Romanian Interior minister Vasile Blaga and Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu held a joint press conference on fighting against fiscal fraud and the tobacco traffic. Vladescu said there issues with the "minor" fraud: "The difficult aspect is related to the small fraud, in the markets, where small quantities of products are sold. These are issues connected with education and poverty".

Main statements

Finance minister Sebastian Vladescu:

  • At this point, besides the measures for the budget deficit, we've got a series of measures in other areas: one is for the reduction of public spending and to decide on cost standards and running models for various state institutions; the other addresses the fight against the fiscal fraud.
  • We are currently leading discussions with the European Commission. The main areas of fiscal fraud are, presently, the entire intra-community commerce, especially food, besides taxable products.
  • Another area where we have taken measures if the intra-community VAT.
  • There are measures to limit the fiscal fraud in the duty-free zone. There is also a set of measures addressing the pass from the area of contravention to offence by trafficking various products.
  • In five months' time, the total additional fiscal obligations found during checks are almost one billion euros. There were 69,000 fines given and security measures worth of 2.7 billion lei were applied. This is only the beginning.
  • All segments involved in the fight against the fiscal fraud decided to show zero tolerance to fiscal fraud. The hardest part is connected with the minor fraud, in markets, where small quantities of products are sold. It is an issue connected with education and poverty.
  • One measure addresses educating citizens. By this I mean educating all citizens. Romania ia an EU state. The taxing policy is decided at the EU level and for as long as we talk about taxation, we refer to a tax decided on the common market. I do not believe that the cut in tax was the main cause of the cut in fraud.
  • We need new control systems, that we will make work in 12-18 months.
  • As long as we speak about a market of which 20-40% is a black market, it is very difficult to estimate revenues. Out of the billion said to be lost through cigarette traffic, we can say that several hundreds will be recovered this year and next year - over half.
  • Starting this month, all incomes of the Cabinet members that supersede the monthly allocation will be donated to a solidarity fund. The state secretaries have already sent the paperwork.
  • There are no statistics in Romania connected with the grey or black market. We've only got estimates. They are not official.
  • We are considering the increase in the taxation base.
  • Incomes up to 600 coming from gambling will not be taxed. I don't think closing down gambling houses is the main problem of the Romanian economy.
  • The companies that operate fiscal fraud do it because they want to.

Interior minister Vasile Blaga: I have never taken morality lessons from Monica Macovei

  • I kept saying that the public order sector was not going to let people go. They cannot leave from where there is a deficit. At the same time, I did say we will not employ anyone else.
  • The public order strategy will be approved by the Country's Supreme Defense Council (CSAT). A vast process to rethink the entire ministerial apparatus, so that we can eliminate any overlap. (...) The ministerial colleagues who will not have a post will go to the Romanian Police, Bucharest Police or the Border Police.
  • On the other hand, we've got 16 areas where we could make important savings in the ministry. (...) Instead of 69 cars, we can very well do with 12.
  • We are also responsible for the public administration. Besides introducing discipline in the local budgets' execution, we will also refer to a cut in staff.
  • I have never taken morality lessons from Ms Macovei [ex-Justice minister, n.b.]. Each of us had our own professional path. As for the issue she referred to, those are not illegal contracts. I cannot forbid my son-in-law to work in the private sector. What bothered me is that he sealed a contract. He did me a lot of wrong, personally.