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President Iohannis urges gov't to take steps to consolidate public finance, collect revenues

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday urged the government to take measures for rapid consolidation of public finance and collection of the government revenues, arguing that vulnerabilities are widening. 

"You may remember me having resubmitted the budget for re-examination to Parliament. Meanwhile, vulnerabilities are getting worse - see the budgetary situation at the level of the public administration ... I am calling on the Government to take measures to speed up the consolidation of public finance and the collection of government's revenues," Iohannis told a plenary meeting of the Coalition for Romania's Development. 

He argued that the Social Democrats, major at rule, have neglected investments in favour of a short-term policy, which will cost all Romanians in the future. 

"In business, as in politics, promises have to be followed by results. We have all seen PSD's famous governance programme, where hundreds of kilometers of motorways, investment in schools and hospitals appear on paper only, when in fact they have remained mere promises. But that programme makes no reference of hundreds of tax changes that we can say elegantly have affected the economy lately or overwhelmed you. The tax code has been changed more often than there are days in a year (...) The PSD has neglected investment in favour of a policy of short-term effects, which will cost us all in the future. You have probably felt the most acutely the lack of predictability and accountability at the decision-makers level, which has profoundly affected the quality of the investment environment in Romania. And nothing is more dangerous to the economy than the absence of confidence, because it reduces the appetite to invest and the desire for development," Iohannis told the business people in attendance. 

He pointed out that the business environment has lately been "disturbed by dangerous and inopportune actions by decision makers" such as government emergency ordinance 114, which shows the "deplorable" quality of the current government. 

"Investors and private employers are acutely aware of Romania's need for infrastructure modernisation and development. And I do not mean motorways only, but all that means modern living standards for citizens: hospitals, schools, railways, airports, energy infrastructure and public utilities, digital infrastructure and training in the industries of the future, a much-discussed issue and in principle a totally neglected one. Instead, the PSD governments that have succeeded in recent years have only taken great care to fight against justice, and subjugate it. And to solve their problem, they have sacrificed the long-term development of Romania," added Iohannis. 

The most eloquent proof, according to him, that demonstrates the government's indifference to the real needs of Romanians is neglecting the investments on European funds. 

"It is true that we are benefiting from record economic growth rates, but I would say that this is growth that is deceiging. The economy is experiencing the accumulation of deficits and imbalances, whether we refer to the labour market, the budget, the trade deficit or the deficit of the current account. For example, the trade deficit and the current account deficit place Romania in the countercurrents of regional development, as other countries in the region are reporting surpluses. We all feel the effects of volatility and uncertainty in exchange rates and in rising prices, thus reaching the highest rate of inflation. In addition, the government's growing appetite for loans has led us to the highest cost of government funding in the European Union. Long-term borrowing policy to finance current expenditures only transfer to the future the bill for a disastrous governance," said Iohannis.



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