Prime Minister Victor Ponta said, in a message posted on Facebook, that the difference in salary as from August 1 will be donated to the Steaua basketball team.
“I have not changed my mind, I still believe it is right that Romanian officials (President, Parliament speakers, Ministers, etc.) must have a decent salary, at least equal to other subordinated civil servants and relatively similar to what happens in Europe. But it is equally correct this hike to be done concomitantly with other public sector employees’ wages hike. So I can wait until the new Law on Salaries is adopted! Therefore I decided that from August 1 to donate the difference in pay received according to the ‘famous decree’ to the Steaua basketball team. So I have a clear conscience and I’m doing a symbolic gesture to support the team and the sport that I loved so much over 30 years!” wrote Victor Ponta on his Facebook page.
Vice-premier Gabriel Oprea, who is replacing PM Ponta at the helm of the Government for the next three weeks, said he is “a bridge” between Victoria Palace (Gov’t HQs) and Cotroceni Palace (Presidency’s office) amid the disputes regarding the dignitaries’ wage rise. Oprea stated the rise was adopted in good faith in order to fight corruption among high ranking officials.
Yet, Liberal first vice-president Catalin Predoiu said the premier’s donation is a symbolic movement worth of praise which, however, cannot cover Ponta’s duplicity.