Emergency meeting at Cotroceni. President, PM, ministers discuss the budget mess, Sundays’ elections

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PM Ludovic Orban went to Cotroceni Palace this morning, together with Finance minister Florin Cîțu, and FM Bogdan Aurescu to discuss with President Iohannis about the disaster found in the national state budget after PSD Gov’t led by Viorica Dancila had been toppled down, but also about the first round of the presidential election on Sunday.

The first round of elections is kicking off tomorrow, November 8 in Diaspora, with Romanian living abroad being able to cast their votes from Friday till Sunday.

The law was amended this summer to prevent difficulties in voting the Romanians living abroad were facing during the previous elections.

As for the disaster claimed by the Liberal Cabinet, PM Orban said on Wednesday that PSD had left behind a hole of RON 11 billion in cashes and also arrears of RON 5 billion on the payments to the mayors for the local projects under the National Programme of Local Development (PNDL).

On Thursday, the premier launched the same warning regarding the funds in the healthcare system, announcing there is not enough money in the accounts to close the year, not even to pay salaries. In her turn, deputy PM Raluca Turcan said the deficit to the public healthcare fund mounts to RON 3 billion in the first nine months of 2019.

There is not enough money to close the year, neither for the health programmes, nor for the National Health Insurance House’s budget”, PM Orban said, while Health minister Victor Costache added there is no money for salaries either.

“There are around RON 4 billion”, the minister said.

In her turn, deputy PM Raluca Turcan stated : “We don’t want to scare anybody, but the deficit to the national health fund is RON 3 billion for the first 9 months of the year. The first challenge for the new minister is to provide a high quality medical care under tough circumstances”.

At the same time, PM Orban also voiced concern on the pension fund, saying there is no surplus as the Dancila Government used to say, but it’s rather a deficit.

Instead of a surplus at the pension fund of RON 2.4 billion, as the PSD Gov’t claimed, today we have a deficit of over RON 2 billion”, the premier announced. He said that, the transfer of sums from the state budget to the pension budget will have to increase in order to balance the pension budget.

Romania risks losing EUR 300 M European funds

Another warning is launched by the new minister of EU Funds, who said that Romania risks losing EUR 300 million EU funds if they are not used.

Minister Ioan Bolos explained that under the EC rule, there is this risk of losing the EU money: “If you don’t spend it, if you don’t pay beneficiaries, you lose it. Our long-term concern is to save this money, they part of Romania’s budget”.

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