Romanian PM discussed online with HotNews.ro readers on the most important reformist measures in 2010, a year which from the economy perspective is considered to be just as tough as 2009.
Asked if he can change people's impressions of the political class by bringing to politics more young people, PM Emil Boc declared that the average age of his team of councillors is below 35. He claims to attract the youth into politics by PDL-s policy of open doors.
One reader wanted to know how Romania, in its difficult situation, plans to manage the IMF loan refund and if Romania's going to sell its natural resources. He said tha Romania has received so far 2.4 billion euros from the IMF. The loan is for five years and will be repaid in instalments. Ha says that the loan has the lowest possible costs on the market and that it will allow restructuring and reforming the economy, so that it creates new employment opportunities. Romania's Central bank has borrowed 5.9 billion euros so far and says Romania's public debt is low (27-29%), while a platform of 60% of the GDP is allowed.
Regarding the number of MPs, Emil Boc says that the number of MPs in 2010 will be 300, that is 171 less than today, and a single-chamber Parliament. According to Boc, those politicians not supporting this issue will disappear from the political scene.
Speaking on the reform of the Educational sector, Boc stated that the national educational law will create a hierarchy both for the universities and the academic programmes. He believes that the Romanian education will be compatible with the European education. For this, he wants to see more focus on skills and not on the quantity of information, a lighter study programme, focused on the needs of the society. He wants to see parents, the local community and the business community having a say in 30% of the curricula.
Talking about social contributions, Boc said that a persons earning an income without signing a contract needs to pay social contributions worth according to what the person decides. Those earning below four gross wages do not have to pay contributions. This is entailed in the future pension law. He added later that the future pension law wants to cancel discrimination and special pensions and to calculate them according to the contribution principle. Plus, the law that forbids to earn a pension and an income at the same time has been approved.
The penalty rate for each month of anticipated pension will go up to 0.75% in the case of partial anticipated retirement. He claimed for a TV station that the number of anticipated retirement cases increased by 115,000. Emil Boc said the measure was adopted to discourage anticipated retirement, so that the pension system could become sustainable and so that the pensions of today’s youth could be paid up when they retire.
In order to attract fund to the state budget, PM Emil Boc he said that the Government does not exclude the privatisation of certain state societies.
PM Boc wants to see a Justice system that is cheaper for individuals.
On the significant drop of the euro price during the last days, Boc said it should be attributed to the Government correlating its fiscal policy with the Central Bank. International rating companies improved Romania's rating.
The Prime Minister was asked why some people who have never worked in their lives (like certain minorities) have all sorts of state benefits, while persons who have made a decent living have to do with small pensions that would not even cover their medication. Boc said that Romania will have a new social assistance code, which will exclude abuses on social benefits which are still granted to people driving a Mercedes.
The Unique income tax, the VAT, the social contributions will not go higher for the moment. The reinvested profit will not be taxed again. The infrastructure will get the biggest budget since 1990. And the minimum income tax will change and be ore focused.
Talking on the First Home programme, he said that over 10,000 young people have signed up. The programme will be maintained in 2010 as well. A reader believed hat the programme was a total failure because the prices of old apartments went up artificially and recommended that the maximum to be paid for an old apartment should be 40,000 euros.
A reader stated that 50% of Romania's population lives in the country side, the biggest rural population in the EU. Could Romania's agriculture come back to productivity? PM Emil Boc said that the Government would use the governmental guarantees in the years to come, so that the country's agriculture would turn Romania into a country that exports food.