Weekly Policy and Political Report, Political Evolutions, July 30 – August 6, 2018
Dragnea’s Antena 3 interview In an interview for Antena 3 TV station, PSD President Liviu Dragnea presented the characteristics of the upcoming pension law which, according to him, is to double the current amount of each pension by 2021. He also mentioned the possibility of starting impeachment proceedings against President Klaus Iohannis, adding that a document accusing him of high-treason is being compiled. Dragnea’s rather vitriolic reaction came just after President Iohannis attended National Liberal Party’s National Council. Iohannis at PNL National Council President Klaus Iohannis attended PNL’s National Council where he tackled the ruling coalition’s governing program and the recurrent subject of rule of law abuses, as well as the artificial growth of salaries and pensions.  He urged PNL to take action and to continue to challenge PSD & ALDE’s initiatives that damage Romania’s credibility both internally and abroad.


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Fiscal Policies Review July 30 - August 6, 2018
In an interview for DCNews, FinMin Teodorovici argued that the minimum wage should only be enforced to public administration and not to private companies. Two days later, Minister of Labor Lia Olguța Vasilescu contradicted Teodorovici, stressing that the minimum wage will not be eliminated. On the other hand Teodorovici’s statement gained traction from the business environment, the Association of Romanian Businessmen calling for public debates on the issue of maintaining or eliminating the minimum wage. On Wednesday, August 1st, the Constitutional Court of Romania published the motivation behind the decision of unconstitutionality of the Draft Bill for the creation of the Development and Investment Sovereign Fund (FSDI). CCR’s decision highlights that regardless of the legal nature of FSDI, its establishment must be enacted as an administrative measure, (Gov’t’s decision) and not through a law adopted in Parliament. On July 18, the Court ruled that the Fund must be established through Gov’t Resolution. The National Council for SMEs (CNIPMMR) argued against the establishment of the Fund, deeming it illegal.              


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, July 18 – August 1, 2018
On July 24th, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated that the referendum for redefining the term “family” in the Constitution is to be held either on September 30th or in the first week of October. Dragnea said that the Senate should vote on the issue immediately after the end of the Parliamentary recess, in September, arguing that three million citizens support the initiative. On a related note, Dragnea also mentioned that in autumn, a separate discussion should be initiated on a law that deals with civil partnership. “I never was and never will be intolerant (…) We need to clarify the notion of family, but also that of 'civil partnership'”. Dragnea stated, however, that he maintains some reservations with regards to the possibility of same-sex couples launching an adoption claim.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, Political Evolutions July 23 – 30, 2018
  On July 24th, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated that the referendum for redefining the current meaning of the term “family” from the Constitution is to be held either on September 30th or in the first week of October. He believes that the Senate should vote on the issue immediately after the end of the Parliamentary recess in September because 3 million citizens support the initiative. On a related note, Dragnea also mentioned that in autumn a separate discussion should be started on a law that deals with civil partnership. “I never was and never will be intolerant (…) We need to clarify the notion of family, but also that of “civil partnership”. Dragnea stated, however, that he maintains some reservations with regards to the possibility of same-sex couples to launch an adoption claim. According to ALDE Vice-President Andrei Gerea, the party is not opposed to the referendum but does not consider it a priority. In his view, economic issues should take the forefront. On the other hand, opposition parties claim that the referendum is just a smoke screen to distract voters from the real issues at hand (e.g. the justice laws).


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Fiscal Policies Review July 23 - 30, 2018
Discussions over the fiscal amnesty continued over the past week, FinMin Teodorovici highlighting that it will only include state-run companies with historical debts, and that erasing individuals’ debts, albeit his party colleagues, are out of the question. According to the FinMin, erasing state-run companies’ debts would help them resume their economic activity. Taking into account the deficit increase, an issue that has a potential snowball effect, FinMin Teodorovici presented alternative sources for public finances: insolvencies, cigarette smuggling & VAT recoveries. It is expected that the Gov’t amends insolvency legislation, fact also confirmed by PM advisor Darius Vâlcov. A growing public presence, Vâlcov presented the main lines the Gov’t is expected to pursue this autumn: insolvencies, Pillar II pensions, and the Sovereign Fund. Last Monday (July 23) PM Viorica Dăncilă presented her cabinet’s six month report. The overall positive conclusions highlighted investment and wage increases. More so, the Gov’t shows that revenues to the budget spiked by 12% in Q1 2018 against Q1 2017. However, also last week, the FinMin presented rather worrisome figures on the budget deficit which spiked to 1.61% in June, from 0.88% in May.


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