Check against delivery] Florin Ciţu: Good afternoon. On today's Cabinet meeting, we started the preparation for the 2021 budget. In this respect, I notified every Ministry asking through a note several things. First of all, I asked an analysis of the current pieces of legislation in force and which have a budgetary impact, but cannot be fully covered by 2021s budget, and other pieces of legislation in force, but which cannot be enforced this year because of some legislative inconsistencies. Therefore, all pieces of legislation, for each ministry, with a budgetary impact, we will see where we will place them. I asked of course, each Minister to come up with a note of presentation and solutions for these legislative documents. The second thing that I asked the Ministers, in the case of those ministries with economic operators under their authority, to conduct an analysis based on the accounting reports and the financial situation, which was also done in the past. Until the 4th of February, each minister must present to the Government approval, a memorandum which contains the current situation of these economic operators, the causes that determined the registration of losses, outstanding payments and so on, and, of course, a set of solid measures, quantifiable and with clear deadlines to render these companies more efficient. As I have said, granting sums from the budget to these economic operators will be firmly conditioned by observing the implementation of the measures mentioned in these memorandums. There will be a memorandum for each Ministry, we will see there the terms, and the budget or money to be allocated to these companies will be conditioned by these terms. The third thing requested to Ministries is the status of investment projects, which we also analyzed last year and I can tell that we could see a strange practice when looking at projects throughout 2016 -2020: projects which were included in the budget, some were budgeted, others not, but the implementation was very bad even for the budgeted projects. Therefore, we asked for a list of all the investment projects that were included last year, the implementation in 2020, the implementation of each budget to see their status. /...; / And another list of investment projects that were included in the 2020 budget but did not have commitment appropriations, so they were only included there. These lists will be sent to the Prime Ministers Office and the Ministry of Public Finance. Based on these lists, we will prioritize and budget these investment projects for 2020. An information note from the Ministry of Public Finance has been presented which will be the basis for a memorandum drawn up by the former Ministry of European Funds and the Ministry of Finance, with projects that can be financed from European funds and not from the state budget. I announced this last year when I was at the helm of the Ministry of Finance. We want those investment projects that can be financed from European funds, to be financed from European funds, not to put pressure on the state budget anymore. And we will have this list too. Next week, we begin the procedure for the 2021 budget, with the preparation of the limits for each ministry. We propose that the budget enter parliament on February 4, be debated then and approved. Until then, we will do all these analyzes. These are the things I wanted to say on todays Cabinet meeting. Minister Cimpeanu will present you a draft emergency ordinance. If there are any questions... Reporter: As for the draft budget, why does it take so long to make this budget given that, at this moment, we operate, we know it very well, on 1/12 of last years expenditure, especially since you said that you prepared a form of the draft budget for 2021, even if there is a higher number of ministries, in fact, we are talking about the same budgetary impact, in general, that you could take into account? Florin Ciţu: On the one hand, we give our colleagues, the Ministers, the chance to get to know their ministries. And this request that I made today is in this direction. They will have the chance to know exactly what investment projects they have, the companies under their authority, whether they are profitable or not, to deal with restructuring and of course the legislation in force. Its an analysis Ive never seen anyone conduct before a budget. I have said very clearly and I am firm about it: I want to reform! Public money will no longer be wasted. That is why this transparent analysis is needed. At the same time, it happens the same with the prioritization of investment projects: I want to budget those investment projects that can be done this year, not just to budget investment projects in general to present a high number. I tell you that for 2020, according to my estimates, nevertheless, the Minister of Finance may confirm or deny it over the next days, yesterday, we managed to hit a record in terms of investments, they amount to approximately 53 billion, I do not have the exact figure - you will see, after 12 months. But these investments too must be analyzed. I want to see that this money has been spent efficiently and that it has led to economic growth. That is why this budgeting this year is very rigorous. It takes a little longer, but you will see a positive impact on the economy. Reporter: Precisely because Im thinking about economics, the business community should know what to expect in the current year. 2021 has already started and at the same time you said in a statement in early 2019 that a delay in the draft budget in a year is unacceptable because it comes only in times of crisis. At this moment, dont you think that good predictability would help the business sector, given that currently, not even the fiscal- budgetary strategy is made public or at least the estimated GDP you have been working on? Florin Ciţu: Lets take them one by one: predictability - the business sector has the greatest predictability on my part. I said that there will not be changes to the Fiscal Code, to taxes, everything goes forward. Secondly, regarding the fiscal-budgetary strategy, the government programme of this coalition says very clearly: we want to reduce the budget deficit below 3% in 2024. So, we already have a firm, clear target that we will stick to. I have mentioned the budget deficit estimate for this year that we consider, 7 percent. These are the details for the business sector, and you will see that the business sector does not need more. The rest are details regarding how we will distribute the money this year. At the same time, we wanted to see the execution for last year, to know exactly how the measures we took, worked - you saw that, based on last years budget implementation, we extended a series of measures that were in favor of the business sector, therefore, in my opinion, things are running in the right direction. We will see, if something new appears, we will let you know. Reporter: And a clarification regarding the minimum wage: why didnt you approve it? You even said that this week you will approve the draft law on the minimum wage. Yet, it is not approved. Florin Ciţu: I understand that it is in the approval circuit. The SME test was needed, the CES is required- there are several things to consider. When the opinion is given... Reporter: The SME test should have been obtained before all the approval procedure started. You said there were only a few opinions left, not the actual test. Florin Ciţu: It is in the process of approval. Everyone knows the value of the minimum wage in 2021 already. Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to ask you when are you going to approve that emergency ordinance whereby the medical staff who will vaccinate Romanians, will be remunerated, and how much will they receive? Florin Ciţu: It was in first reading today. It will be approved next week. Reporter: Can you tell us what this emergency ordinance basically provides? Florin Ciţu: Although it is not a final form - a way to motivate family doctors to participate in this vaccination campaign, was additionally introduced. Regarding the amounts, well see, well discuss those amounts. I dont know if the final ones from this draft ordinance, remain as such. But compared to the initial project, a motivation scheme for family doctors was introduced to help this vaccination campaign. Reporter: Apart from family doctors, who else will administer the vaccine? You accept resident doctors, volunteers including...? Florin Ciţu: Yes. There are both resident doctors and volunteers. Volunteers, I do not know if they are included in the current document. But, I repeat, it is in first reading. It will go through the approval process and, depending on how the ministries will introduce or add things, we will see what it will look like. I say that the major change is the introduction of this motivation scheme for family doctors. We know very well, it can be very helpful right now. Reporter Will we see this ordinance approved next week? Florin Ciţu: Yes, it must be next week. I asked the Health Minister to get all opinions until next week. Reporter: Are we ready for the second stage of vaccination, Mr. Prime Minister? Florin Ciţu: Yes, we are ready. I say that in Romania the vaccination campaign is going well, and the estimates we have to go to 150,000 vaccines a day clearly show that the direction is good. When I communicated with prefects yesterday, there were 230, I do not know how many vaccination centers are at this moment, the intention to have 1,000 vaccination centers is ambitious. Im sure itll be attained. We need to bring more vaccines, to increase the pace of vaccine deliveries to Romania. Thats actually a challenge. We are also limited by what happens in the EU, the way the vaccines are being approved and then delivered. I say we are ready to vaccinate 100,000 people per day, as quickly as possible. Reporter: Vice Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor stated he insists schools be re-opened on February 8. I would like to ask you if you discussed with him and if you agree on schools re-opening on February 8? Florin Ciţu: Of course, I had a discussion with Mr. Hunor and with Mr. Barna and I too want schools to reopen, to have restaurants opened, I said that last year too. As far as Im concerned, if it wasnt for the health problem, I would like them to be reopened. Yet we have this pandemic conditionality. Minister will present you the amendment from the Emergency Ordinance. Personally, I believe that we must do everything we need to be able to reopen schools as early as possible, which is why it is important that in addition to the vaccination campaign we also have this campaign to reduce the effects of the pandemic, to keep up the pace. So far we have seen that numbers have dropped, we have reached a comfortable level, there are cities, municipalities that have come out of quarantine, and we must follow this trend. If we keep this trend, we can reopen schools on February 8. But I repeat that the vaccination campaign is important, we have the necessary resources and it is a top priority. At the same time, we must keep this campaign to reduce the effects of the pandemic. Let us not forget to further maintain physical distance, wear mask, use disinfectant, etc. Thanks. Cătălina Mănoiu, Realitatea Plus. If teachers do not get vaccinated in a higher number, are you considering applying the same criterion, a financial incentive as it happens in the case of the doctors? Florin Ciţu: There is no incentive for doctors to get vaccinated, it is intended for the family doctors to help the vaccination campaign, to register people for a vaccine. Cătălina Mănoiu: However, we have seen in the European Union and in the United States that this vaccination incentive exists. Do you consider implementing it here? Florin Ciţu: No, I see that in Romania there is an interest in vaccination. No, we are not considering this at the moment. Cătălina Mănoiu: Only 50 percent of teachers said they will get vaccinated. Florin Ciţu: There are estimates. I say to wait and see when there is the vaccination that there will be a higher number, and the majority will get the vaccine. I would not go on estimates and surveys, we follow what is happening in reality and you will see that it will be a successful vaccination campaign. Cătălina Mănoiu: You talked about projects that cannot be financially supported during this year. From the data you have, what exactly do you mean? Florin Ciţu: That is why I asked for this report. I said lets see. Reporter: Dont you have a partial evaluation yet? Florin Ciţu: I asked every minister today to present the situation regarding the projects that were financed last year, which must be financed, companies, everything. And then well see the report. I have my information, but I would like every minister to come up with solutions and with these lists as well. Reporter: What are the risks for ministers who will not perform at the quarterly rate that you announced according to these plans to reorganize troubled companies? Florin Ciţu: There will be no such ministers. Im sure everyone will perform well. Thanks! Reporter: A clarification! The state of alert expires next week; if you extend it. Will it be a Cabinet meeting? Monday, it expires ... Florin Ciţu: We will make a decision depending on the national situation. Thanks! Reporter: Regarding the vaccination campaign: is it possible to extend the vaccination scheme so that doctors families are also vaccinated in the first stage? Did you consider this? Florin Ciţu: We havent had this discussion so far. Thanks! (...;) 2021-01-06 18:02:00