Statements by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting

28 October

Victoria Dancila: The political crisis triggered by President Klaus Iohannis has considerable costs, entirely borne by citizens. I have been day after day alongside people in this period, in several regions of the country. Romanians are closely following what is happening and want their salaries, pensions and social rights be timely paid and not be cut over the ensuing period. I comprehend their concerns, they are fully justified.

The programme for government announced by the Prime Minister-designate is focused on austerity, meaning either pensions frozen, state sector redundancies, and salaries cuts or lack of solutions in priority areas such as healthcare, education and infrastructure. This government programme lacks vision and coherence. At the same time, the list of nominated Ministers denotes improvisation and the small number of women in Government shows a lack of concern for gender equality.

I anticipated these intentions, this is why I proposed the Pact for Romanians’ Welfare, generated by our concern for people’s wellbeing. I further support this document, furthermore as recent debates have shown how necessary it is.

Along this period in which Mr Klaus Iohannis has not made his presence felt, and the Prime Minister-designate has sought political support, this Cabinet continued to work.

We have taken all measures for the preparation and optimum conduct of presidential elections in order that we ensure the right to vote of all Romanian citizens both home and abroad. Romanians abroad have three days at their disposal to exercise their right to vote. Moreover, we have in view increasing the number of polling stations to 835, almost double from May elections for the European Parliament. I am constantly informed about the preparation of the electoral process. On today’s agenda too, we have a briefing on the measures taken for the optimum conduct of the presidential election. All these, despite the fact that we still do not have a Minister – designate at the helm of the Internal Affairs Ministry.

After a 10 –year waiting, tomorrow, one of Romania’s symbols, the Constanta Casino – will have the guarantee that it will be refurbished. Our Cabinet has succeeded despite many challenges in preparing in detail the project so that we make sure that this symbol objective will be refurbished. The last procedural step in assigning the refurbishment contract expires tonight, at midnight.

Mr Vice Prime Minister Suciu, you have shown how a committed Minister should act. I kindly ask you to be tomorrow in Constanta and to make sure that this contract will be signed.

We concomitantly prepared several draft laws that the future Cabinet can adopt. I will mention some of these measures with a social character. I hold the strong belief that people should be correctly paid for their work.  During PSD -government, we successively increased the minimum gross salary. We took the necessary steps for its increase, as of next year, to 2.262 lei, and to 2.620 lei monthly respectively for employees with higher education and at least one-year length of service in the field of their studies. We will hold consultations on this matter this afternoon with representatives of trade unions and employers within the National Tripartite Council. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister Teodorovici and Minister Budai for their involvement in this respect.

War veterans and widows deserve respect and decent living standards. We prepared the Draft Executive Decision and we ensured the funds necessary for the payment of the yearly aid granted to cover a part of the rent and utilities cost.

Entrepreneurs need the labor force to unfold their businesses. The draft law whereby we increase the number of newly admitted foreign workers on next year labour market is prepared and posted for public consultation.

All these draft laws have been transparently posted and are open to public consultation so that the next Cabinet can adopt them in the shortest time possible.

We also continue to back local communities with the funds necessary to finance development projects as well as for a good administrative functioning. These investments long-awaited by citizens mean upgrading and refurbishing kindergartens, schools or other social objectives, better roads, water supply networks and sewerage systems. Romanians are entitled to a better life, and political confrontations should not lead to gaps in implementing these investment projects or delays in the payments for the works already carried out.

We will approve today, in the Cabinet meeting, the allocation of the necessary funds to finance the Local National Development Programme, phases I and II. It is a successful programme the implementation of which generated concrete results and contributed to the development of all localities, especially of the poorest ones. Each local community, irrespective of the political colour of the mayor benefitted of at least a development project. There are solid arguments in this respect and hopefully, the future Cabinet will take them into account and they will continue this programme for the benefit of Romanians.

At the end of the Cabinet meeting, the Press Office will detail the legislative documents we will adopt in today’s meeting.

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