The salaries of the President, the Prime Minister, Parliament speakers, the heads of intelligence services will be increased starting August, according to a government ordinance. The highest salaries will go to the president, to the president of the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ – Supreme Court), to the Prime Minister and to the speakers of the two chambers of parliament, announced acting Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea (photo) on Wednesday, stating that he takes responsibility for this increase.
The increase will be applied also to ministers.
The Ordinance was adopted on Wednesday by the Government.
The decision was taken after Labour Minister Rovana Plumb has said recently that the new law on the unitary payments in the public sector, which could be applied by the end of this year, will have a minimum gross salary of RON 1,200 and a gross maximum salary 18 times higher, of over RON 21,000. The highest level of pay will benefit the President, the Prime Minister, the speakers of the two chambers of parliament and the ICCJ president.
Oprea said that the increase will be applied for 48 positions of dignitaries, but did not indicate the level of increases or the 48 positions.
“Increasing the wages in the public sector is not a populist measure, but a requirement in accordance with the current status of Romania. We cannot pretend it is normal that the head of an European state to be paid about EUR 1,500. For years the salary of the Romanian President was lower than the salary of second rank officials from other institutions. We had many ministers whose salaries were lower than the ones of their subordinates. This anomaly must end,” said Oprea.
He also said that salaries in the justice system are higher than the average salary in other public institutions, and the fine way justice works is also due to remuneration of prosecutors and judges and the increase in administration salaries is possible due to the economic growth resulting from government measures.
Oprea said that the increase in allowances will “cut the appetite” for corruption.
Official sources say the Romanian President, the Senate Speaker, the Chamber of Deputies Speaker and the Prime Minister will benefit RON 21,540 gross salary, i.e. RON 15,108 net salary (approx.EUR 3,350), the same level with the Supreme Court President.
President Iohannis: It can join the category ‘corruption prevention’
President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday that the government’s intention seems wise, given that an official’s salary reflects his position within the state.
“I understand that there is a government intention to increase the ministers’ salaries. It seems a wise and far-reaching intent. I think we can classify this intention in the category ‘corruption prevention’. Eventually it is pretty obvious that the remuneration of an official must reasonably reflect his position within the state,” the president said at the Cotroceni Palace.
He argued that with the ministries there are officials with salaries much higher than those of a minister and that, in his view, this situation has not been resolved purely due to populist reasons.