Press Review - February 11, 2019

02.11.2019 By Oana Gavrila

Parliament Sets Calendar for 2019 Budget Adoption

The standing offices of Romania's two chambers of Parliament on Sunday set the calendar for debates and a final vote on the 2019 budget bill.

Lawmakers are expected to submit amendments to the state budget by Monday at noon. Standing committees are set to meet Monday afternoon and draft a report on the bill by Wednesday afternoon.

Debates are set to start Wednesday afternoon and a final vote on the budget bill is expected on Friday.

The government adopted the budget bill last Friday. The budget is built on an economic growth projection of 5.5% and a budget deficit of 2.55% of GDP.


Ponta Says 2019 Budget is Unrealistic

Former prime minister and president of the recently founded Pro Romania party, Victor Ponta said the 2019 state budget is a fake and its swift adoption calendar leaves almost room for real debate and analysis.

Ponta said the 2019 budget bill is not realistic or serious and leaving just 24 hours for amendments shows the government doesn't want any kind of debate.

"All analysts – the European Commission, the IMF, the World Bank – have assessed Romania's economic growth in the most optimistic scenario at 3.5%-3.8%,” said Ponta, adding the 5.5% growth projection on which the government based its budget bill is unwarranted.


Opposition Parties Call for Inquiry into Nov 2018 Budget Revision

Opposition USR and PNL call for an inquiry committee to investigate the November 2018 budget revision, saying available data only indicated a negative revision.

“We want to know how the finance ministry achieved a positive budget revision in November 2018 when economic data showed the only option was to cut funding,” USR said in a press release Sunday.

The party said the late drafting of the 2019 state budget is directly linked to “massaging the numbers” in November 2018.

“Arithmetic has this major flaw in that, eventually, somewhere, the numbers don't add up, no matter how creative the government's bookkeeping is. The fact that the deficit in the 2019 budget draft grew by RON1.3 billion overnight is yet another clue that the Dancila government operates on false figures,” said MP Adrian Wiener.

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