The Romanian Government on Wednesday approved the budget adjustment bill, through an emergency decree, despite differences on this issue with the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
The left wing government in Bucharest convened on Wednesday to carry on with the budget adjustment bill which has become the new bone of contention between the ruling coalition (PSD- ALDE) and president Klaus Iohannis. Before the government meeting, PM Viorica Dancila had said that the approval of the budget adjustment bill through an emergency decree was imposed as an absolute priority on her cabinet’s agenda. She argued that people needed investments, medicines, pensions and salaries received on time, that pig farmers affected by the swine fever virus needed financial support and that the other farmers needed money from subsidies to be able to start works.
After the meeting, the finance minister Eugen Teodorovici said that the government decided to adopt the bill even if it did not have the approval of the country’s Supreme Council of National Defense, a phase which has been mandatory, at least so far, in the process of budget rectification. Teodorovici claims, quoting older decisions by the Constitutional Court, that the government has to ask for the Council’s approval but that it is not obliged to wait for the approval per se.
On the other hand, president Iohannis harshly criticized what he called the ‘inadmissible manner’ in which the Dancila government acted, given that the approval of the Supreme Council of National Defense was mandatory when the budget adjustment affected the budget of key institutions in the national security field. President Iohannis said the government had a parallel agenda, different from that of the citizens and accused the government of trying to divert the public opinion’s attention from the serious problems which it cannot solve.
Consequently, he publicly asked the Ombudsman to notify the Constitutional Court to check whether the emergency decree for the passing of the 2018 state budget adjustment bill complied with constitutional requirements. What happened on Wednesday is a follow-up to what happened on Tuesday. Tuesday’s meeting of the Supreme Council of National Defense was called off by president Iohannis who said that the government coalition needed to work out another budget rectification bill.
In one voice with the heads of the special services, president Iohannis criticized the cuts in the funds destined for several institutions operating in the national security field. He underlined that it was inadmissible for Romania’s security to be put in a difficult situation, given that the rectification the government wants is a positive one. President Iohannis had called the meeting of the Supreme Council of National Defense following the pressure exerted by the government which accused him of blocking this year’s first budget rectification, which is related to salary rights, expenses for social assistance, funding activities for fighting swine fever and to the money to cover Romania’s contribution to the EU. (translation by Lacramioara Simion)