Fin Min Teodorovici keen to fine journalists after being accused that the ministry is manipulating official figures regarding the budget

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Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici argues that the statement made by liberal Senator Florin Citu, according to whom the ministry employees are asked to manipulate the figures regarding the budget execution for 2018, it a ‘total folly and an imbecility’ and said on Wednesday he would propose an amendment to the law, so that the press could be fined if it does not verify the information before releasing it.

“I don’t know if the press is compelled by law to verify information before releasing it, I will check. I will propose this issue, including fines. It is unacceptable that an important public figure, as Florin Citu, deputy chairman of a party, to release such information, given that Eurostat confirms our figures. It is unfair to misinform the people. (…) How can one imagine that a Finance Minister, be him in Romania, can do something like this, to manipulate the official figures? (…) He said we will not meet the deficit target, but we have met it, he said the inflation rate will reach 12% in December and it didn’t, now he accuses us of manipulating the figures. This is total folly and an imbecility,” Teodorovici said, according to hotnews.ro.

Liberal Senator Florin Citu wrote on Wednesday, on his Facebook page, he would inform Eurostat on the manipulation of economic indices in order to manipulate the capital, financial and banking markets and has asked the opposition experts to check the correctness of the budgetary execution.

On Thursday, Florin Citu has replied to the Finance Ministry’s statements, saying it is ‘a comment coming from hospital’ and that the proposal to amend the law in order to fine the journalists ‘is incredibly violent’.

“Although he is not eager to present the state budget for 2019, Eugen Teodorovici has had a strange reaction on a very delicate topic,” Citu wrote.

The Senator argues that the Finance Minister should allow the opposition to verify the truthfulness of the budget execution in 2018 and to abandon issuing ordinances, whereas the information released to the public need to be real and under criminal responsibility.

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