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Finance Minister confirms wage freezing document sent to the EC. ALDE’s chair: “Absolutely not”

Finance Minister, Eugen Teodorovici, has confirmed on Saturday that a document released by PNL Senator, Florin Citu, providing for the freezing of public employees’ wages, has been sent to the European Commission.

Teodorovici also said that there is also a proposal to enforce the wage law until 2020, instead of 2022, digi24.ro reports.

It is a document sent to the European Commission. The Senator has only copied a public document and posted it on his Facebook page. It is a working document, let’s say, an option sent to the European Commission, this is the way the Government is working for years and any Member State does this: it sends to the European Commission scenarios, calculations, so that in the end we make a decision one way or another. (…) In several weeks we will submit to the Government the draft budget for 2019, in that document the final option will be included. It is a working variant suggested by the Finance Ministry, based on calculations and even a proposal to enforce the wage law until 2020, not until 2022, in order to show we are very certain of what we are doing, we are not enforcing decisions beyond the Government’s mandate, i.e. 2020. Furthermore, I have to stress once again, the PSD-ALDE Government has promised and has enforced the promises. It hasn’t cut the Romanians’ revenues,” Teodorvici said.

Referring to the employment freezing in the public sector, the ministers said it is a working scenario.

The freezing of employment in the public sector is proposed by us. It is a working scenario at the Finance Ministry. Freezing the employment for the central public administration, a resettling, restructuring, streamlining of the central public administration is of good sense, as we say it for years, a more effective administration is needed. The example was the support positions with the Finance Ministry at 18% of the entire staff, other ministries have 30% or even more, this has to change, the administration cannot be over dimensioned and cannot spend public money without justification. This is the case of a Government with respect to the tax payers, to the Romanians in general,” the Finance Minister said.

Asked if the Government has the money for increasing the pension point, Teodorovici answered: ‘absolutely’.

2019 has to be the year of investments in the private sector and in the public sector. Large infrastructure projects and the small local ones have to go on and, most of all, to increase the speed and volume. If we increase the minimum wage, this means there is money,” Teodorovici added.

According to the document sent to the EC and presented by PNL Senator Florin Citu, among the measures considered for 2019 is the freezing of wages in the public sector at the level of 2018 (abandoning the implementation of the unitary wage law) and the granting of holiday vouchers at the same level as in 2018, i.e. RON 1,450 per employee. Another proposal is to keep the same number of employees as in 2018.

On the other hand, Senate Speaker and ALDE chairman, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, PSD’s ruling partner, ruled out the possibility of wage freezing. While in Bacau on Sunday, Tariceanu said he had seen no document sent by FinMin Teodorovici to the European Commission, and that there could not be any talk on freezing the wage as of 2019, as the economy is consistently growing.

I haven’t seen the document sent to the EC, I have received no notice from the Government in this respect, there is no commitment on freezing for the Romanian economy is on strong rise and (…) this economic growth must be reflected in the Romanians’ purchasing power, so a wage freezing is out of the question (…),” Tariceanu said.

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