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What the newspapers say: January 7, 2010

de C.B.
Joi, 7 ianuarie 2010, 3:14 English | Press Review

Parliamentarians from all parties united their pens towards a four billion euros gift. Elsewhere in the news, the gift raises debates because it might push up the budget deficit as the unemployment increases. Last but not least, social-democrats and liberals submitted over 2,000 amendments to the state budget.

Parliamentarians from all parties united their pens and made a 4 billion euros gift: increased pensions and reduced taxes, Gandul reads. PNL, PSD, PD-L and UDMR MPs voted for a 100 lei increase in the pension point, social insurances contributions 10% cheaper and a 0.4% of the GDP plus for the Health Ministry. The Work commission passed the proposals, while PM Emil Boc and the Work minister say there is no money for such adjustments.

Wok minister says the changes would make the budget deficit go 1.3% above the figure agreed with the IMF. PSD MP Ioan Cindrea said the money could be obtained by reducing the Presidency's or the intelligence services budgets or by giving up the plan for the golf field minister Elena Udrea had in mind. The measures adopted by the parliamentary commissions need to pass through the budget-finance commission and then through a complete plenum.

On the same issue, Romania Libera informs that the Work Commission voted a 30% reduction of the contribution for pensions and a 13% increase in the pension point, namely 2.8% of the GDP. This would bring an additional 15 billion lei deficit to the budget, the publication claims. The pensions are supposed to remain frozen in 2010.

With jobs cut due to the financial crisis, the retired outnumber the employed in November 2009 - 4.75 million retired vs. 4.4 million employed. While the IMF and the Government forecast a boost to 8.5%, followed by a decline to 7.3% in the unemployment rate this year, analysts say it will go up to 9.5-10%.

According to Adevarul, the social-democrats are determined to modify substantially the state budget and they prepared over 2,000 amendments. Some of them target funds for publicity, others the manner in which the infrastructure budget is distributed at a local level. They also want the Executive to publish a list with a detailed explanation of the way funds have been allocated at a local level.

PNL joins the sentiment and say liberal MPs will not vote the budget. They insist the minimum duty axed. Another PNL amendment sees that enterprises keeping their staff or hiring unemployed benefit from a 50% cut in contributions for each employee. Liberals also fancy to have the fiscal duties reduced.

They back a budget of 6% of the GDP for Education, 4% for Health, 1% for Research and minimum 2% for Defence. Many amendments address the renovations and refitting of educational institutions, churches and sport halls. Only one MP submitted 100 such amendments.

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