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PM Citu: June 1 - the first step toward resuming normalcy


 Prime Minister Florin Citu is suggesting setting up an inter-ministerial committee to ensure Romania's return to normalcy from June 1.

"Today I will announce the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee, under the coordination of the prime minister, to make sure Romania's return to normalcy on June1. In fact, this is the first milestone, the first step, the first milestone we set for the a return to normalcy," Citu told a news conference on Monday at the Government House.

He said that this inter-ministerial committee will include all ministries, and inviting trade unions and employers associations is being considered.

"This inter-ministerial committee will include all ministries. I am thinking, of course, to include as guests, not as members, employers' associations as well, we will have talks with them. We have time to prepare for the reopening and we have made it clear that when you schedule things, when you have prior talks, the results are good. We've seen that with Easter, so far, that it is possible. You have seen that even at weekends we no longer have crowds on the ski slopes or in clubs, things get solved when you schedule them. You should trust that we will get through this time. This is the same message that President Klaus Iohannis is sending, I am sending it as prime minister, it is being sent by the entire Government: vaccination is the only solution," Citu said.

He underscored that the decisions so far on the COVID-19 pandemic have followed consultations and that that will also happen in the case of the inter-ministerial committee.Minister of Health Vlad Voiculescu said on Monday that it is not known how long it will take until going back to the "freedom" we enjoyed a year and a half ago, before the pandemic, and that the worldis "very likely" to have to live "one way or another with one form or another" of the novel coronavirus.


"Most likely we will have to live one way or another with one form or another of the virus and then we, as a country, will have to find ways to live with this virus. (... ) If we are left with a ball and chain, without managing the crisis, with a weakened medical system, this will impact this nation's entire future," the minister told the video conference "Profit Health.forum - The health system, a year of pandemic: achievements, failures, future".


He said that Romania is currently in the third wave of the pandemic and much more is known than a year ago and there are more resources at hand, mainly vaccines.


According to him, in the medical field, whether it is about infrastructure, human resources, regulations or vaccination, "the path is that of honesty".


"If we are talking about infrastructure, then, honestly, we all know that not only little has been invested, but also poorly. We all know that in order to make things much better in the future, we need to build the state's capacity to implement projects. We have a clear example of the state's failure to implement projects for which funding already existed. Regional hospitals are just one example that everyone knows," Voiculescu further affirmed.


In his opinion, honesty is needed when it comes to human resources in the health sector.


"If we look at human resources, we know that wages have been adjusted in a good direction, we know that there are still inequities, we know that hiring has not always been done properly, we know that we do not have a human resources strategy we can all follow regardless of whether one party is in power or another. (...) If we talk about regulations, again we can honestly say that telemedicine is not a very new phenomenon, it is not something that wouldn't have been useful to us even before this crisis," the minister added.

"It's very simple - each ministry will have to have, in turn, discussions on that sector, to see what the needs are in that sector, to discuss with associations in that sector; then these solutions will be brought before the inter-ministerial committee, where we will discuss them. We can have a solution from the HORECA sector: let's say the Ministry of Economy has a discussion with the HORECA sector and it comes up with certain measures; also included in the inter-ministerial committee will be the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry; we will possibly have employers and associations and each one will come with additions," added Citu.

He mentioned that the government is considering talks with representatives of all economic branches in order to find solutions to move forward after June 1.

"I agree to talk to everyone, to see how we move forward after June 1, so we have two months to prepare. I am sure we will find the solution for all business operators," said the prime minister.


He added that the green travel certificate will not be implemented in Romania, and Romanians will be able to go on vacation without this document.

"That is why we have this inter-ministerial committee in place, to make sure that the rules are observed, but without a green certificate," Citu told a news conference at the Victoria Palace of Government.