Romanian President Traian Basescu said in an interview with the public television on Thursday night that "we're in a country sentenced to lack of development unless we do what we must do". That is, "reducing social spending (...). Any income must be taxed, including pensions and unemployment assistance", said the head of state. He said that otherwise Romania will have to ask for a new loan in March 2011, which will be reflected in consumption, with which he does not agree. He also accused a Senator of having a "stand against the interest of Romania" with his push for changes to legislation which stripped a key body involved in the fight against corruption of most of its powers.
What Basescu said in the interview for TVR:
- He has noted an aggressiveness among the media since the very beginning of floods, with questions of why he was not present where floods were happening. He said that happened because he had to give priority to approving judicial procedure codes and not because he did not mind about floods or was sick, as speculated by some media.
- Most of the victims of the floods were victims of their own negligence or of unfortunate events
- There have been no resources for building dams. The main cause of floods was the lack of works on improving existing dams.
- It's clear that Romania has extremely limited resources for the time being.
On cutting budget spending and austerity measures
- 78% of the state budget incomes go to employees in the budget sector and to social spending
- Spending has been up more at the level of local administration where autonomy is sort of misunderstood as people there believe they can spend on anything and later ask for investments money
- It's also true that the government said one thing and did another. This prompts some difficulties in my relations with the government as a whole
- The difficulties appeared once I've seen figures for the first quarter
- There's no difficulty between me and PM Emil Boc. I gave the government a period of grace until September 1
- All welfare programs that encourage skipping work must be removed
- Any income must be taxed
- We're in a country where many categories consider themselves exempted, from diplomats to people who inherit things
- We have 900,000 people who receive pensions because they were declared invalid. The numbers exploded over the past two-three years. So far 12,000 cases have been checked and 3,000 must be sent for reexamination.
- In Botosani (Northern Romania), in one day, the police found 118 people had a driving license. That means corruption - of the beneficiary, the doctor, the responsible staff at the Labor Ministry
A foreign loan
- As head of state, I demand the Parliament and the Government not to bury the country in dept
- The first phase is cutting budget spending. The second means generalised taxation - any income must be taxed
- Only in a third phase, if problems persist, we may see whether to rise taxes. That's why I am an adversary of the VAT rise
- Unless we apply measures to reduce spending on the two major issues, we'll have to ask for a new loan in March 2011, which will be reflected in consumption
- I cannot dismiss the Government, I cannot revoke ministers, but I hope that by September 1 we'll see who are the ministers who have restructured ministries at all levels
- I don't believe in the feasibility of a new majority, I can at most think a minority government might be possible. My efforts to talk to the opposition led to naughty attitudes towards me.
On ANI law (ANI is an agency which was stripped by a Senate vote recently of most of its powers to keep the wealth of public and elected officials in check. Amendments to the Law on the functioning of ANI were mainly supported by Hungarian Democrat-UDMR Senator Gyorgy Frunda)
- I would avoid nominating politicians, but I say with full responsibility that (Senator) Frunda had a stand against the interests of Romania, not because he is an (ethnic) Hungarian but because he and his clientele probably have something to hide
- He understood perfectly what would be the effect of a malfunctioning ANI, but unfortunately his personal interests and those of a group around him determined him to put personal interests above national ones
- The midway offered by Mr. Frunda was the one against the interests of Romania - and I repeat, not because he is an (ethnic) Hungarian
- Effects will not be good. There is a risk to be disconnected from Bulgaria and the report on Romania will certainly be worse than the one on Bulgaria
- Practically, all the work and the positive reports the agency received from the European Commission were blown away and the credibility of Romania has been deeply affected