President Iohannis-central bank governor meeting. Isarescu: Price hike, not influenced by the monetary policy.

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President Klaus Iohannis has met the governor of the Central Bank of Romania, Mugur Isarescu, and first deputy governor Florin Georgescu today.

President Klaus Iohannis announced on Monday evening that he would mediate a talk between the Government and the National Bank of Romania (BNR) over the interest rise issue and inflation.

The Presidency said that the President had decided to meet the BNR governor first and after that with PM Viorica Dancila.

The meeting with the premier was scheduled for Friday, April 27, at 11:00hr.

The President hopes that after these talks, the Government and the BNR leadership will meet in the upcoming days to have a direct dialogue,” reads a press release issued by the Presidential Administration.

At the end of the meeting, the Presidential Administration announced that the BNR governor Mugur Isarescu had presented the main factors of the price hike, showing that the significant influences are not coming from the area of the monetary policy.

In his turn, President Iohannis underlined that both the Gov’t and the National Bank must avoid competing approaches, so that the institutional cooperation should be efficient, to prove responsibility for Romania’s economic environment”.

FinMin insists: No need for mediation

On the other hand, Finance minister Eugen Teodorovici reiterated that there was no need for such mediation as long as neither BNR nor the Government had required it. Yet, the minister said he would also to the meeting at Cotroceni Palace on Friday if PM Dancila asked him to.

A discussion can take place in any public structure. But not as mediation, not in the way the President has tried to publicly communicate. There is no need for an outsider to stay between the Government and the National Bank (…) We have met before, we’ll meet again, the PM will meet the governor on Thursday. So, there is no need for someone else to bring us round the table to talk. If the parties don’t have this need, why should be anyone else willing to mediate, at any cost? I am convinced that the National Bank will also tell the President the same thing, that there is no conflict with the Gov’t and that it is not the fiscal policy that prompted the current level of inflation today,” minister Teodorovici said.

Other voices from the ruling Social Democrat Party have also slammed President Iohannis’ intention to mediate a discussion with the central bank’s representatives.

The chairman of the finance committee in the Chamber of Deputies, Marius Budai, has stated that president Iohannis had always stood on the BNR’s side and criticized the government, arguing that for that reason “it’s too late for him to be mediator”.

In his turn, ALDE deputy Varujan Vosganian, former Finance minister also opined that the head of state ‘is giving BNR a knee’ in this matter, to the prejudice of the Government, and that the President “had overreacted with this row”. Vosgnian argued there is no need for mediation in this case.

There is no conflict. Of course, there might be some criticism between BNR and the Gov’t, maybe it would have been convenient for the National Bank that there were an economic growth of 2-3%, while the government should have liked a way that BNR could take over certain risks of the economic evolution. But these things are normal in an economy. I think the President’s move to make up conflicts where there are none, only to pose as mediator, is not the best formula to provide a glimpse on the Romanian economy,” Vosganian said.

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