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Parliament passes budget bill as originally sent for promulgation

Parliament on Wednesday rejected by 245 to 115 and 2 abstentions a request to re-examine the 2019 national budget bill filed by President Klaus Iohannis, passing the bill as originally sent to the president for promulgation.

Public Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici stated on Wednesday after Parliament rejected President Klaus Iohannis's request for the reexamination of the 2019 state budget law, by passing the bill as originally sent to the President for promulgation, that all the payments pledged for both projects and the "social area" will be secured.

"Categorically, all the payment obligations, from projects to payments in the social area, will be ensured, as we did it every year. Even though, each year, there are the same talks, that there is no money, we proved every time that the money is ensured," the Minister told the press at the Palace of Parliament.

In respect to the criticism brought to the budget draft by the Presidential Administration, Teodorovici replied that, at the end of the year, one will be able to see "who was right."

"So, lingering in a discussion that is very much prolonged, we don't do anything else but block any kind of project, payments for persons, for the Romanians. All the economy is basically blocked. And, in addition, the country's image, because there are many elements that are related to the budget of a country, to be approved as soon as possible. (...) Perhaps, we will try this year to prepare the budget for next year, although the law says very clearly that there are steps, stages to be taken. But, I even talked to my colleagues at the Finance to start such a process earlier, in order to have a much more applied discussion, much more substantiated, discussions with parliamentary groups, the presidency, if it wishes ... (...) No one wants to have a budget in advance, but the way this year's political debates have taken place over the budget, I think they already exceeded any limit, Teodorovici stated.

He labeled President Iohannis's statement as "exaggerated," as he stated the budget bill is one "of national disgrace." The Minister underscored that, according to the law, the President must promulgate the budget.

"If I were him, I would have asked for a discussion with the Finance Minister in order to clarify myself, in order to see exactly if what I claim is correct. Taking into account that this discussion didn't take place, I find it to be an exaggerated statement. (...) The law stipulates that [he] must promulgate it. If he doesn't promulgate, on the very first day that he receives this budget, it means that this is another clear desire to delay any kind of development of this country," Teodorovici added.

In respect to the dissatisfactions of local authorities, the Minister stated that he will seek solutions for the punctual issues that emerged, but recommendations will be made, including in respect to the management of city halls.

"Let us talk concretely, let's see precisely the case, if there are such situations, if it is the best approach, the management of a budget which a city hall has - because, perhaps, there are recommendations to be made by us for the mayors - but as it is dimensioned as a budget and as a way of using it, things will be done at the end of the year as it should. But if there are punctual situations, we will talk at the Finance [Ministry] and see what is the solution," Teodorovici said.