Wage increases issue: President Iohannis, reluctant. Labour Minister: Irresponsibility. Deputy PM: Challenge to the Constitutional Court


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President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday, regarding the law on wage increases, that it is hard to say that he can agree with such provisions voted by Parliament on ‘the last two meters’ before the election.

“It’s hard to say that one agrees with the increases voted in the last minute, on the last two meters before the election. It seems to me that Parliament has reached an electoral-populist area, which should not have been reached. On the other hand, I can understand very well the people that want to be listened to, and the trade unions that come to demand wage increases. These things must be carefully weighed. We cannot say on the whole that one or the other are not right, such things should be well judged, well thought and therefore I made the recommendation earlier that in its last days the Parliament should not discuss at high speed matters which ought to be well weighted,” the president said.

Asked about the chances to promulgate this law, President Iohannis replied that normative acts are considered case by case.

Labour Minister Dragos Pislaru: A move to get votes

Labour Minister Dragos Pislaru said on Wednesday that the government is ‘clearly in favour of decent wages’ in public administration and envisages a 30% average increase by 2021 in the unitary wage law under debate at the ministry. Pislaru said for Antena 3 TV that currently the parliament, two parties namely, act irresponsibly.

According to Pislaru the overall costs of the ‘electoral alms’ is of RON 9 billion, of which those approved by the labour committee in parliament have an impact of some RON 4.8 billion more than the Government Emergency Ordinance 20 on wages.

“It won’t be feasible. Promises are being made and the ones to be fooled are the people, the administration employees,” Minister Pislaru said.

He added: “What the parliament is doing currently, in fact it’s about two political parties, is irresponsible. When you register economic growth but give up taxes, then the economic growth is in vain. These parties, PSD and ALDE, are unleashed to get votes at any cost. They insult the dignity and the decency of Romanian people.”

Deputy Prime Minister Costin Borc: The government would challenge it to the Constitutional Court

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy Costin Borc has told the German investors that the government would challenge the unitary wage law to the Constitutional Court, if this draft will pass parliament in its current form.

“I or one of us in the government would challenge this project, if it is approved the way it is. So far, the government has challenged almost all projects which provide increases in expenditures without budget basis,” Costin Borc told the members of the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK) during a meeting Tuesday night in Bucharest. The deputy premier said that this law too – on wages – is not accompanied by accurate financial sources from which the provided measures are to be covered. “To point to the state budget as a source of financing is not a serious approach,” the Romanian official told the German investors.

Finance Minister Anca Dragu has also criticized the wage law, on the same argument of lack of financial base. “We estimate a budget deficit above 3% of GDP, unless cuts of other expenses are decided. We should see this project when it comes out (of parliament) and then we will see what to do,” Dragu said on Tuesday in Parliament.

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