The state budget and social security budget bills have been submitted to the Romanian Parliament against the backdrop of continued protests against the bills.
After intense negotiations over the distribution of funds in the center-right governing coalition, the drafts of the two laws that will regulate Romania's public finances and economy this year – namely the state budget and the social security budget bills - have reached Parliament. The deadline for the plenary vote is the beginning of next week, with a tight schedule of debates in the specialized committees. At coalition level, it was decided that the MPs of the three political parties making up the coalition, the National Liberal Party-PNL, Save Romania Union-PLUS Alliance -USR PLUS and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania - UDMR, would not table amendments and would vote on the bills in the form adopted by the executive.
Here is the Liberal leader Ludovic Orban: “Further subsequent improvements can be made after the first six months, there is still the possibility of adjusting the budget, but from my point of view the budget is built in such a way as to put in motion the engines of economic development. It is based on investments, increased absorption of European funds, and supporting the private environment through various programs. "
From the opposition, the Social Democratic Party - PSD and the ultranationalist Alliance for the Union of Romanians - AUR, criticize this year's budget, which they label as an austerity budget. The Social Democrats have tabled amendments required by everyday reality, as the party's first vice-president, Gabriela Firea, says: "All our colleagues across Romania have come up with several amendments, which represent the reality of the country. It’s not something against the government. We have tried to give up some that were not so pressing, just to give priority to those that are much needed in communities right now. "
In the meantime, the financial constraints for the two budgets have been nailed down in Parliament, through the ‘cap’ law, adopted on Wednesday also by the Chamber of Deputies, as a decision-making body, after passing the Senate: this year, the deficit cannot exceed 7.16% of the GDP, and personnel expenses cannot go over 9.8%. The opposition argues that these percentages will not allow the country's development, while the ruling coalition claims that this is all Romania can afford in a pandemic year, in which investments and the economic recovery should be given a chance. Meanwhile, trade unions continue to protest budget austerity measures.
About 100 trade unionists from the Publisind Federation - affiliated to the National Trade Union Bloc, which represents 35,000 employees in many fields – protested in front of the Presidency, demanding the elimination of wage inequities in the public system, the application of the framework-law on public sector salaries and a minimum wage correlated with rising consumer prices. The unionists also protested in front of the Transport Ministry: the rail company employees demanded, among other things, investments for the modernization of the railway infrastructure and the application of the railway staff status - a law that would allow for a 30% -40% increase in salaries and better working conditions. (L.Simion)