Former PM Victor Ponta claims ordinance on establishment of sovereign funds was approved by Gov’t although Justice Ministry said it is unconstitutional

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Former PSD Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, claims in a post on Facebook, that the ordinance approved by the Government on Thursday, on establishing sovereign funds is unconstitutional. Ponta has posted a document presented during the Government sitting on Thursday, whereby the Justice Ministry warned that the emergency ordinance on setting up the Sovereign Investment Fund is unconstitutional. Ponta also argues that, by setting up the sovereign fund, people under PSD leader Liviu Dragnea’s control “will sell directly and not transparent the shares of Hidroelectrica, Otopeni Airport, Transgaz to groups of interests,” informs.

“I accuse! The indictment against those guilty of setting up the Sovereign Investment Fund (the biggest robbery of Romania’s wealth for the past 100 years) has to start today! Today I present the first evidence: the official document presented yesterday, November 15, to the Government by the Justice Ministry, which states that the Ordinance is unconstitutional! I’m mentioning that Liviu Dragnea has not signed anywhere, he is only an instigator. Those in front and who have signed this ordinance (out of stupidity, greed or cowardliness) are guilty of undermining the national economy, betrayal, abuse of office and will spend many years in the courts of law!,” Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook.

He explains why he believes is the biggest robbery in the past 100 years. “The Romanian people have built for over 50 years, through hard labour, since the communism, an economic basis needed for a nation. An important part of the economy has been ‘privatized’, ‘restructured’ or simply disappeared after 1989, nevertheless Hidroelectrica, Transgaz, Romgaz, Otopeni Airport, Constanta Port, Romanian Post, Oltenia Energy Company and others have remained. These companies are worth over EUR 25 billion if we would decide to sell them, in fact they mean an essential economic basis for the nation’s survival! Liviu Dragnea was approached since 2016 by groups of economic interests from abroad, interested in these companies without getting involved in listing and privatisations: with few money and large bribes! By the Sovereign Fund set up by the Government, objectives contrary to Romania’s interests are achieved,” Ponta wrote.

He has mentioned that the companies are taken out from the Government administration to private management for 9 years; the private management is appointed for 9 years without professional or integrity criteria; the management cannot be checked by the Court of Auditors, Government or Parliament, the board cannot be dismissed for 9 years; RON 9 billion will be allotted from the state budget for funding (money with which the 8 regional hospitals could have been built, or the Bucharest-Comarnic highway, Ponta says); the Fund cannot invest money in 2019-2020 because all the companies’ profits have been collected to the state budget in order to cover the deficit; the Fund’s management could sell state participations, shares with Hidroelectrica, Otopeni Airport, Transgaz to those with whom Liviu Dragnea talked in 2016; after 9 years we will find out what remains of the companies.

The former Prime Minister has also posted the mentioned document, a document from the Finance Ministry Eugen Teodorovici addressed to the Government General Secretariat, reading that the Justice Ministry has given a positive opinion on the Sovereign Fund, but with observations.

Thus, the Justice Ministry warns about the unconstitutionality of the normative document because the condition related to extraordinary situation is not met and that the name ‘sovereign funds’ could lead to confusion, derogations from some legal provisions.

The Justice Ministry has proposed that the document is approved as draft bill, whereas the Finance Ministry has proposed the decision on the opportunity to adopt an emergency ordinance is made by the Government sitting.

The Government approved on Thursday, after heated talks between PSD and ALDE, the draft Emergency Ordinance on the general framework for the establishment of sovereign funds. This is a first step towards the establishment of a sovereign investment and development fund. The next and most difficult step is the approval of a draft Government Decision that provides the establishment of the fund and the companies that will be part of it.

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